Mind Your Own Business
June, 2017 - Issue #153
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courtesy of Shutterstock

Gerald L. Marcus Now Vice President
of the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers' Charities

Attorney Gerald L. Marcus is proud to give back his community and those who have been impacted by serious injuries by serving as the vice president of the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers' Charities. The LATLC partners with charities and organizations throughout the Los Angeles area, focusing on assisting children, disabled persons, the homeless, survivors of abuse and the education industry. Partner organizations include the Downtown Women's Center, Imagine LA and the Westside Children's Center, among many others.

The LATLC began in 2006 when a small group of Los Angeles trial attorneys gathered together to begin channeling their passion for justice to help their local communities through charitable work. LATLC immediately focused on improving the problems plaguing the inner city of Los Angeles, seeking to help children be safe as well as improve their access to a quality education.

The organization has recently expanded to more than 3,000 supporters and just awarded 16 college scholarships to high school seniors based on need and merit, totaling over $40,000. The LATLC, in total, gave back more than $750,000 to the community through their 45 partner charities. Attorney Marcus is proud to use his position of leadership within this organization to give and help those in need.
The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus 296-2992

Congratulations to the 2017 Man & Woman of the Year
Inside SCV publishers and staff are so honored to congratulate Eric Stroh, nominated by Carousel Ranch, and Laina McFerren, nominated by the SCV Child & Family Center; they are the 2017 SCV Man and Woman of the Year! We're incredibly grateful to know and love these wonderfully-dedicated volunteers who, for many years, have deeply invested their time, resources and efforts into the betterment of our community.

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Lessons Learned about Student Loans by Arif M. Halaby
For many who currently suffer under the pressure of student loan debt, the feeling of being "tricked," or at the very least, mislead, is one they will carry for decades. Does it seem right that a young person who can barely understand the intricacies of personal finance is now signing their name to a 20+ year commitment?

Here are some decisions that many of my clients have shared with me that they wished they would have avoided. First, make sure the career choice is well thought out and linked to an applicable degree. For many of those clients, the area in which they earned their degree was one in which they held some level of passion and skill. However, that doesn't mean someone wants to pay them for those skills.

Additionally, they bought into the idea that completing their BA/BS degree in four or five years is the best way to complete their education. However, most of them now believe that taking an extra year or two to finish, while allowing them to work part time, would have been the best way to lessen or eliminate student loans.

Third, working part time and spending less time on socializing is another one of their regrets. Of course, having some time to relax is fine, but paying for some of the cost for books and tuition along the way with income can reduce the loan burden later.

Next, consider a two-year community college. When the BA/BS degree is confirmed, it has only the name of the last institution attended and completed. The savings to the total cost of college is reduced by as much as 50 percent. Clients have shared time and again that the decision to not attend a community college was a mistake.

Finally, students should work in their chosen career field for a while, volunteering or interning for a few months before committing to the last two years of higher education. If you can spend time working in the field in which you hope to one day become an expert, you should be able to determine if it is right for you. Studies have shown that nearly 70 percent of people do not end up working in the field in which they earned their degree. That's a big problem that can be avoided with careful planning and a little patience. It is really about math and logic.
Arif Halaby is a Certified Estate Planner (CEP) in California and president/CEO of Total Financial Solutions, Inc. 753-9683

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How to Leave Money to your Minor Children in the most Responsible Way
In the state of California, an 18 year old is legally an adult. Many 18 year olds are very mature and responsible but most would probably agree that many 18 year olds today... aren't. Unfortunately, if you were to pass away suddenly without a trust in place and have minor children, they would be entitled to receive assets left by you when they become an adult at 18. Obviously, in most cases, this isn't ideal.

Handing five or six figures over to an 18 year old could lead to a flash in the pan and fun for them for a short period of time, but it could also disappear quickly and leave the young person saddled with debts. Your living trust can address this reality. During your consultation, you'll be asked about what age you want your children to reach before they receive assets from you, should you pass away while they are minors.

Most clients decide that if this scenario were to occur, they'd want their children to receive half of their share of the assets at age 25 and the other half at age 30. Most feel that this is the best way to ensure receiving assets at a young age doesn't lead to a significant burden.

Trusts have a lot of flexibility, so you can take care of your loved ones in a way that is right for your unique family, including allowing the exception for some assets to be distributed early, before age 25 for example, if needed for expenses like health costs and college tuition. This way, the children can receive help for significant and important costs while at the same time preserving the remainder of the assets until they reach the age you have decided that is best for them and your family. Questions? Free consultations are available.
Edward O' Hare, Esq. of O'Hare Law 284-5000
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