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Topic of the Month: Season of Giving

November 12th, 2014

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you are likely busy preparing for festivities. Whether you are traveling or hosting the holiday, there is no doubt you are thinking about family, friends and food! We are thinking of those things too, but we’re also thinking of how grateful we are to have an opportunity to meaningfully impact the lives of our clients. So, once the pumpkin pie is digesting and you’re on to preparing for holiday shopping, as in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, don’t forget about #GivingTuesday! If you haven’t heard, it’s an appropriately named day dedicated to charitable giving. According to Charity Navigator, the “goal of #GivingTuesday is to encourage people everywhere….to come together with one common purpose – to help others and incentivize ways to give more, give smarter, and celebrate the great American spirit of generosity through charitable contributions and volunteerism.” Psssst! Pass it on!

Paying it Forward

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them. 
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

As is true of so many of the words JFK spoke, Americans take the lesson to heart. According to Charity Navigator’s “Giving USA 2014, the Annual Report on Philanthropy” total giving in the United States in 2013 climbed to $335.17 billion, which is a 4.4% increase from 2012. The bulk of charitable giving comes from individuals and it is the giving from those individuals that largely accounts for the overall annual increase. With the big money involved in charities and non-profits, many opportunities exist for planning your charitable gifts both during your lifetime and after your death, creating a convergence between altruism and financial advantage.  
After the death of the iconic Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the New York Times and other newspapers published the terms of her will that laid out her plans for what is known as a charitable lead trust. Bound to be legendary even in esoteric circles, there was much talk about Jackie O’s charitable lead trust, which would reportedly save millions.  
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As Simple as 1,2,3

 Going to a lawyer to have a will prepared to protect your loved ones can seem like a daunting process. In reality it is as simple as 1, 2, 3.

1. The first step in the process is to meet with an experienced estate planning attorney. At the initial meeting the client and the attorney should talk about who she would like to leave her estate to, her assets, who will take care of any minor children, and who will manage the estate.

2. The second step is the drafting of the documents. Once the documents are drafted, they are sent to the client for review. After reviewing the documents the attorney and the client will work together to make any changes.

3. The third step in the process is the execution of the will. The proper execution of the document is an important step.

Clients are often surprised at how painless it is to have a will prepared by an experienced attorney. The peace of mind that comes with being able to cross that task of their "to do" list is priceless.

The experienced attorneys at Semmelman & Semmelman, Ltd. are ready, willing and able to shepherd you through the process of preparing a will. Contact us today to set up an appointment.


Good Deeds:

Buying real estate, whether residential or commercial, is likely one of the most significant purchases you will make in your lifetime. And yet, many people don’t give much thought to the role the deed plays in the purchase process. If you have any concerns about liability or who will receive the property when you die, then you should be considering your available options for taking title to the real estate. We can help you accomplish your objectives for  ownership with the right deed.

Extraordinarily Dedicated:

We are loyal and committed to our clients and each other. We will be here for you every step of the way.

About Us:

Andrew Semmelman
Partner, 47 years with the firm


David Semmelman
Managing partner, 29 years with the firm


Kimberly Wisneski
Partner, 14 years with the firm

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Blogs, social-media contributions, and publications, in print or in any form of electronic media, by Semmelman & Semmelman, Ltd. and its attorneys should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances and do not create an attorney-client relationship. The contents of such postings are intended for general information purposes only and may not be republished, in whole or in part, in any other publication or media without the express prior written consent of Semmelman & Semmelman, Ltd., to be given or withheld at our discretion.

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