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Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler > Articles posted by admin

Why DIY Estate Planning Is a Really Bad Idea

The do-it-yourself approach may work for some jobs, but providing for your family after you’re gone is too important to risk making mistakes -- mistakes that could put your loved ones in the legal weeds just when they need the most support and ease of mind. Here are some top reasons NOT to be an estate plan “do-it-yourselfer”: • While internet sites can provide you with boilerplate documents, they do not reflect specifics of your financial and personal life and may be questioned or disputed later. • The requirements for a validly written document(s) vary from state to state. • A valid estate plan...

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Children’s Mental Health: Statistics are Staggering and It’s on the Rise

By Jayne M. Wesler, Esq. May is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month. The worldwide pandemic starting in March 2020 has been hard for adults and children alike. For children, however, the challenges have been magnified since they often have little control over their lives, and most are not developed or mature enough to recognize what is happening to them. While statistics show that mental health challenges have been rising for our student population in the last decade, COVID-19 has multiplied the problems. How widespread are the issues? Almost half of all parents in the United States report that their children have struggled with...

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Over 18? Don’t Wait. Estate Planning Is for Everyone

You may think that estate planning is something you can put off until you’re older – maybe a lot older. But if you’re over 18, it’s never too soon to take this important step toward safeguarding the future for yourself and those you love. At Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler, we place great importance on estate planning for all our clients, and we’re ready to help you take this essential step. It’s easier than you think! Here are some estate planning facts you may not know: • It may be surprising to learn that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to greater awareness...

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DD and the “Different” Brain – Recognizing Developmental Disabilities

Jayne M. Wesler, Esq. Imagine you’re a ninth-grade student. It’s early morning and the alarm clock rings, jarring you awake. You look at the time. It’s 8 o’clock. ‘OMG!’ your brain shrieks. ‘I’m supposed to be at school.’ You leap from your bed, grab some clothing, pull it on, and run out the door. You arrive at school late, disheveled, and without any breakfast or lunch. What on earth just happened? Welcome to the brain. In this case, your brain has attention-deficit disorder, and it works a little differently than a “normal” brain. You’re often easily distracted, forgetful, don’t pay attention to details, and...

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Here Comes the IRS: Consider the Advantages of a Trust

With tax season upon us, we thought March would be a good time to share a brief overview of some tax benefits that come with the main types of trusts. In general, one of the main tax benefits of trusts is that the beneficiary is not subject to a large amount of inheritance or estate taxes. Family Trust (Revocable Living Trust) You don’t have to be among the super-wealthy to take advantage of a Family Trust, also known as a revocable living trust. Even if you have ordinary assets, such as owning your own home, this type of trust can be a...

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The Best Valentine Gift May Not be Flowers or Candy – Give Your Loved Ones Peace of Mind

This year, consider showing your love for your partner and family members by getting your estate in order. Why? Begin with the pain caused by the loss of you as a beloved partner, parent, and provider. Now add sorting through boxes, calling banks, looking for an attorney or accountant, and dealing with the courts. People who die intestate leave behind a mountain of bureaucratic navigation and hoops to jump through before the estate can be settled. A quality estate plan is an important legal document that saves your friends and family time, money, and anxiety about the future. It’s also a way of expressing...

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Chocolate, Nuts, Soy, Dairy . . . Ways to Ensure Your Child’s Valentine’s Day is Food Allergy Safe

By Jayne M. Wesler, Esq. Allergy awareness has increased significantly over the last decade. The number of students with life-threatening allergies continues to expand. The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection team notes that, in recent years, the number of people with food allergies has doubled. At this point, there are approximately two students in every classroom in the United States with an identified food allergy. That is the equivalent of about six million children. Allergies are actually a disease caused by hypersensitivity of the immune system to substances in the environment that are often harmless to most of the population. Many of...

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New Year’s Resolution #1: Plan Now for the Future of My Special Needs Child

Whatever the age of your special needs child, from infant to adult, it’s critical not to put off planning for the future care and supervision of your loved one. Many children with disabilities will survive their parents and siblings. General Estate Planning is important for everyone, and if you are the parent or guardian of a child with a disability, a Special Needs Trust (SNT) must form an essential part of your planning. Here are some FAQs About SNTs: What is a Special Needs Trust? The SNT allows family and friends to leave assets to provide for the person with a disability. When...

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World Braille Day

By Jayne M. Wesler, Esq. Why do we Celebrate World Braille Day? World Braille Day commemorates the birth of Louis Braille – on 04 January 1809 in France. In 1829 he published his "Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Song by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged by Them." But why is there a World Braille Day? What’s the big deal? Perhaps the stories of HM, Bruce Sexton, and Eric Guillory will answer those questions. In 2011, HM was an eleven-year-old fifth-grade student enrolled in a public school in New Jersey. Legally blind from birth, HM was diagnosed with albinism...

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Don’t Drop the Ball on Establishing a Special Needs Trust

We all know how fast time goes by during the holidays – before we know it, the ball will drop on a brand new year! On the bright side, this is a great time to resolve to do the things we’ve been meaning to do but somehow never got around to. If you have a special needs child receiving government benefits and you plan to leave them money, or anyone else in your family may leave them money, it’s essential to have a Special Needs Trust in place so the money does not pass through their hands and they do...

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