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Burlington, VT office 802.540.0529
Hanover, NH office 603.643.6072
Rutland, VT office 802.773.3822
Woodstock, VT office 802.457.9492

July 27, 2009 Newsletter Archive

FREE SEMINAR — Wills and Trusts: What is Right for Me?

Thompson Senior Center, Woodstock, VT. September 15, 2009. 1PM

Hanover Office Staff Expansion

We are very pleased to welcome Marlene Green to our Hanover office staff. Marlene grew up in the Upper Valley and is well known in the local estate and trust world having worked many years in the Trust Department at the recently closed Hanover office of Bank of America. Marlene holds a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor and has a lot of experience working with Wills and trusts, as well as assisting clients to understand the multi-facets of the estate planning process. Her work for us will primarily involve assisting clients with some of the important details of estate planning, including re-titling of assets into trust name and document organization. Marlene has wonderful "people skills" and we are confident that our clients will enjoy working with her. If you are in the Hanover office area, please stop in and meet our newest member to our growing staff!


Goal Setting is Effective Legacy Planning for Life

Recent news highlights how even deep pocketed celebrities may overlook important estate planning matters. In a case of incomplete planning, Michael Jackson's children's lives are left in a precarious balance between their biological mother and Jackson's mother with a seeming lack of clarity from his Will. At least Jackson had a Will. Former football player, Steve McNair, apparently died intestate, leaving behind a wife and children who now have to wade into the morass of intestacy, along with the grief they are experiencing at his gruesome murder. What do the Jackson and McNair stories tell us about ourselves and our life plans? We think they serve as valuable lessons.

We spend a lot of time counseling clients through the tangled thickets of estate planning and value the concept that planning needs to be as complete as you can possibly make it at any given time. This type of planning is not a one time process but is on-going. It begins in early adulthood and lasts your lifetime. It adapts as your goals change. It is intentional. In other words, it does not just happen.

With our clients we set out to make a Purposeful Legacy Plan. We call this planning process the Planful Path™ because it truly is a journey. The Planful Path™ is a comprehensive "Life Plan" for individuals and small business owners with a focus on helping them attain long term goals. It involves examining one's life in a specific goal oriented manner.

While legacy planning is only one type of goal setting and achieving, it is an arena in which you do have control to determine the process and outcomes. The process itself teaches you to plan, set and achieve your goals, and it also provides you with a tangible way to view purposeful goal setting.

Many people experience estate planning as a set of documents. Yet, planning is so much more comprehensive than this. Moreover, your financial assets are just part of your legacy. You also have a more intangible legacy in your values and beliefs, the kind of person you are in your community and in the world. Your complete life plan includes your wishes, your health choices, your life stories, lessons that you have learned over time, the wisdom of a well-lived life, your values and beliefs, and of course, your financial distributions. Questions such as what matters to you emotionally, what motivates you to give, and what inspires you to do service, should be raised in the process of completing your estate planning. Have you had these conversations with your loved ones? Would your family understand your wishes if there was a crisis in your life?

The Planful Path's™ goal is to provide you, during your life, and that of your loved ones after your death, peace of mind and freedom from worrying about making decisions during a crisis or during a time of grieving. Because there are many steps to successful legacy planning, we have broken it down into easier pieces, all inter-related, but unique enough to stand alone as questionnaires, worksheets and schedules through which to counsel you.

Planning is never easy. We help connect the pieces for you. We created the Planful Path™ with the needs of growing families and changing life needs in mind. In today's world, the best planning is the planning done with a purpose and not just to get it done. Planning with a purpose can make the difference between having a great life plan, and having a plan that doesn't quite work or achieve the results sought.

In the next months our newsletter topics will discuss various aspects of life planning and the Planful Path™. If you would like more information on the Planful Path™ please call us at (603) 643-6072 or (802) 457-9492.


Age Defying?

Whether or not you are a golfer, you probably heard of Tom Watson's British Open performance last week. Just a couple of months short of his 60th birthday and with one hip replacement behind him, Watson took the world's best golfers to task, with only an eight foot putt on the last hole separating him from the winner's circle. Unfortunately for him the putt did not go in and the subsequent playoff did not go well, so he ended up as runner-up.

So what should we take from Tom's almost victory? Was it a fluke never to be repeated or is there a message that we can take from it for our own life planning? What resonated most for us from Watson's near victory was a message straight from Watson. After Saturday's third round Watson said, I have a "game plan." When asked if he thought he could, he said "I would not have come here if I did not think I could win". We think those two comments are the takeaway points, not only for golf tournaments, but life in general. Watson's comments indicate having a plan for the game, be it golf or the game of life. He also indicates a winning attitude, that is, a positive outlook.

There are anecdotes abounding of people aging well, even into late life. The advent of modern medicine coupled with the awareness of staying active, fit, eating healthfully and generally living a full life, helps us age well. Certainly, we are living longer and statistics show it. Currently, for a married couple both reaching age 65, the odds that one of them will live into their nineties is over 60%. A recent Wall Street Journal article reported that by 2050 it is projected that there will be over six million individuals 100 years old or older--truly amazing!

The quality of our own lives does to some degree depend on our game plan and positive outlook. So coming back to Tom Watson, will he be playing competitive golf with the best in the world 5, 10 or 15 years from now? Who knows? But we'd like to think that if we pursue his concepts of positive thinking and following a plan, and if we keep ourselves relatively fit, then aging well may feel like a walk on the golf course.

Melendy Moritz PLLC is a client centered boutique firm. We focus on your unique needs by providing the individualized legal counseling and advising tailored to your specific situation.

We concentrate on the planning that matters to you.
Call us at 603.643.6072 or 802.457.9492


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