terrihilliard.com https://terrihilliard.com Terri Hilliard PC - Westlake Village Tue, 16 Apr 2019 18:17:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 It’s National Health Care Decisions Day! https://terrihilliard.com/2019/04/16/its-national-health-care-decisions-day/ https://terrihilliard.com/2019/04/16/its-national-health-care-decisions-day/#respond Tue, 16 Apr 2019 18:11:00 +0000 https://terrihilliard.com/?p=47590 It’s an important topic, so important that a variety of of national, state and community organizations have collaborated to recognize April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day. It’s a day dedicated to ensuring that all adults in the United States who have decision-making capacity have access to the information and resources they need to communicate and document […]

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It’s an important topic, so important that a variety of of national, state and community organizations have collaborated to recognize April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day. It’s a day dedicated to ensuring that all adults in the United States who have decision-making capacity have access to the information and resources they need to communicate and document their future healthcare decisions.

Please download this Fact Sheet prepared by the Coalition For Compassionate Care for California. It will answer many questions you may have about the details of preparing an Advance Health Care Directive.

To download a PDF of a Basic Advance Care Directive, visit the Coalition’s website here.

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Seniors Going It Alone Need A Plan https://terrihilliard.com/2019/03/06/seniors-going-it-alone-need-a-plan/ https://terrihilliard.com/2019/03/06/seniors-going-it-alone-need-a-plan/#respond Wed, 06 Mar 2019 22:17:04 +0000 https://terrihilliard.com/?p=47552 According to the United States Census Bureau, some 27 percent of Americans 65 and older are living alone. That number of seniors is growing at a rate of about 10,000 every single day. Baby Boomers, born from around 1946 to 1964, now number over 70 million. They tend to live alone more often. This huge […]

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According to the United States Census Bureau, some 27 percent of Americans 65 and older are living alone. That number of seniors is growing at a rate of about 10,000 every single day.

Baby Boomers, born from around 1946 to 1964, now number over 70 million. They tend to live alone more often. This huge population has experienced higher divorce rates and lower number of children than any other generation, leaving many Boomers venturing out on their own in their later years.

Aging Alone

While living alone is not a bad thing, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind to help ensure positive aging in place. Seniors who choose to live by themselves need to plan for taking care of their own needs.

Without a good plan for what is being called “Solo Living,” single seniors may experience some real challenges ahead. Living on one’s own can be a contributing factor in causing poor health or feelings of isolation or loneliness – all of which are associated with higher risks of depression, cognitive disorders, and even mortality.

Moving forward, they should define how they want to live relative to their housing, finances, healthcare, transportation, mobility, emergency assistance, social interaction, and staying active. In other words, seniors living by themselves need to plan their lifestyle.

A Solo Living Plan should detail what things are necessary for an individual to be comfortable and which ones can be lived without. This gives older people confident life strategies that will serve them well for healthier, happier years ahead.

Feeling cut off from the world around you can be devastating. Especially after the loss of a spouse or going into retirement alone, it’s important for seniors to engage in activities to occupy their days and stimulate their minds. It’s essential for them to interact with others on a regular basis, such as taking classes to learn a new skill, joining a club, volunteering or, in some other way, getting out and about.

Some seniors combat these issues by seeking out senior communities or assisted living facilities that provide the comfort and support they need all in one place. There are many resources available to help those desiring the freedom of living alone without doing it alone.

Organizations such as Senior Concerns at www.seniorconcerns.org and others can give you guidance. Also, ask your financial and estate advisors for direction and options that may be available to you.

You don’t have to go it alone, if you plan well. If you have questions, contact Terri Hilliard PC at 805-201-2552 or e-mail clientcare@terrihilliard.com. You can also sign up for our newsletter.

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Who is Caring for the Caregivers? https://terrihilliard.com/2019/02/08/who-is-caring-for-the-caregivers/ https://terrihilliard.com/2019/02/08/who-is-caring-for-the-caregivers/#respond Fri, 08 Feb 2019 23:15:06 +0000 https://terrihilliard.com/?p=47520 Terri Hilliard, PC is a proud Bronze Sponsor of Senior Concerns’ “Caregiver Recognition Day.” As we age, most of us will need some assistance along the way. Whether it’s help with grocery shopping, transportation, cooking, cleaning, managing medications, banking, and myriad other tasks, caretakers are important aides to many as they grow older. While caregiving […]

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Terri Hilliard, PC is a proud Bronze Sponsor of Senior Concerns’ “Caregiver Recognition Day.”

As we age, most of us will need some assistance along the way. Whether it’s help with grocery shopping, transportation, cooking, cleaning, managing medications, banking, and myriad other tasks, caretakers are important aides to many as they grow older.

While caregiving can be very rewarding, it is also often challenging and even exhausting for the individual or family providing the needed support. Frankly, many caregivers can sometimes become overwhelmed with their responsibilities. Some may even deny their own health, socialization and other needs in favor of those whom they are helping.

So, who takes care of the caregivers? Who gives them the emotional, physical and even financial support to carry on?

In the Conejo Valley, a major resource is Senior Concerns, which offers a complete program of support for family caregivers. The non-profit organization provides information and guidance, group interaction, consultations, education and training classes, advocacy, and financial and legal aid. Senior Concerns even offers daily Meals on Wheels services and options that allow caretakers to take needed breaks from taxing care schedules.

If you or someone you know is a caregiver, find out more. Come to Senior Concerns’ “Caregiver Recognition Day.” This special event is designed to: “Share your story. Embrace your fears. Renew your spirit.” Join us Friday, March 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Los Robles Greens, 299 Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks. Admission is FREE with advance reservations. Register online at www.seniorconcerns.org or call 805-497-0189.

Even if you can’t attend, if you need help and guidance, contact Senior Concerns’ Caregiver Support Center at 855.318.5921 or email caregiversupport@seniorconcerns.org.

Caring for someone requires physical and emotional energy, financial resources, a great deal of time, and a careful, thoughtful plan. When I can help you with your future caregiving needs and/or for those of your family, contact me at 805-201-2552 or e-mail clientcare@terrihilliard.com.

P.S. The special guest for the Caregiver Recognition Day is broadcaster and comedian Fritz Coleman. He’ll bring a smile to your face and give you a nice break. Remember, you don’t have to do it all alone!

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The IRS May Be a Friend to Higher Net Worth Taxpayers https://terrihilliard.com/2019/02/07/the-irs-may-be-a-friend-to-higher-net-worth-taxpayers/ https://terrihilliard.com/2019/02/07/the-irs-may-be-a-friend-to-higher-net-worth-taxpayers/#respond Thu, 07 Feb 2019 22:17:53 +0000 https://terrihilliard.com/?p=47514 The IRS recently proposed regulations and announced increased gift and estate tax exemption amounts that offer significant opportunities for higher net worth taxpayers who want to make large asset gifts to others. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the lifetime federal gift and estate tax exemption amount increased from $5 million to $11.18 million […]

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The IRS recently proposed regulations and announced increased gift and estate tax exemption amounts that offer significant opportunities for higher net worth taxpayers who want to make large asset gifts to others. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the lifetime federal gift and estate tax exemption amount increased from $5 million to $11.18 million per individual for 2018 and will increase to $11.4 million in 2019.

If you have a higher net worth, you now have enhanced gifting options to potentially save on taxes. However, you might not want to delay any such moves and act before the proposed “sunset” date of December 31, 2025, at which time the exemption reverts to the previous $5 million per person (adjusted for inflation). Another consideration of your timing in implementing your gift giving is that any future government administration could possibly change the law again. It may be a use it or lose it proposition.

In any event, look at this as a gifting bonus that, if employed, should be initiated sooner than later. You should first look at your overall financial picture, including anticipated future earnings, asset appreciation, taxes and other income. Then, with your qualified estate attorney and tax planners, you will want to consider possible rates of inflation, how to protect your assets, minimize tax consequences, and reduce future liabilities that may be related to your gifting.

Let’s look at a quick example and say that Mr. Smith has $15 million in assets and decides to give away the maximum allowable exclusion of $11.4 million in 2019. This means that he will have $3.6 million remaining for his own living expenses after making the gift

If this proposed regulation is not passed and the tax exemption exclusion reverts to $5 million after 2025, it is possible that Mr. Smith’s estate would get a huge tax bill if he were to die after 2026. Basically, the tax system would still account for all $15 million in assets, regardless of gifting, resulting in about 40% of his estate being taxed. Even with the $5 million exemption, he is still paying $4 million in tax from his original total. Obviously, much of the exclusion is lost, which is often referred to as a “clawback.”

However, if the proposed regulation does pass, there would not be a clawback and therefore no tax on the assets that had been gifted. Therefore, Mr. Smith would only owe taxes on his remaining $3.6 million and his gift would be exempt and tax free. This would result in a huge tax savings comparatively, and it would act as a way to avoid a clawback.

The IRS is holding public hearings in Washington, DC in March to finalize the regulations, but, considering the benefits, it’s doubtful that taxpayers will object to the proposal. Even if you are not a high net worth individual, there are many tools at your disposable to protect you and yours while you are alive and after your death. If you have questions, contact Terri Hilliard, PC at 805-201-2552 or e-mail clientcare@terrihilliard.com, and sign up for our newsletter.

Photo courtesy of Alpha Stock Images – alphastockimages.com

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Leaving Your Assets To Your Kids https://terrihilliard.com/2019/01/03/leaving-your-assets-to-your-kids/ https://terrihilliard.com/2019/01/03/leaving-your-assets-to-your-kids/#respond Thu, 03 Jan 2019 22:54:06 +0000 https://terrihilliard.com/?p=47458 When you die, how will your assets be imparted to your children? What if the kids aren’t old enough or mature enough to handle their inheritance after you pass? If you have more than one child, how will your assets be divided? What happens to your legacy, if the children inheriting your wealth die? These […]

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When you die, how will your assets be imparted to your children? What if the kids aren’t old enough or mature enough to handle their inheritance after you pass? If you have more than one child, how will your assets be divided? What happens to your legacy, if the children inheriting your wealth die?

These and other issues should be carefully considered to ensure your wishes are carried out and your children and the assets you are leaving behind are protected.

Estate Planning

For children less than 18 years of age, look at putting your assets in a trust that is administered by a trusted guardian or qualified conservator of your choosing. Even when your child reaches his or her majority, you can designate in advance how and when the money and other assets may be doled out to more effectively help your offspring handle their inheritance.

Also, consider establishing a Lifetime Trust, which can conserve assets and act as liability protection for your children. A trustee you assign would have control of how monies would be distributed. Once the kids take money from the trust, it becomes subject to creditors or any future divorce. Further, if you have a child with some kind of addiction, such as with drugs, alcohol or gambling, a Lifetime Trust can serve as a governor on how the assets are taken.

Even if your kids are responsible and you believe they can handle their own finances, you might want to disperse the money in chunks over time to help them better manage their new-found “wealth.” Often, this is defined in the estate trust by the age of the surviving child. For instance, you could decide to have the trust release some of the funds at age 25, more at age 30, and the rest at a later birthday.

If you have more than one child, think about dividing the trust into equal shares for each recipient. In this way, the kids have their own assets to do with what they desire, which is much more equitable and may save future disagreements among the siblings.

So, you’ve laid out the trust to allocated assets to your children after your death, but what happens if there are assets remaining in the trust and your child dies? One thing that can be done in advance is to set up a “powers of appointment” within your trust. This can authorize your children to alter your original trust agreement after you are gone to pass along any assets to their children.

Planning ahead can seem overwhelming, but your professional advisors can provide the guidance you need. If you have questions on how we can help you and yours, contact Terri Hilliard PC at 805-201-2552 or e-mail cleintcare@terrihilliard.com.

Image courtesy Alpha Stock Images.

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New Financial Empowerment For Those With Disabilities https://terrihilliard.com/2018/12/20/new-financial-empowerment-for-those-with-disabilities/ https://terrihilliard.com/2018/12/20/new-financial-empowerment-for-those-with-disabilities/#respond Thu, 20 Dec 2018 19:05:50 +0000 https://terrihilliard.com/?p=47450 On Tuesday, Dec. 18, California State Treasurer John Chiang hosted a news conference to announce the launch of a new program, CalABLE. This was great news! CalABLE is an innovative state program that will allow individuals with disabilities to open tax-advantaged savings and investment accounts designed to let them contribute significantly more than the $2,000 […]

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On Tuesday, Dec. 18, California State Treasurer John Chiang hosted a news conference to announce the launch of a new program, CalABLE. This was great news! CalABLE is an innovative state program that will allow individuals with disabilities to open tax-advantaged savings and investment accounts designed to let them contribute significantly more than the $2,000 they are currently allowed to save under rules that apply to many government programs.

special needs estate planning

John Chiang announcing the launch of CalABLE

Under CalABLE, eligible individuals will be allowed to contribute $15,000 per year, up to a maximum of $529,000, into their account and still maintain benefits such as Medical and CalFresh. As an additional bonus, people who want to remain eligible for SSI can contribute the annual $15,000 and deposit up to $100,000 into their fund without the funds counting as assets.

For more details about CalABLE, see the Treasurer’s full news release.

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Alzheimer’s Crisis: Hope in Research https://terrihilliard.com/2018/12/05/alzheimers-crisis-hope-in-research/ https://terrihilliard.com/2018/12/05/alzheimers-crisis-hope-in-research/#respond Wed, 05 Dec 2018 23:08:16 +0000 https://terrihilliard.com/?p=47409 We have a major health crisis in our country. It’s called Alzheimer’s disease. Along with other forms of dementia, it is killing hundreds of thousands of Americans every year, heavily burdening our already strained healthcare system, and causing major financial and emotional difficulties for caregivers. As an elder care and estate planning attorney, I see […]

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We have a major health crisis in our country. It’s called Alzheimer’s disease. Along with other forms of dementia, it is killing hundreds of thousands of Americans every year, heavily burdening our already strained healthcare system, and causing major financial and emotional difficulties for caregivers.

As an elder care and estate planning attorney, I see many of my clients and their families face the impact and often harsh realities of dementia diseases. The long-term care, financial planning, and other factors play significant roles in the futures of people with dementia and their families.

The prevalence of the diseases in our society is mind boggling. Recently, Dr. Rebecca Edelmayer, Director of Scientific Engagement for the Alzheimer’s Association, was invited to make a presentation in Ventura County by the Alzheimer’s Women’s Initiative of the Alzheimer’s Association. She shared how the disease has been exploding and is already a national crisis that must be addressed in some form by all of us.

Dr. Edelmayer is a leading expert in Alzheimer’s research science and education and she shared many updated statistics that point out the severity of the impacts of dementia on many fronts. She is confident that we will someday soon be able to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. She said, “We are a leading supporter of several of the ongoing Alzheimer’s prevention trials. How quickly we get there is directly related to the size of the commitment to Alzheimer’s research.”

Similar to progress accomplished with heart disease and other major illnesses, the Alzheimer’s Association envisions future “therapies that combine drugs and lifestyle interventions.” Dr. Edelmayer believes the field is making significant advances, but stresses there remain a number of actions that are paramount.

She says, “We must invest in basic research to learn more about the causes and progression of the disease, continue and expand research on more effective treatments for those living with Alzheimer’s, and encourage efforts to support life-long healthy habits, especially those that relate to brain health and reducing risk of cognitive decline.”

Nationwide, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are one of the leading causes of disability and the sixth most frequent cause of death. The California Department of Public Health reports that Alzheimer’s is the third leading cause of mortality in the state with Ventura County showing the fastest increase in diagnosed cases.

Age is the most significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s and, as the population gets older, the problem only magnifies. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia every 65 seconds. With some 5.7 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s, it is estimated that the dementia population will more than double to 14 million by 2050.

Between 2000 and 2015, deaths from heart disease dropped 11 percent, but deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 123 percent. Further, one in three seniors will die from some form of dementia, killing more people than breast and prostate cancer combined.

Nationally, the costs of caring for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are in the neighborhood of $277 billion. By 2050, the amount could rise to $1.1 trillion. Early and accurate diagnosis of the disease could save an estimated $7.9 trillion in medical and care costs.

Sadly and amazingly, only 45 percent of those with dementia or their caregivers are even aware of the disease. The patients are not being diagnosed properly or at all and, even when there is a diagnosis, physicians are too often reluctant to disclose it.

Early warning signs of memory loss, orientation difficulty, and other triggers must be better recognized by family and friends. Moreover, those in caregiver roles need to seek out help from professionals to get treatment for their charges, navigate an often confusing healthcare system, and plan for long-term services and support, as the disease progresses.

Aside from the immense costs for those with the disease, their caregivers shoulder an astounding financial and emotional burden. Dr. Edelmayer tells us that this year’s Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures report showed, in 2017, the lifetime cost of care for a single dementia patient was $341,840, with 70 percent of this cost borne by affected families in out-of-pocket expenses. The value of unpaid care – the caregiver’s time – was estimated at $143,735.

The physical and emotional impact of dementia caregiving is further estimated at $11.4 billion in healthcare costs. And, finally, 27 percent of caregivers delayed or did not do things they should for their own health.

In our state alone, 1.6 million Californians provide unpaid care to family and friends living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. More than 60 percent of the caregivers provide 20 or more hours of care weekly. That’s a heavy load, especially considering they may have jobs and others to care for in their families.

We all must act to help stem this crisis. What can you do? Dr. Edelmayer says, “Fight to end Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias by staying informed, joining a research study, making a donation to help continue research, participate in an event or become an advocate.” For more information on Alzheimer’s and how you can help, call 800-272-3900 or go to www.alz.org.

For additional insights, mark your calendar for December 13, when neurologist Dr. Liliana Cohen will be speaking on “Alzheimer’s Research and the New Brain.” At the same meeting, Martha Shapiro with Senior Concerns will be presenting “Ahead of the Curve: Expanding the Options for Seniors and Family Caregivers.”

These free sessions will be held from 12 to 1 p.m. at the Janet Levett Chamber of Commerce Center, 600 Hampshire Road, Suite 202, Westlake Village. A light lunch and beverages will be served.

Space is limited. Interested parties can register at (805) 201-2552 or by e-mail to ClientCare@TerriHilliard.com.

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Attorney Briana Camille Jones Wins U.S. Tax Professional Award https://terrihilliard.com/2018/11/07/attorney-briana-camille-jones-wins-u-s-tax-professional-award/ https://terrihilliard.com/2018/11/07/attorney-briana-camille-jones-wins-u-s-tax-professional-award/#respond Wed, 07 Nov 2018 21:40:32 +0000 https://terrihilliard.com/?p=47358 Recently, we were delighted to welcome Briana Camille Jones to our family here at Terri Hilliard, PC. Bri, as she likes to be called, is an attorney and also a Master of Law in Taxation candidate at Loyola Law School. We are now doubly delighted to announce that Bri recently won the national Young Tax Professional […]

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Recently, we were delighted to welcome Briana Camille Jones to our family here at Terri Hilliard, PC. Bri, as she likes to be called, is an attorney and also a Master of Law in Taxation candidate at Loyola Law School.

We are now doubly delighted to announce that Bri recently won the national Young Tax Professional of the Year 2018 Competition hosted by Ernst & Young. She will now compete against finalists from 21 other countries in Amsterdam for the international title later this month.

The Ernst & Young contest gave students a chance to display a wide range of tax, legal and general business knowledge. Additionally, the participants were charged with showing off their analytical and presentation skills in a case study format. During the first round of the competition, contestants were tested on their technical abilities and wider commercial strengths. In October, the United States finalists from all over the country then competed against one another for the chance to move on to the global competition.

With Jones’ win in the United States, she will journey to Amsterdam for the international tax competition November 24 to 28. In addition to the prestige of getting this far in the contest, she could gain invaluable insights into the world of taxes by scoring well in the finals.

First prize is a 30-day, round-the-world trip built around 10 days visiting key tax centers in London, New York and Hong Kong. The second place award is a 10-day visit to one of the top tax centers and third is an invitation to participate in an international client conference with highly regarded tax professionals.

Jones, who joined the elder care and estate planning law firm of Terri Hilliard PC in September, previously practiced law in Northern California before moving south to attend Loyola Law School. She received her Juris Doctorate and MBA degrees from the University of San Francisco. Her undergraduate degree is from UCLA, where she majored in Political Science, with an emphasis on International Relations.

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Developmental Disability Survey https://terrihilliard.com/2018/10/24/developmental-disability-survey/ https://terrihilliard.com/2018/10/24/developmental-disability-survey/#respond Wed, 24 Oct 2018 18:02:27 +0000 https://terrihilliard.com/?p=47339 Are you a parent of a child with a developmental disability – Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy or Intellectual Disability? Or are you an adult with one of these disabilities? If so, you may be interested in a survey being conducted by the Autism Society of California. The survey gathers information on what is working for […]

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Are you a parent of a child with a developmental disability – Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy or Intellectual Disability? Or are you an adult with one of these disabilities? If so, you may be interested in a survey being conducted by the Autism Society of California. The survey gathers information on what is working for families and individuals and then shares that information with the appropriate non-profits, stakeholders and legislators to make sure your voice is heard. Please see the survey here: http://www.autismsocietyca.org/2018-survey.html

Or download the flyer for more information.

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Terri Hilliard, PC Team Up To Full Strength https://terrihilliard.com/2018/10/18/terri-hilliard-pc-team-up-to-full-strength/ https://terrihilliard.com/2018/10/18/terri-hilliard-pc-team-up-to-full-strength/#respond Thu, 18 Oct 2018 19:33:11 +0000 https://terrihilliard.com/?p=47307 The post Terri Hilliard, PC Team Up To Full Strength appeared first on terrihilliard.com.

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We’re proud to announce that we have added some key personnel and our team is now up to full strength. We look forward to helping you with your estate planning, special needs planning and elder and long term care issues.

Top Row:

  • Sara Peters, Paralegal
  • Terri Hilliard, Attorney at Law
  • Tianna Pasko, Administrative Assistant

Bottom Row:

  • Bri Jones, Esq.
  • Debbie Sears, Paralegal
  • Taylor Amstutz, Law Clerk
  • Barbara Colella, Client Care Manager

Team Spotlight: Barbara Colella, Client Care Manager

Barbara is committed to maximizing quality of life through supportive collaboration, and open and objective communication. Her goals are focused on promoting positive change and self-empowerment. Growing up with a severely disabled sibling, she brings a unique perspective to her clients. Barbara’s nonjudgmental and authentic manner aims to provide a safe environment for each client. Her objective is to achieve a balanced perspective on challenging life events. She works with all ages and focuses on seniors and their families to navigate overwhelming issues.

 

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