Speaker 1 [00:00:20] And welcome to the money puzzle. My name is Cynthia DeFazio, and I’m joined today by Brian Ramsey and Chris Vaughn of Family Wealth Planning Partners. Brian, how are you today? I’m doing
Speaker 2 [00:00:31] really well.
Speaker 1 [00:00:31] It’s great to see you. Chris, how are you?
Speaker 3 [00:00:33] I’m doing wonderful, Cynthia. Thank you.
Speaker 1 [00:00:35] Oh, it’s so good to have you in the studio, and I love our time together, obviously talking about such an important topic. Planning properly for retirement. But before we dove into our subject today, I want to talk to you a little bit about the money puzzle that’s behind us. Let’s talk about what that looks like and why that’s so important for the viewers to know.
Speaker 2 [00:00:52] Yes. One of the one of the more interesting questions we’ve got when we sent out our background is, Hey, you’ve got a couple of pieces that are not where they should be. And they said, Hey, you know, you’ve got a mistake when you design it. But in all reality, we didn’t make a mistake. We had those there for a reason. So you might see in between me and Chris is a puzzle piece that is actually a sad piece. Yeah. And it’s sort of in the middle of the puzzle. And so folks will say, Hey, that’s all. That’s a side piece shouldn’t be in the puzzle. No, we designed it that way. And the reason we did that was because we see a lot of folks that come in that have their puzzle pieces not quite right, right? So they come in and say, Hey, here’s all my puzzle pieces, and they’re trying to fit one piece of their puzzle into a place that doesn’t fit. So we thought it was appropriate to add some pieces like that into our logo. Just to show that everybody comes in doesn’t have their puzzle and exact good order. And so that’s what we’re here to do is help them put their puzzle together.
Speaker 1 [00:01:44] I love that. That makes perfect sense because when you think about it, obviously everything should fit together cohesively when you’re building a financial plan, if you will. So I think the puzzle is extremely creative. I love that. Chris, I have to ask you right out of the gate. I know today we’re going to be talking about estate planning overall, but is there one thing that people fail to do more than anything else regarding estate planning? Yeah, they
Speaker 3 [00:02:07] fail to do it in the first place, really. It’s amazing the number of people that we talked to when we get into that part of the conversation. Yeah, I was just having this conversation with a client the other day. They’ve got kids at home, teenagers. So when’s the last time you updated your will you just get this blank look on their face? Oh, we don’t even have a will. Oh, wow. So yeah, the biggest mistake is not doing it in the first place and then not updating it with regularity. OK. I had a client several several months back and we we looked at it. They brought in their will. I looked at it and all the guardianship stuff for their very young children. Their youngest child just had his third child. Oh my god. So you know, you’re talking about something that was out of date by a couple of decades. That’s that’s probably the first mistake that we see.
Speaker 2 [00:02:55] Wow. You know, I’ll add one piece to that. So when Chris talks about Clancy, come in that either don’t have anything, that’s probably the one mistake we see is that folks just don’t have the documents or they may have a will and they think, Well, that’s really all I need, right? And so they think it will sort of solves all their issues. Well, what would we want to do is just to make sure they have all their documents. So just as a as a quick recap, so you should have a will write a wills, just a bill. I think most people know what that document does. It says it assigns a guardian. So if you have minor children, that’s important to have. But like Chris said, if your children are in their thirties or have grandchildren, that’s so you need to have that in there anymore. But it also says, you know, here’s where my stuff goes. Here’s who I want to receive my, you know, whatever’s left over. Yeah. So then there’s powers of attorney say of power of attorney for financial matters and power of attorney for health care matters. Although that can be written in many different forms of we’ve been, as we’ve been told by many attorneys. But the power of attorney for financial matter disallows someone to act on your behalf should you become incapacitated. A lot of people think that document continues on after you pass away, and it doesn’t know. So when you pass away, that document cease just doesn’t do anything beyond your passing. And then you have health care, a health care power of attorney, and that’s sometimes can be called a medical directive or a living will. It sort of combines several documents, although we see them written different ways and different attorneys write those different in different ways. OK? One of the newer documents that’s out that we’ve seen, I’d say over the last two or three years is called a digital asset authorization that can be written inside of a will camera inside a power of attorney. But I’ve also seen it written as a separate document. Most people like, well, what?
Speaker 1 [00:04:42] I was going to ask you
Speaker 2 [00:04:43] one of them. Yeah. So what that document allow someone to do is when you pass and allows you to go in and close digital assets, meaning like your Facebook page or LinkedIn page, your your email. And so I know that I’ve got a couple of attorney brothers that have passed away and their pages are still up and it’s still just as though they were actively using them because no one’s had the ability to go in and close them down or set up a memorial page or or whatever you want to do. So this that allows that person to go in and do that.
Speaker 1 [00:05:13] Gosh, that is something that you wouldn’t even think of. Brian, I’m glad that you brought that up this morning. I’m hearing that today for the very first time because that. Is something that you would want to make sure that you could properly close out, especially for a loved one. Right. Because you always get reminders of someone’s birthday and what if someone didn’t know they passed away in their wishing them a happy birthday and it just reopens that whole wound again?
Speaker 2 [00:05:34] Exactly. And the last of those documents is a trust and that trust that can do a lot of a lot of different things because there’s different types of trust. But that’s where when you talk about trust, planning is where you can really be specific on who receives the assets that are left over, left over, how to receive them and when they receive. You can. It’s sort of managing from the grave, if you will. I hate to say that, but that’s that’s really what it is. Yeah. But you kind of get to coordinate where assets go after you’re going,
Speaker 1 [00:06:01] and a trust actually would help avoid probate as well, correct?
Speaker 3 [00:06:05] Yes, absolutely. That’s correct. OK. You know, probate of all things are what the will deals with. So when you deal with the trust that does not involve probate at all. The main thing that that the trust does is it gives you control if if it’s important to you that certain things happen a certain way after you pass. And trust is the only way to do that. And there’s a common misconception, excuse me, common misconception that a will will take care of all those things, right? And you see it in movies where the wealthy families have the will ratings. That’s not the way it really works. It’s just not. The trust gives you that control. I want this person to get this in this way. I want this person to get this other thing in that way. You there’s virtually no limit to what you can do with that trust. Where’s the will is extremely limited, and everything in the will is subject probate, as she said.
Speaker 1 [00:06:58] Well, Chris, there’s also the misconception sometimes people think that a trust is only for the super wealthy. Is that
Speaker 3 [00:07:04] true? Absolutely not. You know, I heard some stuff. I did hear a lot and I’ve heard the argument that if you have a dollar, then you have enough to have a trust. OK, maybe that’s a little excessive. But the point is the trust gives you control. So if you want control, then you need to trust. It doesn’t really matter how much money or how many assets you have. If control is important to you than a trust is the way to go, regardless of how much you have.
Speaker 1 [00:07:33] Hmm. Thank you. Kris Bryant, how often should you update your plan?
Speaker 2 [00:07:38] So what more than when you’re your will says that you name a guardian and yet you have grandchildren, so more more frequent than that? But no, we would say really during a life event. So we review in our practice, we review estate documents every year. So the beginning of every year we have a meeting set aside to do administrative reviews, and we’re reviewing beneficiary designations, asset titling and also estate work. So we do it every year. Most of the time, nothing changes, and it’s just like, OK, let’s review it. Nothing change. OK, let’s move on. But if there’s a life event, a divorce, a death, you know, a child, a new child, anything like that, that’s when you need to go back and just review doesn’t mean you have to change anything. It just means you come back and review it.
Speaker 1 [00:08:21] OK, perfect. Well, Brian, I know that you and Chris have a very special offer to present to our viewers at home today. Let’s talk a little bit about what that is and then open the phone lines to the viewers at home.
Speaker 2 [00:08:31] Yeah, so so our offer today is very straightforward for anyone that calls today, schedule an appointment to come in and meet with us. We’re offering a complimentary estate plan review. It is. It is part of an overall retirement plan. But imagine your estate documents are one piece of your puzzle and there’s many, many pieces that make up your estate work. But this review is specifically around three things. Number one, we’re going to make sure that you actually have documents, the all the documents that you need. Number two, we’re going to look to make sure that your estate documents reflect what it is that you want when you’re no longer here, meaning who gets your assets when you’re gone and how they get it and when they get it. And then lastly, we’re going to look at to make sure that your assets are title properly and you have beneficiaries that are appropriately named that reflect what it is that your estate documents say. So that’s that’s that’s our offer for today. But keep in mind that the estate piece is just one component of your overall financial puzzle. So we’re going to we’re going to look at other things like, you know, your investment strategy and your risk management. We’re going to look at all those so we can help you put together your puzzle. But today, specifically, we’re talking about your estate, and those are the three steps that we walk through. So, you know, pick up the phone across phone lines are open eight eight four four nine zero zero five two one zero. We got folks on standby. They’re going to answer your call and schedule time for you to come in, and we would love the opportunity to help you take that first step down that road of financial freedom. And we just believe that, you know, the path to financial freedom starts with completing your money puzzle. So that’s our offer.
Speaker 1 [00:10:11] Brian, thank you so much, Chris. Thank you so much to the viewers at home. The phone number to call is on your screen. That number is eight four four nine zero zero five two one. Zero. We know that you have a lot of questions for Brian and Chris about how to plan your perfect retirement. They’re offering to help you today with the complimentary estate planning review a very important component in that overall puzzle. So again, that number to call is eight four four nine zero zero five two one zero. We’re going to take a very short commercial break, but don’t go anywhere. I have so much more with Brian and Chris about estate planning. When we return.
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Speaker 1 [00:12:23] And welcome back to the money puzzle. My name is Cynthia DeFazio, and I’m joined today by Brian Ramsey and Chris Vaughn of Family Wealth Planning Partners. Gentlemen, a wonderful show we’re having today talking about such a very important topic estate planning. And so often people push that to the side because they don’t want to think about it. But getting back into that topic, Brian, I want to ask you one of the other things that we mentioned, of course, in the first segment was the fact that not changing beneficiaries, if you will. So why is that so important to the viewers at home to be thinking about today?
Speaker 2 [00:12:55] Yes. So two things. Number one is, and I’ve got a really cool story. What’s our cool story? But it is a story. So we do a story. Yes, for years and years and years ago, I had the opportunity to help a widow close her husband’s estate where they were working on his estate because he passed away. OK. And he had had a life insurance policies. He bought he. He lost our life story. My entire story. But he he had a life insurance policy right when he got out of medical school. He was married to someone else at the time, and he got a life insurance policy and was got divorced, got remarried and no one ever really went back and looked. He knew he had the policy, but they never checked the beneficiary. So when he yeah, when he passed away, we were on the side of we were working with her to try to settle his estate and we pull out this policy. And sure enough, his original first wife was the beneficiary. Oh no. Yeah. And so we literally we called her were like, Hey, you can either, you know, disclaim this or you can give us your updated address. And she’s like, You know, here’s my address. No. Yeah. So I mean, she she was the beneficiary of the policy. So a lot of people think one of the misconceptions is that, well, according to what my will says, that’s where all my assets go. And that’s just not that’s not true. So if you have any like a life insurance policy or a 401K and IRA that we’re you’re naming a beneficiary, that’s where it goes. It doesn’t matter what your wills says, that’s who gets, that’s who gets the money. So that’s why we make it a point in our practice. We literally have. I said this earlier. We have the the meeting we have at the beginning of every year is what we call it administrative meeting. And we sit down with every client and we walk through beneficiary designations. We look at asset titling, we look at their estate plan and I’ve never once and I’ve been doing this a long time, but I’ve never had anybody ask me, why do you do this every year? Most of the time we have people say, You know what? I appreciate you going over that. Absolutely, because it’s just out of sight, out of mind. They have misconceptions on exactly how it works. And so when you educate them on, they’re like, Hey, I really appreciate you going over that every year.
Speaker 1 [00:14:59] Most definitely, because those are almost impossible to fight in court, aren’t they, if you can. So it’s completely impossible
Speaker 2 [00:15:06] to be the beneficiary has to disclaim it in order to get it, and most don’t really see it in that case.
Speaker 1 [00:15:12] That is incredible. I’m glad that you brought that up, Brian. Chris, I want to also talk about adding children as well. Let’s talk a little bit about that.
Speaker 3 [00:15:19] Well, one of the biggest problems that people have is they will add their adult children to their accounts, their bank accounts. They will put their their kids on the title of their house. And the idea is usually I want my, my kids, my daughter, usually I want them to be able to help me out because they do so much work for me. That’s what a power of attorney is for. And that’s and that’s what that document is designed to do. There’s so many pitfalls when you put somebody else’s name on there. So, for example, you know, you put you put a child’s name on your home, even though the child is not living there. Then your child ends up in a car accident and they get sued. Your home is now subject to that lawsuit because their name is on the house, so you could lose that even though you were not involved in any way. That’s one of the pitfalls in doing that. A power of attorney solves all those problems, so it goes back to making sure that you have the right documentation as part of the overall estate plan, so you don’t need to have all those different names and titles and all that stuff.
Speaker 1 [00:16:21] Wow.
Speaker 2 [00:16:22] Yeah, one of the pieces I’ll just add to that is we get also when you know, somebody says, Hey, I want to have my kid or when they come in to see us, they have their children on their checking account and you’re like, Why do you do that? In addition to what Chris said, they also say, Well, I’ve got them on there because when I pass away, I just want the kids to be able to, you know, to have the money. And again, that’s where that’s just a it’s not very good practice to do that. So we encourage our clients again. This is part of our assessment we do every year as we go through asset titling and beneficiaries. So at a bank which banks do a horrible job and I used to work at once, I know how it works. But when you open a checking account, they’re just going open the checking account. What they don’t do and they should be doing is they should be adding beneficiaries to those accounts. So we encourage all of our clients to checking your savings accounts as your children, as beneficiaries, so that when you pass away those that assets, go to your children or your trust or whatever it is, as opposed to adding them on the account, which they can go in and take the money out, which we don’t want. Yeah, but adding a man? Is beneficiary’s is the way to go,
Speaker 3 [00:17:25] and it solves another problem, too. You were talking earlier about probate. Yeah. If you put that beneficiary on your checking account, for example, that’s not going to go through probate. It automatically goes directly to the person that you named as a beneficiary so they don’t have to wait to go through that process.
Speaker 1 [00:17:40] Wow, that’s incredible. Wonderful information we’re providing to the viewers at home. Absolutely. Brian, I want to ask you if someone does not have heirs to pass money along to do you have clients that come in that may be ask about maybe donating to charity when they pass?
Speaker 2 [00:17:55] Yeah, we have that quite a bit. And actually even folks that that have children that want to donate to a charity, you know, we’ve we’ve got strategies to put that in place. There’s donor advised funds. I know Chris and Chris is kind of our go to expert on donor of our son, but it’s also important to know which assets need to go to charities even if you have children. Because we have some folks that come in and say, Hey, I’ve got kids, I’ve got this IRA and I need to know what asset is going to go to children versus charities. And so the common strategy we use is that we take IRA money, which is going to be taxed to somebody unless you give it to a charity. So if you’re going to specifically give an asset to a charity, you’re much better off given an IRA as opposed to a taxable account which no one pays tax on. So, yeah, we absolutely work with charities.
Speaker 1 [00:18:41] Brian, thank you so much. Chris, I know that you and Brian have a very special offer to present to the viewers at home today. Why don’t we talk about what that is before we reopen the phone lines?
Speaker 3 [00:18:50] Absolutely. The the biggest problem is we talked about at the beginning with people’s estate plans. They just don’t want to do it. This is, you know, they do the whole ostrich head in the sand. Yeah, because nobody wants to talk about, you know, the inevitability of death, for example, but there’s more to an estate plan than that. So what we’d like to do is review the estate plan for you. Let’s look at what you’ve got. Let’s look at the pieces that you have in your puzzle and determine you know what it is that needs to be added. What needs to be changed? There’s there’s always something in there that’s not going to be doing exactly what you expect. So, you know, we’ll open those phone lines up. Eight four four nine zero zero five two one zero. Give us a call. We’ll schedule a time for you to come in and we’ll review what you currently have. What does your estate plan look like now and then when you understand what it’s actually going to do, not what you think it’s going to do, we can recommend some changes to you if necessary, so that everything flows the way that you wanted it to.
Speaker 1 [00:19:51] Chris, thank you so much, Brian. Thank you so much to the viewers at home and the phone number to call is on your screen. That number is eight four four nine zero zero five two one zero. We know that you have a lot of questions about how to plan your perfect retirement and how to fit that estate planning piece into that puzzle. Brian and Chris have the answers for you. All you have to do is take advantage of calling in today. Eight four four nine zero zero five two one zero. We’re going to take a very short commercial break, but don’t go anywhere. I have so much more with Brian and Chris when we return
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Speaker 1 [00:21:51] And welcome back to the money puzzle. My name is Cynthia DeFazio, and I’m joined today by Brian Ramsey and Chris Vaughn of Family Wealth Planning Partners. Gentlemen, a wonderful show we’re having today talking about sometimes a very difficult topic, of course, estate planning and planning for retirement. But I want to talk a little bit, Chris, about what does it feel like when someone first comes into the office? What can they expect if they’ve called in today?
Speaker 3 [00:22:16] Well, when you walk into her office, we like to have a very open, welcoming environment. There’s a young lady in the front named Whitney who will, you know, bring in, introduce, get you a cup of coffee or some tea or a soft drink or whatever you want. Just a nice, relaxing environment. People tend to they put things like this off because they’re overwhelmed. We go out of our way to make sure that that doesn’t happen. So it’s it’s just a nice, warm environment.
Speaker 1 [00:22:42] I love that. And then are there any documents that people would bring in with them for that first meeting?
Speaker 3 [00:22:47] Well, for the first meeting, when we’re when we’re doing that complimentary state plan review, Yes, go ahead and bring, you know, whatever you have your will or wills. If you have a trust, bring it in. Powers of attorney living wills, any documentation that you’ve got, and they’re typically all going to be right there together if you have them.
Speaker 1 [00:23:08] OK. And Brian, how long does that first consultation typically take?
Speaker 2 [00:23:13] That’s about an hour and a half. OK. Yes, something like that. But really, that that first meeting is all about the prospective client that comes in because they’re really that’s an opportunity for them to interview us, really? Yeah. So yeah, it’s a it’s about an hour and a half.
Speaker 1 [00:23:24] All right. Brian, I want to talk to you about something we were talking about during the commercial break. Actually, that planning for living is different than planning for when you pass. Why is that?
Speaker 2 [00:23:35] Yeah. So so there’s two two ways to look at estate planning, and obviously everybody thinks, well, I’m getting my state documents together just in case I pass away or when I pass away. And that’s never a pleasant conversation to have, although it’s a necessary piece because it is a piece of your puzzle and is you don’t have that correct, it can mess up your entire puzzle. But what we what we work on is two really two ways to view estate work. There’s all the documents that say, Here’s what happens when I pass away. OK, so that’s talking about death. But there’s also a planning technique that we use, and we do quite a bit of it. We’re planning for living, and that’s those folks that are aging up thinking, maybe that’s the right way to say it, but are worried about, you know, nursing home care later in life or, you know, basically nursing home care for later life. And and how do we protect our assets? And so there is a planning technique that we can that we know quite a bit about that helps folks sort of walk through what their assets look like from now until the end of time and what happens if they were to go into a nursing home. How do we protect assets and you do that through trust planning, OK? It’s kind of an asset protection trust. We do quite a bit of it. We actually we work with attorneys that actually draft the documents and be very clear about that. We don’t draft documents, but it’s just a way to say, OK, here’s a set of assets that we’re going to protect in case we have a mom or dad that goes into a Long-Term Care facility that needs care and we don’t want we want to make sure their assets are there to provide that care. And if you don’t do that planning, then you’re subject to spend now, which means you have to spend to all your assets before before Medicaid kicks in and provide your care. So what we’re trying to do is is preserve the assets the best we can. So those assets can be extended for mom and dad’s care.
Speaker 1 [00:25:28] OK, perfect.
Speaker 2 [00:25:29] And we get a lot now. I would tell you, we get a lot of clients that come in and it’s not the mom and dad that come in. Some, yes, but it’s also the kids that have mom and dad that are aging. And so the kids are like, Hey, what can we do now to help mom and dad preserve their assets? So it’s a lot of, you know, the kids that come in that want to have those conversations.
Speaker 1 [00:25:52] OK, perfect. Chris, I was going to ask you, is there a perfect age to start planning for your estate planning piece, if you will?
Speaker 3 [00:25:59] The perfect age? I mean, not to sound cliche, but it would be now. Yeah, if you just never know how life is going to play out. It’s true. So if you’ve got everything already planned and you’ve worked through it and you develop that plan, it gives you a peace of mind knowing I don’t have to worry about that right now because I’ve got that plan in place. Now we have to do is, Brian’s pointed out, is we have to review it periodically and make sure that any changes that have happened are being kept up to date. OK, the perfect time really is as soon as possible. It’s amazing to me the number of people that have children in the home, and yet they don’t have guardianship. Wills already established the number of people what Brian was talking about a minute ago that they they’re getting up there, they’re aging up and they don’t have. That plan laid out to protect their assets, not necessarily to pass on to their kids, that’s fine, but to be able to use those assets for their own care if you don’t have those plans laid out. There’s a lot of bad things can happen. So the best time is immediately.
Speaker 1 [00:27:05] Chris, thank you so much. Brian will only have 45 seconds left of the show this week. Any final words of wisdom you want to give before we close?
Speaker 2 [00:27:12] Yeah, I would just say that keep in mind that your state plan is just one piece of the overall money puzzle, and you’ve got to make sure you have it right because it involves all your assets that you have asset titling beneficiaries. And you know, if you don’t get that right, it can cause a lot of headaches. And we see folks that come in that their parents didn’t have things the right way. And it’s it’s a lot of headaches. So just make sure that you’re completing your full money puzzle, which involves your estate plan.
Speaker 1 [00:27:38] Brian, thank you so much, Chris. Thank you so much to the viewers at home. Most specifically, thank you for spending time with us today. The number is eight four four nine zero zero five two one zero. Be safe, be happy, be blessed, and we look forward to seeing you back here one week from today.