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January, 2017 - Issue #147
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An Informative Example of a Car Accident Case Settlement
A client was involved in a car accident when the other party pulled out of a driveway directly into her path, resulting in a moderate-impact collision. As a result, the client's car was damaged and she suffered back and neck injuries, requiring neck surgery. Even though the police report placed the other party at fault, the other party's insurance company disputed the claim based on liability/fault and injuries.
The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus demanded settlement prior to filing a lawsuit; the other party's insurance company offered $15,000 to settle the case. The law office was forced to file a lawsuit and aggressively litigate the case. After extensive litigation and discovery, they convinced the insurance company to do the right thing and settle their client's case for its full value in the amount of $486,000. Mediation, arbitration and a trial were not necessary. This saved their client thousands of dollars in costs as well as the delay and uncertainty associated with a trial.
The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus 296-2992

Congratulations to Nola Aronson of Advanced Audiology
Nola Aronson's Advanced Audiology will begin their 30-year celebration serving the SCV hearing-impaired community in January of 2017. Nola and her team believe not only in changing people's lives by giving them better hearing but by contributing to many nonprofits in her community like Circle of Hope, the Alzheimer and Diabetes Associations and the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, as well as the SCV Senior Center. In the past year, Nola Aronson's Advanced Audiology has won Best Small Business of the Year from the SCV Chamber of Commerce and was named Community Champion by VIA. The practice was recently awarded with two major acknowledgements: the Valley Industrial Association's Rising Star Award and Nola Aronson's naming as Santa Clarita's Ultimate Female Small Business Executive. Nola Aronson's Advanced Audiology helps our community hear better and live happier lives. The company offers free consultations so that you or your loved ones won't miss out on memory-making conversations this holiday season.
425-9330

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Why do People Go Broke After they Win the Lottery or Receive an Inheritance?
by Arif M. Halaby
The dream for many Americans is to win the lottery. It seems all of their financial worries would disappear in an instant. The days of working nine to five are over, they'll never look at a price tag again... but for many lotto winners, winning is often the biggest mistake in their life.
Habits make us what we are. Eating and exercise habits can dictate our health. Work habits decide our career success. Money and financial habits dictate our financial health.
You should add all the money you have made in your life, and then add together how much is in your savings and investment accounts. Are the numbers very lopsided? For the person who has earned a million dollars in their last 25 years working, yet only has a thousand or so dollars in their savings account, winning the lotto is a disaster. If you are unable to handle your current paycheck, then what makes you think you can handle $10 million? It's all about habits.
Learn how to handle the money you are currently paid. Live within a budget and save every time you make money. Treat your savings and your investments like a bill.
Planning for any goal that is worth having takes time. So expect to spend a few hours every year on your financial plans and goals. An asset feeds you and makes you money, while a liability eats you and costs you money. This may cause you to rethink your current house purchase. Learning money basics is key.
Do not spend money today that you have not even earned yet on expenses. The thought of selling your time (for money) in the future in order to pay off the food you ate last week is a very bad money habit. Your living expenses should come from your day-to-day earnings. As you save towards the future, eventually your investment and retirement income will come from your savings. This will allow you to be financially worthy of earning a bonus, receiving a pay raise or inheritance - or even winning the lotto.
Arif M. Halaby, CEP is the president and CEO of Total Financial Solutions, Inc., a financial and insurance services company based in Santa Clarita with offices extending to the San Fernando and Antelope Valleys. 753-9683

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courtesy of Shutterstock
Estate Planning:Choosing the Right Trustee for your Estate
When you create a living trust, one requirement is that you will name someone as successor trustee. Typically this will be a reliable family member of friend, but how do you know exactly who to choose to fill this important role? Should it be a close family friend, a relative or maybe a trusted co-worker? Do they have to live in the same area as you or is it okay if they live out of the area? Should you name co-trustees who will serve together at the same time?
Oftentimes this is not an easy decision to make. The person that you choose to act as your trustee should ideally be someone who is responsible and reasonable, detail oriented, shares your values with money and can be depended upon to follow the wishes and instructions you have laid out in your trust. Deciding who to nominate for this important role can definitely feel daunting and overwhelming. Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney, who can share advice, knowledge and give you different factors to consider in choosing the right trustee, is the best way to navigate this process. An estate planning attorney will guide you in choosing a trustee who will carry out your wishes and, most importantly, protect your loved ones and your assets.
Edward O'Hare, attorney-at-law, of Group One Legal, PC. 284-5000
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