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What is a pet trust?

A pet trust is an arrangement to provide for the care and financial support of your pet(s) upon your disability or death. You fund the trust with property or cash that can be used to provide for your pet based on your instructions in the trust document.

Your pet trust should name a trustee who will carry out your instructions for the care of your pet, including handling and disbursement of trust funds and turning your pet over to the person or entity you designate to serve as your pet's caregiver. The trustee and caregiver could be the same person or entity.

What is a funeral trust?

A funeral trust is an arrangement entered into with a provider of funeral or burial services. Prepaying funeral expenses may allow you to "lock in" costs for future funeral or burial services at an agreed-upon price. The funeral home sometimes serves as trustee (manager of trust assets), and you usually fund the trust with cash, bonds, or life insurance. A revocable funeral trust can be changed and revoked by you at any time. An irrevocable trust can't be changed or revoked, and you generally can't get your money out except to pay for funeral services.

Berardi Immigration Law Names Catherine Dines Associate Attorney

Berardi Immigration Law Names Catherine Dines Associate Attorney

Berardi Immigration Law is pleased to announce that Catherine Dines has joined the firm as an Associate Attorney.

Dines received her Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 2015, and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Mason University. She has a wide range of experience in cross-border corporate relations and has earned a reputation as a proven attorney with a successful track record representing large corporations, partnerships and individual entrepreneurs. 

Expect the Unexpected: What to Do If You Become Disabled

In a recent survey, 46% of retirees said they retired earlier than planned, and not necessarily because they chose to do so. In fact, many said they had to leave the workforce early because of health issues or a disability.¹

Although you may be healthy and financially stable now, an unexpected diagnosis or injury could significantly derail your life plans. Would you know what to do, financially speaking, if you suddenly became disabled? Now may be a good time to familiarize yourself with the following information, before an emergency arises.

Understand any employer-sponsored benefits you may have

Student Loan Debt: It Isn't Just for Millennials

It's no secret that today's college graduates face record amounts of debt. Approximately 68% of the graduating class of 2015 had student loan debt, with an average debt of $30,100 per borrower — a 4% increase from 2014 graduates.1

A student loan debt clock at finaid.org estimates current outstanding student loan debt — including both federal and private student loans — at over $1.4 trillion. But it's not just millennials who are racking up this debt. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), although most student loan borrowers are young adults between the ages of 18 and 39, consumers age 60 and older are the fastest-growing segment of the student loan market.2

Rise of student debt among older Americans

BBB’s Secure Your ID Day coming soon; free paper shredding and identity theft prevention advice and

BBB’s Secure Your ID Day coming soon; free paper shredding and identity theft prevention advice and

Identity theft is still a major problem in the United States. Over 15 million U.S. consumers lost $16 billion in 2016, compared with $15.3 billion and 13.1 million victims a year earlier. In the past six years, ID thieves have stolen over $107 billion.

To help combat ID theft and educate the public on best practices to secure personal information, Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York, in partnership with Tops Friendly Markets, Shred-It, AT&T, Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce, Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce, and West Seneca Chamber of Commerce will host Secure Your ID Day on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. – noon across Upstate New York (Western New York, Rochester, and Central New York). 

The free community shredding events in Western New York will be held at Tops Friendly Markets at 355 Orchard Park Road, West Seneca and 3865 Union Road (corner of George Urban Blvd.), Cheektowaga in the parking lots.

Four Numbers You Need to Know Now

When it comes to your finances, you might easily overlook some of the numbers that really count. Here are four to pay attention to now that might really matter in the future.

1. Retirement plan contribution rate

What percentage of your salary are you contributing to a retirement plan? Making automatic contributions through an employer-sponsored plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan is an easy way to save for retirement, but this out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach may result in a disparity between what you need to save and what you actually are saving for retirement. Checking your contribution rate and increasing it periodically can help you stay on track toward your retirement savings goal. .