Episode 143 – The Importance of Estate Planning

On this week’s episode of On the Money with Secure Money, Brian Quaranta discusses everything from wills and trusts to powers of attorneys and long term care strategies.

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Radio Show Transcript

Announcer 00:00

Investment advisory services are offered through foundation investment advisors, LLC. an SEC registered investment advisor Brian Quaranta and his guests provide general information not individually targeted, personalized advice and are not liable for the usage of information discussed. Exposure to ideas and financial vehicles should not be considered investment advice or recommendation to buy or sell any of these financial vehicles. This information should also not be considered tax or legal advice. As performance is not a guarantee of future results, investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products, they do not refer in any way to securities or investment advisory products, fixed insurance and annuity product guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing company.

Brian Quaranta 00:39

Folks, we always talk about five key areas number one, most importantly is your income. Two is taxes. Three is your investments. Fourth is Healthcare Strategies. And five is estate planning. So today we’re going to be talking about health care strategies in case of a crisis where to happen and of course, how to manage and build out an estate plan properly when we come right back with on the money with secure money.

Announcer 01:01

And now On the Money.

Brian Quaranta 01:04

Any good retirement plans starts with the foundation,

Announcer 01:07

asset protection, tax reduction list planning,

Brian Quaranta 01:11

these are the things that start to move you towards having a retirement plan.

Announcer 01:15

Retirement doesn’t have to be complicated.

Brian Quaranta 01:18

You think that’s the difficult part. That’s just getting started,

Announcer 01:22

and now on the money with secure money.

Steve 01:29

Hey, welcome, everybody. This is on the money with secure money. The good news is Brian Quaranta is here today. Brian is President and CEO of secure money advisors. He is well he’s a fiduciary. He’s an independent, he’s been helping folks for more than 20 years. And one of the things we’re going to talk about today, really the big thing we’re gonna talk about today, Brian, is estate planning. This is a this is an exciting time.

Brian Quaranta 01:51

It is it’s this is a big deal. And, you know, secure money advisors. You know, we believe in a holistic approach. And as fiduciaries, we want to make sure that our clients have a real plan. And part of having a real plan is having a strategy in place for your estate. And when we sit down with folks, and we do the complimentary reviews that we do with them, when they come in, one of the areas that we always talk about is estate planning. And I bet you about 85% of the people we talk to and ask whether or not they have updated legal documents, they’ll usually tell us no, they don’t have them. They’ve been done a long time ago, or they just don’t have them at all. So, a lot of people tend to kick the can down the road when it comes to their estate plan. But good news is we’ve got Tim Sackler today. Hey, Tim, how are you man?

Tim 02:36

Doing great. Thanks for the invite. Hi, Steve, how are you?

Steve 02:38

Hey, Tim, nice to see you.

Brian Quaranta 02:40

So, we’re going to be talking everything estate planning. And Tim, I kind of want to just talk a little bit about what you guys are doing at secular law. I’ve been very impressed with how you guys operate as a company and the services you provide. But just share with us. I mean, what are the main areas that you guys focus on at secular law?

Tim 03:00

Sure. So, our office, our headquarters is in Cranberry Township. And we really focus on three different types of cases. So, we do estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney documents that are designed to help our clients meet their goals, right. And so, we’ve got an educational component to it that we’re going to talk about a little bit another type of cases, we help post death administration. So if you’ve been named the executor, and you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, we help you throughout the legal hoops, you got to jump through the court process, the tax returns and all of the headache that accompanies the loss of a loved one in the third case that we do, which is little bit unique, is we do what we call nursing home crisis cases. So, this is a situation where either your spouse or perhaps your parent, if you are the child, that’s a power of attorney. When someone goes into the nursing home, that is probably the biggest financial threat the family’s ever going to face. Right. So, the state of Pennsylvania says the nursing homes are on average, just shy of 15 grand a month. And so, there’s not a lot of families that can take that financial hit. And so, what we do in those cases is we talk with the family about things like Medicare, Medicaid veterans’ benefits, different types of care facilities, and how can we how can we put together a long term care strategy where the person gets the care they need without going broke in the process? And so that’s a significant chunk of what we do.

Brian Quaranta 04:19

And I’ll tell you in regards to long term care, because we’re on the financial planning side, I know how difficult it is to actually protect people with a long term care insurance policy. You know, what we run into a lot here is that if somebody wants to protect themselves, a lot of times, they don’t even qualify to get a policy because they’re not healthy. And number two, even if they do qualify, it’s really expensive, right? So there are things you can do from a legal standpoint that are probably just as good if not better than let’s say just even having a long term care policy.

Tim 04:56

So yeah, in the you know, the challenge with long term care is Yeah, So it’s expensive. Yes, it’s a lot of premiums, but the traditional sort of complaint is more risk based, right. So, like if I’m going to pay X $1,000 a year for this insurance policy for 20 years, but that could be six figures in premiums, what happens if I never get sick, right? And so now there’s different products that sort of address that. But, you know, it is it is almost even if even if you were going to invest in a long term care insurance product, it is almost going to be prohibitively expensive for most families to buy enough benefit to cover the cost of skilled nursing right now, long term care insurance can help, let’s say in in home care, or personal care if that care is gonna be $6,000 a month. But if you go to skilled nursing, where we’re talking about on average, just shy of 15,000 a month, nobody’s the people that could afford that an insurance contract can self-insure, right? Well,

Brian Quaranta 05:48

I totally agree with that. And I can tell you folks, I mean, working in that market for 20 years, I mean, the majority of people don’t qualify. And even if they do to Tim’s point, it’s really expensive to cover for the benefit that you really, really, really need. So, what happens when you get a phone call, that dad had a stroke, and he’s going to a nursing home? What’s the first steps a family needs to take? I mean, other than contacting you guys, yeah. So

Tim 06:14

this is, this is an extremely stressful situation, right. And the family is going through a lot, the family is going through one, you know, choosing a care facility. And oftentimes they don’t have a lot of time, nursing home admission typically takes place following like an event a fall on medication mistake. And so now the family is sort of scrambling, they’re working with probably a hospital discharge plan, or they end up in a nursing home, they really didn’t shop around. And now the nursing home starts putting paper in front of them sign here, sign here, sign here, right here. And oftentimes, it makes sense to take a pause and say, you know what, I don’t really understand what I’m signing here. There’s paperwork here about Medicaid, there’s paperwork here about dad’s money, which frankly, I don’t know all that much about, I’m going to have somebody take a look at this with me. And then so there’s the opportunity at that point to have an attorney do a review of the situation just to see, are we making a mistake before we sign this contract?

Brian Quaranta 07:06

Well, this is what I really love about what you guys do at secular law. And because it’s very similar in line with what we do here at secure money. And that’s help educate people first. Because how do you make decisions without understanding what you’re dealing with? And you know, whether you’re doing financial planning, or you’re doing estate planning, it can be very, very complicated. And you want to know all the different moving parts that have been things that you need to address before you start signing paperwork that a nursing home is putting in front of you, right, you can avoid I’m sure some pretty costly mistakes there.

Tim 07:34

Oh, yeah. And you know, what we’re really doing is it’s easy when we’re having these conversations to sort of demonize the nursing home. Look, that’s not the problem. Yeah, the nursing home is providing care that the person needs totally great. The problem is we’ve got this crazy government system that requires people to go broke. Yes, that took a little bit more about.

Brian Quaranta 07:53

That’s right. And folks, you know, just like at Secure Money Advisors, where we give you the opportunity to call in and schedule a complimentary meeting today, we actually have some exciting news. And that is for the next 10 callers who call in right now, not only are you going to get a complimentary meeting with secure money advisors, to go over the five key areas that we talked about in financial planning your income, taxes, investments, health care and estate planning, but you’re also going to get the opportunity to have a complimentary meeting with secular law. Now, folks, all you got to do is reach out to us. You know, I’ve seen other people charge up to 1500 hours for these types of reviews. You know, attorneys can charge up to $500 an hour, you’re going to sit down with secular law at no additional cost. It’s completely complimentary. But you got to do your part, you got to pick up the phone, you’ve got to call us and take advantage of this not very often on at secure money advisors. Do we have the opportunity to meet with another financial professional and do that complimentary also.

Steve 08:52

Hey, that sounds fantastic. Don’t miss this opportunity, folks. It’s a good one. Give them a call 800-656-8616 Brian is there for you he can take that complex financial world but also take with an eye on estate planning as well. It’s a phone call away 800-656-8616 Again, 800-656-8616

Brian Quaranta 09:12

When we come back, we’re gonna get into a state planning 101 where we’re talking about basic Wills Trusts powers of attorney folks, you don’t want to miss this one because this is probably the most important part of your estate planning when we come right back with on the money with secure money

Announcer 09:31

Do you ever feel like you’re fighting for financial knowledge? Don’t let bad advice be a punch in the gut your retirement to take advantage of a complimentary no cost no obligation consultation with a local trusted financial coach. Call Brian Quaranta, host of Retirement your Radio 800-656-8616 or text Brian Q to 800-656-8616 we’ve made it easy for you to take advantage of this fantastic offer. All you have to do is call or text Brian Q 800-656-8616

Steve 10:08

We are back on the money with secure money Brian Quaranta courses here on consumer advocate, Steve said O’Brien is President and CEO of secure money advisors, and so much more than that. And today we’ve got a very special guest, Tim secular is here from secular law firm by the way you can visit his website secular law firm.com, I would encourage you to check that out. If you’re concerned if you’re interested in getting setting up that estate plan. If you’ve got questions about estate planning, now’s the time. And I’m gonna throw it over to Brian. And I mean, this has been a great conversation so far. I’m really interested in what’s coming up next.

Brian Quaranta 10:41

Yeah, folks. And I just want to say too, if you go to secular law.com, you can also find out when they’re going to be having their educational events. So, if you want to get yourself educated, tell me a little bit about those educational events.

Tim 10:51

So we host workshops couple of times a month in during the workshop, you’re gonna find out about the documents that you probably have questions about powers of attorney wills Trust, the difference between revocable trust and your revocable trust, we talked about death, taxes, all the different things that we think you need to know about in order to start the goal setting process on what your estate plan should look like. I tried to make it light I try to make it funny. It’s not a high-pressure thing. There’s no you know, sign up now and save X percent or any of that hard sale stuff. At the end. It really just is a good informational seminar, we do it right in our office in Cranberry Township. We do it a couple other locations, too. But you can find it all at secular law firm that comm that’s S E C H L E R law firm.com.

Brian Quaranta 11:32

So, Tim, here’s what I’m very interested in. I want to know how does somebody go from the military to law school to then deciding to specialize in estate planning work? Right? How do you get into it?

Tim 11:46

Accidentally. So, when I was so I was in the service before law school, and I went through law school, and I really thought I was gonna stay in the Air Force. That was sort of my goal, going into law school. And, you know, as life happens, there’s a thing going on on the side and it and it was my grandfather’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Okay, so my grandfather was a dairy farmer, he had saved well, he ends up buying out the neighboring piece of ground, he’s got this big chunk of ground does, I’m trying to paint a picture where he had done well for himself financially. Okay. And then in 1997, he goes into a skilled nursing facility with Alzheimer’s disease and proceeds to live in a skilled nursing facility as a private pay resident for 10 years, he passes away while I’m in law school, okay. Now, I knew that my granddad was in a nursing home. But as a grandchild, I wasn’t privy to like the financial information of what was going on. So, I get out of law school, and I’m having a conversation with my dad, kind of one of those Sunday morning kitchen table conversations, and we’re talking about the financial impact, and all of the money that went out the door to the nursing home. And it was like, why didn’t anybody do anything? I mean, 10 years is an awful long time to be writing these checks every month. And it turns out, my dad did go to a lawyer. And the lawyer said, when somebody goes into the nursing home, there’s nothing, there’s nothing else you can do. There’s this five year look back period thing, there’s all this thing, which, which, you know, at the time, I’d like to give the guy the benefit of the doubt this was before, there were many attorneys talking about this stuff. But I did some homework and realized I could have saved my family, six figures multiple times over Wow, had I implemented some of these techniques. And for me, it was like, man, there’s a mission I can get behind. So, I started this work not to really do the estate planning the wills and trusts, but really to help families manage this crisis nursing home thing that we’re talking about. Now, as time goes on. The it turns out some of the best tools to be able to confront that risk our estate planning tools using different trusts and powers of attorney document and different things. And so, I got into it based on personal experience, really trying to help people with a very specific issue, that is the threat of long term care. And of course, then the practice has grown over time and, and sort of morphed and now it’s predominantly an estate planning practice.

Brian Quaranta 13:56

You know, it’s interesting, because, you know, my story is very similar in how I got in the financial industry. You know, my dad had an MC GM rewards catalog store, it got rewards file for bankruptcy, my parents went through a hard time financially. And that’s when money became, you know, the centerpiece of my life because my parents didn’t have it. And so, it’s interesting when those stories happen, and how much you’re motivated to go out there and make a change. When you’re meeting people for the first time, and you’re seeing maybe what they have or haven’t done with their estate planning. Do you find that most people are just very confused of what they should have? What they shouldn’t have? Because it seems like everybody will come in and say, I need to get a trust. And I would say that a trust isn’t great for everybody.

Tim 14:42

No, trust is the tool like a hammer or screwdriver, right? I mean, so is there anything good about a hammer or screwdriver I suppose that mean it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Right? And so, we have to have a kind of-

Brian Quaranta 14:54

If trying to cut down a tree screwdriver wouldn’t be the right one.

Tim 14:57

So you know the goal We try to do and we spend a lot of time with our clients, we do the workshop, and then we have the consultation that we do. And it’s really about let’s talk about your family. Let’s talk about your money. Let’s talk about your goals. Let’s talk about what keeps you up at night. And then we can start talking about What tool do I pull out of the box to solve the concern, right? And so, it’s not a one size fits all? Solution, you know, and so a lot of and this is all confusing stuff. And I get that it’s confusing stuff. That’s why we do a seminar where half the thing is jokes, right? Because we’re trying to like, reduce the stress, and just talk about what do you want this picture to look like for your family? And,

Brian Quaranta 15:38

yeah, great, great point. Because you know, one of the things that as a fiduciary, and you guys take that same fiduciary role on where, what’s in the best client’s best interest? There’s lots of tools for me to use and financial planning. There’s lots of tools for you to use an estate planner. But the question is, just because your neighbor Bob has an estate, or, you know, a trust set up, or, you know, he’s done something unique with his estate plan doesn’t mean you necessarily have to do it. But there are basic documents you would say that people need, right? I mean, for example, like a wheel should be a staple, legal giant.

Tim 16:15

It’s a will, the question is whether we add a trust to it or not. And so, we’ll financial power of attorney Medical Directive is like those three documents make up the base, a basic estate plan. And now wills can get quite complicated. So just because that’s the basic estate plan, I’ve written wills that can be 6070 pages long. So it really depends on what it is that we’re trying to accomplish. And really, what we’re managing with these documents is two things, who’s in control of me and my things, and who’s got access to me and my things, okay, and so I look at the documents as like these little machines, that we can pull this lever here, and we can turn this knob over there.

Brian Quaranta 16:52

And folks, for the next 10 callers, we’re given a very unique offer on the show here today, where not only are you going to get a complimentary right track retirement meeting with secure money advisors. But at the same time, when you call when you are also going to get a complimentary meeting with secular law, and you’re going to be invited to one of their upcoming events so that you can get educated on exactly what you need to do. But you’ve got to do your part, you’ve got to pick up the phone, this is not the time to procrastinate or kick the can down the road, having your plan together going into retirement or before retirement, having all your eyes dotted and your T’s crossed is truly what gives you peace of mind and security moving forward. So, call us today and schedule

Steve 17:35

take advantage of this offer. Again, it’s unique today. 800-656-8616 is the number if you need some help with estate planning. That’s part of the package today, 800-656-8616. Folks,

Brian Quaranta 17:47

when we come back, we’re going to continue our conversation with Tim Sackler from secular law today, and we’re going to be talking about post death administration. What in the world does that mean, you don’t want to miss this segment when we come right back with on the money with Secure Money.

Announcer 18:06

He’s letting the clock run out on his social security at age 70 For maximum benefits. And here comes the Roth conversion. He’s got some outstanding coaching with that lifetime income plan. He’s created his own pension as well. And it looks like he’s going to go All! The! Way! Play your best retirement game call Brian Q 800-656-8616, or text Brian Q to 800-656-8616 Call or text Brian Q to 800-656-8616.

Steve 18:41

And we are back on the money with secure money. Brian Quaranta here and Tim Sackler is here from secular law firm. And we are talking about estate planning in all aspects of it. And this is something as well, Brian, that I mean, I’m sitting here listening and taking notes, because this is really great information.

Brian Quaranta 18:59

Yeah, and this is why I really enjoy working with Tim because one he believes in education, but to you know, most attorneys really can’t explain these complicated things in a simple way. And Tim does such a good job in making the experience of putting together a state plan actually kind of fun. And that’s, that’s kind of unheard of when you’re dealing with attorneys. But I want to get back to something Tim and I were talking about at the beginning of the last segment, I kind of took them off track a little bit but the post death administration’s so, you know, I was saying that, you know, most people get all this estate planning work put together and, and then of course, something happens, they don’t have anybody there to help them administrate it. So, you know, let’s say my mom and dad die. What do I do? Just come in and hand everything over to you guys and you help us go through the process. What does that look like?

Tim 19:46

So, first, a bit of like a pro tip up front is you should really be chatting with your parents about their stuff. Okay. Now, not every parent wants to show like where the how much money they have and all of that, but it’s at least helpful to have Like a list of financial accounts, a list of the assets that they own handy somewhere. Because without that, you’re digging through their trash and you’re digging through their mail and you’re digging through filing cabinets trying to figure out what the heck am I even dealing with here? Right? So the first step is trying to figure out sort of where we are in this process. And what the heck did mom and dad have? Okay, so the first legal step we’re going to do, let’s assume that your parents estate plan consists of a will is the primary document, well, just because Brian is named as the executor of the will doesn’t mean you can start doing things we have to get you to the courthouse and get you sworn in, right. So you would go to the courthouse with a lawyer. And by the way, folks, something like 99% of executors hire lawyers, because you sort of need a tour guide on this on this journey. But we get we file the proper paperwork, we get you sworn in, they give you some paperwork that now allows you to go to the banks and allows you to go to financial institutions and PennDOT and whomever in start garnering the assets and figuring out what the heck did mom and dad do around here in the process, you’re working with the lawyer to understand the will and who’s to get what we’re going to counsel you on any death taxes that need to be paid. So, like, for example, Pennsylvania has an inheritance tax, and most of that applies to most assets that we’re going to be dealing with. There’s different rates for the inheritance tax, depending on who’s getting the money, so the lineal descendants, kids, grandkids, four and a half points. Spouses, by the way are 0%. Siblings are 12%. Everybody else is 15 nieces, nephews, friends, neighbors is 15 points, but let’s just assume mom and dad passed away the money is going to the kids. So, there’s a four and a half percent death tax. It’s not technically due to Pennsylvania until the nine-month mark, but they give us a discount. If we pay it at the three month mark

Brian Quaranta 21:42

I always say they give you nine months to get in the world, they give you nine months to get out.

Tim 21:47

That’s it. So, we got to pay the death tax. And you know, we’re sorry. And we sent an estimated payment, right? Because at the three-month mark, we might not even know exactly what all the assets were, what’s the values and whatnot, but we’re going to pay a death tax, then we’re sending notices putting things into paper putting getting all the beneficiaries notices that they’re entitled to things we’re on the lookout for. Are there any creditor claims? Did dad still have a mortgage? Did he have final medical expenses? Was he in a nursing home? Is there a state claim? So, we’re trying to figure out the sort of the assets and debts right. And then as time goes on, we go through the process of in the state has a very regulated structure of who gets paid first if there are creditors, so we go through that analysis, pay them. Eventually, we get to the point where like, if you’re one of three kids, we’re going to divide by the percentages allocated in the world, we’re going to distribute the money, but there’s, there’s all these steps that have to occur first, and one of the biggest frustrations and why we tend to use a lot of trust in our office. And it depends on the type of trust. But in an estate, your assets are subject to creditors’ claims. So, let’s say I died in an accident where I died in a car accident, but it was my fault. And I unfortunately killed another person on the way up, right. So, there’s gonna be lawsuits with my assets potentially subject to this lawsuit. Well, in in the state creditors have 12 months to come out of the woodwork to say Tim owed me money, right? Whether it is that accident, that is going to be an apparent risk that we have, or whether it’s some contractor who thinks I owed him money from 20 years ago that people have 12 months to come out of the woodwork and say Tim owed me money. Well, that means two things. One, those creditors might actually have a valid claim and can get to the money. But to even if there are no creditors, we kind of have to hold some of the money for 12 months, because if we distribute the money early, wow. And then a creditor comes out just in case my executor is personally liable for having made the district.

Brian Quaranta 23:43

So let’s say somebody didn’t use a law firm, and they go ahead and they distribute the assets to their, to their family members, right. And they close out the estate. And they do this within, you know, a three-month period, right? Well, they still have time to where these creditors could come in. And all of a sudden, now they got to take that money out of their pocket and pay him off.

Tim 24:01

And the executors are personally responsible for the money. So good luck getting the money back from your siblings. So this is one of the many counseling issues we talk about. Now, one of the reasons and there are no credit cards, how does that work? Like? Well, yeah, so they have a valid claim, but they fall kind of lower on the list of creditors that they could get to the money, right. So yeah, so the in look, this is not legal advice. I’m not saying don’t, you know, stiffed the credit card companies, but a lot of them fall lower in the order of creditor claims, and a lot of those debts are occasionally settled and whatnot. But, you know, the I guess the- my thought and this is kind of going back to the first segment we were talking about an estate plan is more than just a document, it’s thought through. We’re counseling our clients on this, right, because one of the things that my clients tell me all the time is I don’t want to be a burden on my children. Right. And so, we hear that to hear all the time. And so, once people have gone through the education, they tend to come around to the use of trust because with a certain type of trust not every trust but with a certain and type of trust, we can we can have the assets or bulk of the assets not subject to creditor claims when you pass away, which means two things. One, they’re not going to get the money. But second, because it’s not subject to the creditor claims, we can distribute the money at a much earlier time, because we’re not we’re not concerned about the family just simply don’t

Brian Quaranta 25:17

have to reserve those dollars. Tim, again, all this is just great stuff. And this is why I love talking with you. And I love working with your firm, because you guys believe in the same things that we do. High levels of organization and education folks, take advantage of our offer today for the next 10 callers who call in right now we are going to give you two complimentary reviews today one with secure money Advisors, a complimentary financial review, but you’re also going to get a complimentary review with secular law and you’re going to get a personal invitation to one of their upcoming events. But you got to do your part. Call us today and schedule

Steve 25:48

800-656-8616 Again, 800-656-8616 Brian, as always, this has been a very special show. A pleasure to meet you, Tim. And again, this is something that you don’t do very often, Brian.

Brian Quaranta 26:01

No. And Tim, thank you so much for being here. We look forward to having you again in the future. Thanks for the invite a lot of fun, folks. Thanks again. We’ll see you next week again with on the money with secure money.

Announcer 26:17

Investment Advisory services are offered through foundation investment advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor Brian Quaranta and his guests provide general information not individually targeted, personalized advice and are not liable for the use of drip information. Discuss exposure to ideas and financial vehicles should not be considered investment advice or recommendations, buy or sell any of these financial vehicles. This information should also not be considered tax or legal advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments and guaranteed income stream for only two fixed insurance products did not refer in any way to securities or investment advisory products. Fixed insurance and annuity product guarantees are subject to the claims paying ability of the issuing company.

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