Mar
16
5:00 PM17:00

“Your Estate Planning Crisis Checklist"

Clients often call us in a crisis, when decisions over the legal affairs or care of a loved one are imminent. While each situation is unique, there are some common guidelines that can help everyone move forward through times of turmoil.


On this Life Happens podcast, attorneys Aaron Connor and Rebecca Cerny outline a Crisis Checklist that families can use to to keep Estate Plans on track.


Our checklist includes:

*Avoid making emotional decisions under stress

*React - but don't overreact

*Involve your Advisors

You never know when a crisis will hit with legal or elder care challenges. So plan ahead to be ready for that day!

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Feb
23
10:30 AM10:30

“Caregiver Concerns & Challenges: An Open Discussion"

There is a growing level of frustration with finding appropriate care for our loved ones and navigating the complex care delivery system.

On this February 23rd podcast of Life Happens Radio, we'll focus on the action steps you can take to address these frustrations, including gaps in care.

Elder law attorney Lou Pierro and Life Care Manager Nora Baratto will discuss alternatives to the shortage of quality and affordable home care. They’ll describe how the use of technology can maximize consumer safety and reduce caregiver stress. Technology doesn’t replace human contact but when there aren't enough home health aides available, digital tools are the wave of the future.

Listen to this LHR podcast to hear about solutions that to home care challenges.

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Feb
16
4:30 PM16:30

“Using Trusts to Protect Your Assets: Is It Right for You?"

We often talk about trust planning on Life Happens Radio. But is a trust right for you? What benefits can you receive? How do they work? Why are trusts important and when should you create one?

 On Saturday, February 16th, attorneys Lou Pierro and Frank Hemming answered those burning questions during our Life Happens Radio show. They also described different kinds of trusts geared for Medicaid planning, Veteran's Benefits and Special Needs, as well as aspects involving 'Basis Step-up" and impact on the STAR exemption.

 Listen to this podcast to learn how you can make an informed decision about trust planning.

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Feb
9
12:30 PM12:30

"Insure Your Love"

In this Valentine’s Day 2019 edition of Life Happens Radio, Bob Vandy and Brian Johnson from AIB shared their thoughts on this time of year when we think of the ones we love.

Have you considered what the impact on that one you love might be if you died prematurely, got sick or hurt and couldn’t work, or had a loss of the ability to engage in everyday activities without assistance from someone else?

Brian and Bob discussed some of the ways “Life Happens” in a not-so-pleasant fashion and, more important, steps you can take to make sure your loved ones are protected, so they can maintain the lifestyle they and we want in the event of the unexpected.

Listen to this podcast about Insuring your Love – and give Bob and Brian a call if you’d like to take the next step: (518) 371-6131.

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Feb
2
3:00 PM15:00

“2019 Medicaid Update: How It Could Impact You"

The numbers are out. New regulations are in effect. Medicaid, the Federal program that the poor and middle class often use to pay for long-term care, is changing in 2019.


Do you know how it will impact you or your loved ones? Listen to this Life Happens Radio podcast to get all your Medicaid updates. Whether you are just thinking about Medicaid eligibility or your parents are currently getting these benefits, attorneys Lou Pierro and Frank Hemming bring you up to speed on:

  • Higher Monthly Income allowances

  • Higher Monthly Resource allowances

  • New Appeals processes

  • Changes in reinstating services after a hospitalization

  • MLTC "Lock-In" - explained

  • Fast Track Medicaid Applications in Immediate Need

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Jan
26
11:30 AM11:30

“Optimize Value and Reduce Risk: An Estate Planning Road Map"

Picture all the assets you've worked hard to acquire: a home, an investment portfolio, insurance and retirement accounts.

It takes years to build value into that portfolio, but have you taken steps to protect it? What happens if you face significant long-term care costs, stock market volatility or unexpected family turmoil such as divorce or debt? Paying for these expenses out-of-pocket can deplete your nest egg fast.

Consider a new strategy: one that combines value optimization with 2019 trust planning techniques and tax saving opportunities you may not know about.

Check out our Life Happens Radio podcast recorded on Saturday, January 26, when hosts Lou Pierro and Rebecca Cerny discussed ways to secure your assets while maximizing value. They'll also described how this works through real-life examples.

As always, catch the LIVE show every Saturday on 810 AM or 103.1 FM so when Life Happens, you'll be prepared.

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Jan
19
1:00 PM13:00

“Double Down on Your Planning"

If you've taken any steps to establish an estate plan, you're on the right track to secure your future. By laying out your wishes, naming agents to represent you in legal and health care decisions, and considering asset protection, you're taking a proactive approach.

Now, consider the Power of Two, by adding creative insurance products to your plan. In this way, you're adding protections against healthcare crises and other risks, as well as improving your financial situation.

On the January 19th Life Happens Radio Show, hosts Aaron Connor of Pierro, Connor & Strauss, and Bob Vandy of Advisors Insurance Brokers shared real-life stories of how combining the best strategies with estate planning and insurance have given families a great advantage.

Listen to this podcast to hear the show, including the calls from our listeners!

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Jan
12
2:00 PM14:00

“[Insurance] Resolutions for the New year – 2019 Edition”

Did you make some resolutions for 2019? How is it going so far? Have any fallen by the wayside yet? We hope not! Did you make any INSURANCE resolutions? Probably not.

On the January 12 show, Bob Vandy and Brian Johnson layed out some INSURANCE resolutions for the New Year. We often make resolutions based on desires for better health, financial situation improvement, travel, etc. More than likely, we haven’t made any resolutions to make sure our insurance house is in order for the coming year. Ironically, having the right insurance plans in place can help our “sleep at night” factor (better for our health), make the best use of our insurance dollars (improving our financial situations) and more.

Listen to this Life Happens Radio podcast so you’ll “be prepared” with insurance resolutions for the New Year.

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Jan
5
10:00 AM10:00

Coping with Care Crises: A New Year's Guide

Chances are you didn't expect to usher 2019 in with a string of unanticipated doctor's appointments and hospital visits. But it's inevitable when a family member's health worsens over the holidays. These crises can also lead to quickly scheduled meetings to discuss the financial and legal ramifications when your loved one needs immediate or long-term care.

On this LHR podcast, attorneys Aaron Connor and Frank Hemming share real life stories of holiday care crises, and how estate and trust planning plays a critical role. At Pierro, Connor & Strauss, we frequently get calls between Thanksgiving and early January from clients who have gathered for holiday celebrations - only to find an imminent health care need for aging parents. Aaron and Frank discuss strategies to:

  • Ensure estate documents are drawn up correctly, so that funds can be transferred if necessary, and your family member's wishes will be carried out

  • Update health care proxy and the MOLST form which governs life-sustaining treatment

  • Protect assets that could otherwise be spent down for medical costs

  • Become Medicaid-eligible as quickly as possible

  • Manage immediate care needs affordably

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Dec
29
2:00 PM14:00

A Goal for the New Year: Ensure Your Wishes Will Be Met

Decisions about end-of-life medical care are very personal. The start of a new year is the perfect time to make sure those wishes are well documented.

Whether you want your life to be extended as long as possible or whether you want no life-sustaining measures at all, you need to make that choice clear beforehand. Chances are you won’t be able to express yourself when a crisis is at hand and a decision needs to be made.

The traditional way to communicate one’s end-of-life wishes is through an advance directive, and while advance directives are a good start, by themselves they may not guarantee that your wishes will be followed.

On this podcast, attorneys Lou Pierro and Peter Strauss discuss the important things you can do to ensure your wishes are met, including:

• Naming a health care proxy – a person who will make medical decisions for you when you can’t.

• Make sure you have an ongoing conversation with this person about the kind of care you want

• Create a MOLST (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment)- a medical form to indicate which types of life-sustaining treatment a seriously ill patient wants or doesn't want if his or her condition worsens.

Lou and Peter share real-life stories that show the importance of making sure this your end-of-life wishes are, and how an Elder Law attorney can help you achieve that goal.

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Dec
22
2:30 PM14:30

Making a List and Checking it Twice

Santa has his checklist for the naughty and nice. You may have a checklist for holiday gifts and groceries. But have you considered another important inventory: a checklist of your family's estate planning needs and wishes?

On this Life Happens Radio podcast, attorneys Lou Pierro and Frank Hemming run down a 'holiday checklist' with topics you may not have considered. Family gatherings are a great opportunity to take stock of what you have-- and to consider whether estate and long-term care planning documents are up to date.

Consider, for example:

  • You may have executed a will 15 years ago, but do the beneficiaries and titling of assets reflect your current wishes?

  • Have you structured assets within a trust to minimize taxes and to consider changes in the 2018 Federal tax law?

  • Is your plan 'divorce-proof' for the day when assets are distributed to your children and grandchildren?

  • Do you have a 'disposition of remains appointment' as part of your estate?

  • Have you planned ahead to qualify for Medicaid benefits? (We've got the new 2019 numbers)

Grab a pen and paper and listen to this podcast to personalize your own 'holiday checklist,' and start the New Year off with security and confidence.

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Dec
15
1:30 PM13:30

The Gift of Planning

Many seniors and their families don't use a lawyer to plan for long-term care or Medicaid, often because they're afraid of the cost.

On this podcast, attorneys Aaron Connor and Frank Hemming share how an attorney can help you save money in the long run as well as make sure you are getting the best care for your loved one.

Aaron and Frank discuss reasons why using an elder law attorney is worth the investment, including:

  • No conflict of interest

  • Deep knowledge and experience

  • Malpractice insurance

  • Save money & get peace of mind

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Dec
8
11:30 AM11:30

The 12 Insurance Days of Christmas

On this podcast, Brian Johnson and Bob Vandy share their “Top 12” thoughts on what our listeners should keep in mind as they contemplate insurance planning in 2019. 

This show is fast-paced, and we hit on some of the latest developments in the Life, Long Term Care and Income Replacement (DI) Insurance world, so you can make sure your [insurance] house is in order. “Life Happens,” and this episode will help you “Be Prepared” so you can rest easier and enjoy the Holiday Season with friends and family!

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Dec
1
3:30 PM15:30

"Mastering Your Destiny - by Planning For It"

No one dreams of spending their Golden Years in a nursing home, yet millions of people do.

On this Life Happens podcast, hosts Lou Pierro and Nora Baratto discuss how careful planning can enable you and loved ones to live life independently in the comfort of your own home, with the people and settings we love all around us.

Studies show that 70% of Americans age 65 and older will need Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) at some point in their lifetime. Lou and Nora share some steps to take towards mastering your destiny.

They share how technology is helping to advance the ability to remain independent at home and monitor health with real time data and crisis alerts.

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Nov
17
9:30 AM09:30

Planning to Age Well:‘tis the Season to Start a Dialog

The holiday season is upon us, which means families are making their travel arrangements and dinner plans for festive occasions. On this Life Happens Radio podcast, hosts Lou Pierro and Aaron Connor have a suggestion for the menu: make time to share and discuss the “what ifs” you face as a family, such as future health needs (especially for long-term care), income and asset protection and living arrangements as we age. Although it is not an easy conversation to have, the holidays provide a great opportunity to open the dialog and make important decisions while you are all together.

Aaron and Lou share specific tips on getting the dialogue started, and pointers for handing crucial conversations that may include:

  • Existence of updated estate planning documents like Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and Trusts

  • How to deal with a chronic illness

  • Medicaid eligibility and asset protection

  • Potential future care needs and a care management plan

Aaron and Lou use real life cases (where only the names are changed) to reinforce the importance of planning early for your loved ones, and how the holidays are the perfect time to get started.

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Nov
10
3:00 PM15:00

"November is Long Term Care Insurance Awareness Month"

November means at least two things: Thanksgiving…and LTCI Awareness Month! Thanksgiving is a time when families gather. Because of busy schedules, geographically spread out family situations, and other challenges, those gatherings often become the only times during the year where families can have meaningful conversations about the impact of loved ones’ LTC or Extended/Chronic Care needs. For those who have experienced an Extended care event, we know how important it is to plan in advance.


Listen to this LHR podcast to hear Bob Vandy and Brian Johnson share the latest planning tips on how to finance the costs of an Extended care event, which can be substantial. Having a plan in place is VITALLY important, and the vehicles available to us have changed. Brian and Bob will bring you the latest, so you can “be prepared…” for such an event, and help your family maintain control over the issues we face as much as possible.

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Oct
27
10:30 AM10:30

Estate Planning: What You Need to Know

What do you need to know to start an estate plan? And if you already have begun the process, are you on the right track to take advantage of all the options available? On this LHR podcast, three of the associate attorneys at Pierro, Connor & Strauss offer straight-forward advice and step-by-step instructions to move your plan forward. They are also joined by Beth Tranka, one of our legal assistants, who pose many of the common questions we often hear from clients:

Is estate planning only for the rich?

I’ve used online documents, will they work?

When is the best time to start estate planning?

What information do I need to begin?

I did my will a long time ago, how can I tell if I need any updates?

What’s going to be best for me, a will or a trust?

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Oct
6
12:00 PM12:00

Deadline Approaching: New VA Pension Benefit Rules

New rules go into effect on October 18 that represent a significant change in the qualification requirements of those who are eligible for VA pension benefits. This will make it more difficult to qualify for this important benefit that can help defray the cost of care.

 On this podcast of Life Happens Radio, attorneys Louis Pierro and Frank Hemming explain the rules change and the potential financial impact to your benefits.

 Currently, any transfers or gifts made to qualify for VA pension benefits are not subject to a lookback period. The new rules, however, provide that gifts or transfers made after October 18, 2018 will be subject to a lookback period of 36 months and therefore, subject to a penalty period where you will potentially be ineligible for these benefits. The addition of the lookback and penalty period means that you will need to plan 36 months in advance to qualify for VA pension benefits.

 

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Sep
1
11:00 AM11:00

“The Hardest Job You Were Never Trained For"

Caring for an aging parent or loved one is the hardest job that you were never trained for. The needs of chronically ill patients who wish to live their lives at home present unique and boundless challenges, which are compounded by a fragmented system of care that places inordinate demands on a caregiver's time, resources and relationships. 

On the Labor Day podcast of Life Happens Radio, attorney Lou Pierro and Life Care Coordinator Susan Vail discuss the caregiver's 'labor of love,' and present solutions to these challenges.

They give you pointers on:

Assessing your loved one's health care, personal, financial and safety needs and risks, with an in-home assessment, development of a personalized care plan and determination of Medicaid eligibility

Implementing a comprehensive care management plan at home, including Medicaid qualification, selection of appropriate resources, caregiver hiring and training on eCaring technology

Monitoring your loved one's daily activities with real time health and financial data, information-sharing among family members, caregiver and providers, and ongoing advocacy to meet a loved one's changing needs

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Aug
25
3:00 PM15:00

Set Your Graduates Up For Success

As we celebrate the achievements of our high school graduates in June, families should also be laying the groundwork for their child’s legal transition to adulthood. Check out this Life Happens Radio podcast, when Lou Pierro was joined by special guest, Dr. Dean Skarlis, President of The College Advisor of New York, to give you essential planning steps that will set up college-bound children and young adults for a secure future.

From a financial and admissions perspective, you’ll learn about HIPAA regulations and the need for your child to sign a waiver so that parents can discuss health care and disciplinary violations with a college. Dean covers factors that affect the admissions process, selectivity and cost, and Lou gives pointers on establishing documents like a basic will, trust and powers of attorney for a young adult.

Baby Boomers, upcoming high school graduates and college students shouldn’t miss this timely topic, so click on the podcast link, for this fascinating program.
 

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Aug
18
11:00 AM11:00

“Medicaid 101: Get the Facts"

Obtaining your Medicaid benefits is not a quick and simple process. Eligibility is a complex road that must be navigated by expertise in order to avoid penalties, or the outright rejection of your benefits. To become eligible for Medicaid you will be required to provide the government with copious details that canvas the last five years of your life. If you are considering Medicaid, this will be an eye-opening show for you.

On this podcast, attorneys Aaron Connor and Frank Hemming of Pierro, Connor & Strauss share real client stories to show the challenges many people face when applying, and how using an experienced Elder Law attorney can help save you time, stress and money. People are often surprised that they don’t need to spend every cent of their hard-earned money to receive Medicaid benefits. You will also learn tips on avoiding delays in benefits, and simplifying the process overall. 

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Aug
11
11:30 AM11:30

“Who Knew? Creative Uses for Life Insurance and More!"

Life insurance is often used to cover what we might call “basic” needs – income replacement or payoff of a debt at death. 

However, did you know you could use your life insurance to pay for, for example, Long Term Care expenses? Maybe you own a small business and have a “buy-sell” agreement with your business partner – did you know life insurance is often the most cost effective funding mechanism for that buy-sell agreement? 

On this podcast Bob Vandy and Brian Johnson share some interesting – and, to most of our listeners, NEW - ideas on how you can use life insurance as a key tool in your overall financial planning arsenal.

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Jul
28
11:00 AM11:00

"The Medicaid Application: Minimize Stress, Maximize Benefits"

On this podcast of Life Happens Radio, attorneys Aaron Connor and Frank Hemming discuss the steps of filing a Medicaid application, and the benefit of hiring an Elder Law attorney to help with the process.

Using an Elder Law attorney that has experience getting clients qualified for Medicaid can help accelerate eligibility, saving you time and money. The process is complicated, and any missteps in filing can result in delayed or lost eligibility.

You'll also hear from people who assume they are not eligible, when in fact they often are.It just requires more complex legal and financial planning than they could do on their own.

Frank and Aaron share real-life client success stories to highlight the benefits of using an Elder Law attorney to help with the often long and challenging application process.

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Jul
21
10:30 AM10:30

"Legal Mistakes of the Rich and Famous"

Lou Pierro, Peter Strauss and Rebecca Cerny
July 21, 2018
"Legal Mistakes of the Rich and Famous"

Jim Morrison, David Bowie, Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Heath Ledger. All were wildly successful celebrities on the stage and screen. But when it came to financial and estate planning, they made the kind of mistakes we can all learn from.

On this edition of Life Happens Radio we discuss how to avoid legal missteps made by prominent people, drawing from an excellent article in the American Bar Association’s journal, Probate & Property.

Listen to the podcast to find out about ‘Misfires of the Rich and Famous’ including:

  • Overly simplistic or ‘homemade’ wills
  • Legal complications with after-born children and domicile situations
  • Second families and decanting
  • Broken ‘oral’ promises

In all of these cases, problems could have been avoided by a simple legal update or revision. This is why it’s paramount that estate planning is done before: Life Happens.

 

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Jul
7
3:30 PM15:30

"Stay Independent at Home for Life"

Hosts Lou Pierro & Susan Vail

If one of your goals is for you or a loved one to age at home as long as possible, then you’ll want to listen to this podcast of Life Happens Radio.

Attorney Lou Pierro will give step-by-step instructions on preserving assets through trust and Medicaid planning, and Life Care Coordinator Susan Vail will describe how to set up a care management plan at home. They’ll discuss how to take advantage of New York’s Medicaid home care program, as well as new technology that is helping people remain independent at home, longer.

All of these strategies will give you an exceptional toolbox for building a home care plan - by combining legal, financial and quality care management.

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Jun
30
10:00 AM10:00

"Patriotism, Planning and New Beginnings"

In the July 4th edition of Life Happens Radio, attorneys Lou Pierro and Nicole Hurley focus on how we help clients create an estate plan that becomes, in essence, their personal 'constitution.' It's a plan that offers protections for you and your family on many levels; a plan that will stand the test of time.

Like the Constitution, an estate plan should also be flexible. You should be able to make amendments that will modify and adjust the plan to best prepare you for a secure retirement.

Also on the program is attorney Peter J. Strauss, who is jouined our firm as Senior Partner on July 1. This marks a milestone as our name officially changes to Pierro, Connor & Strauss, LLC.

Based in our New York City office, Peter counsels on trusts and estate law, elder law and guardianship law with a particular focus on the legal problems of seniors and persons with disabilities. He frequently lectures on these topics and is considered to be one of the pioneers in elder law in the United States.

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Jun
23
11:00 AM11:00

"Set Your Graduates Up For Success"

As we celebrated the achievements of our high school graduates this month, families should also be laying the groundwork for their child’s legal transition to adulthood. On this podcast edition of Life Happens Radio, attorneys Aaron Connor and Rebecca Cerny offered essential planning steps to set up college-bound children and young adults for a secure future. 


They also shared real-life stories of the benefits of planning ahead, and the problems that arise when estate planning documents aren’t in place or are done incorrectly. This applies not only to young adults, but to anyone who has an estate plan.
In this podcast, find out How to establish documents like a basic will, powers of attorney and health care proxy for a young adult

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Jun
22
2:00 PM14:00

"Estate Planning Life Cycle"

Whether you have a new family, are approaching or in retirement, or have aging parents, we’ve got you covered on this Life Happens Radio podcast!

Attorneys Frank Hemming, Nicole Hurley and Rebecca Cerny, all from Pierro, Connor & Associates, discuss a range of estate planning options that follow the continuum of life. They start right from the beginning, discussing the basic documents everyone should have, and continue all the way through to applying for community or nursing home Medicaid. They also discuss when this planning should happen, including what big life events can often change a client’s plan.    

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Jun
9
3:00 PM15:00

"The Swiss Army Knife of Insurance Planning"

 Insurance planning is often a challenge. We never know when “Life Happens” and it’s vitally important that we plan for the unexpected. There is some good news: advances in insurance policy design have made today’s designs more flexible and encompassing than ever before.

What if you had an insurance policy that protected your loved ones in the event of your premature death? Well, most of us understand the importance of having the right type and amount of life insurance. But, what if that SAME policy also provided benefits for an extended, chronic or long-term care event? And what if that SAME policy allowed you to get ALL of your premiums back later on – guaranteed – if you decided you didn’t want it anymore? AND, what if that SAME policy allowed you to get a GUARANTEED income later on, while preserving at least some of those same life insurance AND chronic or long-term care benefits?! Many of these policies also allow you to combine your insurance and legal planning TOGETHER!

Listen to the June 9th podcast to hear co-hosts Bob Vandy and Lou Pierro discuss more about these innovative, cutting edge products, and how you can make them a part of your overall planning!

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