Click below to listen to Episode 4 – Estate Planning: The Wrong Way, The Right Way

Episode 4 – Estate Planning: The Wrong Way, The Right Way

We cover different techniques and tips that we recommend when it comes to creating an estate plan involving your family.

Estate planning is preparing the management of an individual’s assets in the case of their death or incapacitation. This includes bequeathing assets to heirs and family members, as well as the settlement of estate taxes. Your estate includes items such as:

  • House(s)
  • Land
  • Farm(s) and/or Ranches
  • Accounts (retirement, bank, savings, etc.)
  • Business Interests
  • Investments
  • Life Insurance
  • Valuables (cars, jewelry, family heirlooms, etc.)
  • Intellectual Property

 

All of these aspects of estate planning can become overwhelming quite quickly. However, with these tips given in our podcast, we hope to teach the right way of estate planning through the use of certified professionals and letting your family know your plans ahead of time.

HOSTED BY: Bob Barber, CWS® and Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®

Mentioned In This Episode

Christian Financial Advisors
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Bob Barber, CWS®, CKA®
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Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®, CKA®

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

[INTRODUCTION]

Bob: Welcome to Christian Financial Perspectives, a podcast where we talk about ways to integrate your faith with your finances. This is Bob Barber.

Mary Jo: And I’m Mary Jo Lyons.

Bob: Are you ready to learn how to apply biblical wisdom to everyday financial decisions?

Mary Jo: Join us as we look at integrating your faith with your finances. If it’s your first time listening, welcome to our podcast, and if you’re a returning listener, welcome back.

[EPISODE]

Mary Jo:
In today’s episode of Christian Financial Perspectives, we’re going to discuss family estate planning the wrong way and the right way. So Bob, as we start today’s discussion, I know you have a favorite scripture that you’d like to talk about that kind of sets up today’s topic. Why don’t you share that with our listeners?

Bob:
Well, it’s actually a couple of them, but the main one is from Proverbs 20:21 that, “An inheritance gained hurriedly”, another version says quickly, “at the beginning will not be blessed in the end. And really this scripture has to do with dumping a large amount of money into your children, or grandchildren’s, lap all at one time and how that can actually hurt more than it can help. The title of this program that we’re doing today is called “Estate Planning: The Wrong Way, The Right Way”. I came up with this title from a great book that I would suggest that everyone get about estate planning when it comes to writing your will and how you’re going to do that. The book is called “Family. Money. Five Questions Every Family Should Ask About Wealth”. On page 20 of this book, it’s got these scenarios that they talk about from an estate plan and where the family gathers in the lawyer’s office and the executor clears his throat and reads this written document left by the parents to the children, and this is the first time in their lives that they’ve heard their parents’ requests for their children and now the parents are not there to share it with their children.

Mary Jo:
It sounds so cold.

Bob:
It does. It’s very, very cold. It’s around an attorney’s office in a cold room. That’s the worst case scenario, but you know, Mary Jo, that’s probably 99% of how our estates are left. The children, for the very first time, hear what their parents want to leave them around a cold lawyer’s table.

Mary Jo:
I never understand why these types of topics are so difficult for families to talk about openly, but yet it does seem challenging. But before we get too deep into the topic of estate planning, I think one of the things that would be helpful is if we define a little bit about what estate planning means and what an estate is. We’re going to go through some of that, but I don’t think a lot of our listeners would fully understand what an estate encompasses. In fact, many people don’t even think of themselves as wealthy. They don’t think they have an estate to worry about, but it doesn’t take a lot of wealth to create estate issues that need to be planned for. I think that most families need to be aware of some basic points regarding estate planning. How would you start off to describe estate planning, Bob?

Bob:
Well, you know, I’ve got this technical side from Investopedia. I’m going to read that, but I’m not so sure if that’s going to go right over everybody’s head.

Mary Jo:
Well, I think we want to share the technical side, but also the soft more personal side and kind of talk about both components, because they’re equally important.

Bob:
“Estate planning is the collection of preparation tasks that serve to manage an individual’s asset base in the event of their incapacitation or death, including the bequest of assets to heirs and the settlement of estate taxes. Most estate plans are set up with the help of an attorney experienced in estate law.” Now, I know we just went over a lot of heads right there.

Mary Jo:
And you’re right, that is quite technical. So, why don’t we talk about what does an estate consist of. That might help clarify things.

Bob:
You know, really it’s everything that you have possession of or own. I mean, let’s start with real estate. That’s going to be your largest asset for most people. It’s going to be your home, single home, or maybe multiple houses if you own rental homes, any land you might own, a farm and ranch. It’s also going to consist of all of your investments like retirement accounts, bank accounts, your savings accounts.

Mary Jo:
You know, Bob, a lot of our listeners are business owners, small business owners and so it’s your business interest to be included in that, wouldn’t it?

Bob:
All business interests. I’ve been a business owner myself for over 30 years, and I can tell you that my estate is completely set up and actually I’ve done an estate plan four times now. I redo my estate plan every four or five years because it is complicated, and if you do own a business that is especially successful and with multiple employees, there’s a lot of estate planning that has to be done for that business interest and how that’s going to pass to the next generation.

Mary Jo:
That was a great point. It’s something that needs to be updated from time to time.

Bob:
It does, Mary Jo. I meet with people all the time and they say, yeah, we have our estate plan done and I’ll say, well how long ago did you refresh it? And they said, well, it was about 10 years ago. I said, how old were your children then? Oh, six or seven. So they’re now 18 and 22 and 25. Oh yeah, and one’s not around either or one passed away or one’s married or two of them were married. That’s all changed. So you’ve got to redo the estate plan for that. A lot of them, you know, have grandkids now, so that’s gotta be redone.

Mary Jo:
A lot of couples do it before they even have children, and so the children are not part of the estate plan, and that can be a real concern if something were to happen to the parents.

Bob:
We have other things that are part of the estate plan, like stocks and bonds and mutual funds. One of the things that people never about is life insurance. That’s actually a part of an estate plan. Just with the stroke of a pen today, you can create an estate worth $500,000 to a million dollars with an inexpensive term life insurance policy, especially if you’re below 40. Life insurance today is just so cheap to buy.

Mary Jo:
Right. So affordable.

Bob:
And so important.

Mary Jo:
Another thing that might impact a lot of our listeners here in Texas, and that’s oil and gas interest and water rights and royalties from these types of things. You know, certainly it’s not impacting everyone, but it could for some of our listeners.

Bob:
Well, a couple of years ago I was working with a lot of people in the Eagle Ford Shale when we had this oil boom and of course now the booms kind of over, but it still continues and people still continue to receive that royalty income. The thing about an oil and gas interest, if somebody has that, they need to do some very complex estate planning to get that away from their estate. If that passes down, the IRS could come in and value that at 10, 15, or $20 million. There are ways to set up a family estate plan using limited partnerships and different types of legal documents that will help to lower the estate tax burden that could come about by having those oil and gas interests.

Mary Jo:
And we’re going to talk about some of those things as we get deeper into our topics. But there are some other miscellaneous items that fall into an estate plan. One of those are collectibles, antiques, precious metals that they may have around, and one of the things that I’ve had some experience with is intellectual property. In my past life, I’ve dealt with a lot of college professors and doctors as clients and they typically might have patents from things that they’ve invented and copyrights and trademarks on intellectual material that they’ve created over the course of their career. That would have an impact on an estate, as would trade secrets, if they were business owners. So things that people may not ever think about.

Bob:
I want to mention that the majority of our listeners are not going to have oil and gas interests or these miscellaneous items like intellectual property, possibly. But all you have to do is take the value of a home, let’s put a home value at $350,000, and lets put your 401ks and your IRAs at another $400,000 – $500,000, now you’re 800.

Mary Jo:
Life insurance.

Bob:
The life insurance of $500,000. Now, you’re at 1.3 million. Do you see how quick you could get over $1 million and the importance of a good estate plan?

Mary Jo:
It’s so important to be thinking about it. So Bob, where does the wealth go after you’re gone?

Bob:
Well, I’ve broken it down into four or five areas that that can go. Of course your spouse, if you’re married, family, or other heirs. An area that I see that is missed out a lot is charities and ministries you care about. That is a place your estate plan can go. But you know, Mary Jo, in titling this program and in titling the presentation I’ve done to churches is actually called “Family Estate Planning – The Wrong Way, The Right Way” and as we get to talking about charitable planning. It’s been amazing to me, and I’ve spoken to a lot of pastors like pastor events, and I’ll ask pastors this question. I’ll say pastors, how many people have you had pass away in your church over the past 10 years? And a lot of these pastors have an average size church of 200-300 members. Then, you’ve got your mega churches that have thousands of members, but nearly all of them can answer at least 10, 15, or 20 people in the last 10 years that have passed away in their churches. The second question I always ask is, well, how many of them left anything to the church?

Bob:
Those that were involved in the church? You know, we had a tragedy happen here about a year and a half ago in one of our churches where the choir was in a major accident.

Mary Jo:
Oh, that’s right. Yeah.

Bob:
Lost a lot of members. And those were members that were very involved. I mean, they were in the choir in the church, and I don’t know how many of them left anything to the church, but usually pastors give me nearly this deer in the headlights look like, “I haven’t had anybody leave anything. Well, I’ve had one in the last 10 years and they left $10,000.” Yet, an estate can quickly get to a value of $1 million as we just pointed out, and I encourage our listeners, especially because we’re a Christian company, we’re Christian based. This is Christian Financial Perspectives, and I encourage you, if you’re going to do an estate plan, to leave a portion, even just a tithe of your estate to your church, that you’re so involved in or ministries you care about after you’re gone.

Mary Jo:
We know that so important to our listeners. They are very active in their churches. They are very committed to tithing, so we would expect that at death that they would want to remember their churches. So that is a little bit surprising. What are some other areas that the estate can go to after death?

Bob:
So let me mention the first couple again just to kind of refresh. Your spouse, family or heirs, charities and ministries you care about. Then this third one is anyone you care about and love, like a close friend. I’ve had some single ladies and men that never got married and they don’t have children or grandchildren, but they have close friends or maybe a niece or a nephew that they could leave that estate to. But again, coming back to that scripture that we started off with, be careful about just leaving and dumping $1 million estate into somebody’s lap. I mean, that can hurt them more than it can help them, especially if they don’t know how to handle money well. I have a philosophy. Usually they’re ready to handle the estate well if they don’t need it, if that makes sense to you.

Mary Jo:
Oh sure. And we’re going to talk a little bit more about that. The other thing we want to consider is how much can get eaten up in attorney’s fees and court fees of an estate and probate costs. Does that factor in, do you think, Bob?

Bob:
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had some of our clients that I’ve had very sizeable estates, and the estate could have been structured much better than it was. Huge amount of money. I mean in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. One of the cases that we had had to do with some oil and gas interests. Part of the family wanted it that was never involved with other parts of the family, and it went for a couple of years and it was very difficult on the families. Attorney fees and court fees can get very high and remember a will can be probated. This is why I like the use in a larger estate or if there’s any complexities in the estate of using a trust or a family limited partnership. That fifth area that we didn’t mention was estate taxes. Now today, estate taxes are really not that much of a problem as the exemption has gone up over $10 million per person. Most people are not going to fall on that. You know, I’ve had some clients that have passed away or their parents have passed away and some of the states where the state taxes emption is practically zero, so they have to pay a portion of that, especially in some of the Northeast States where they passed away. They have to give 5% or 10%, even if it’s just a $500,000 estate, which quickly adds up to that. $50,000 has to go to the state.

Mary Jo:
You drive around in different areas, whether around the countryside, in cities, but especially in beachfront and waterfront communities. And you’ll be driving and you’ll notice all these abandoned houses that used to be beautiful, but they’re just sitting there empty and neglected, and I often wonder are those just tied up in someone’s estate? And it’s kind of sad if you think about it.

Bob:
I wouldn’t doubt that at all. And there was one right down there in Rockport.

Mary Jo:
Yes.

Bob:
And I remember one down at the very end of Bayshore drive, and it sat there for years not being sold.

Mary Jo:
Exactly. If people just did some prior planning, things would go a lot smoother. You know, one of the things that is a concern when it comes to estate planning and sudden wealth is how soon that money can disappear. And oftentimes it’s just in a matter of months or years. I think you’ve referred to it as the sudden wealth syndrome. And you mentioned that a little bit earlier, but many heirs will spend their money that they receive in a very short order because they’re just not used to having it. So, they feel like it’s a windfall and they don’t realize how quickly it can evaporate, so it can be gone in two to three years without some planning.

Bob:
It’s just like winning the lottery for some people. You’ve heard of the horror stories of those that have won lotteries, won millions of dollars, and they’re worse off after they won the money years later than they were before they won the money. That is called sudden wealth syndrome. It’s like a disease, and you can look it up on the internet if you put in sudden wealth syndrome. There’s this entitlement mentality that comes along with it. For some reason when all of a sudden you come into some sudden money and you have a lot of it, I don’t know what it is, but it just comes under that sudden wealth syndrome problem. You think you’re smarter than everybody. You don’t need the advice of anybody and you just have these ideas about what you’ve always wanted to do. You don’t need the help of anyone whatsoever, which is not scriptural. As it says in Ecclesiastes, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Pity the man that has nobody to help him up when he’s down. Plans fail from lack of counsel. We mentioned that in Proverbs 15:22. If you are about to inherit a large estate, you really need to seek out the counsel of a wise financial advisor that’s experienced and that is also a fiduciary fee based advisor.

Mary Jo:
You know, one of the things, as you’re talking Bob, that comes to mind is it’s not just about those that maybe win the lottery or get a sudden inheritance, but it’s also our athletes and other professionals. If someone has a company that suddenly goes public and they, again, they get a windfall and you hear these sad stories that they had all this tremendous wealth and it’s gone so fast because they have all these other people that they’re having to support and they’re suddenly tempted. And the temptation, it’s out there, to buy luxury goods. It can just eat it up. Without planning and without wise counsel, it can be a shame at how fast that money can disappear. We want to help plan for future generations. I think you’ve shared that inheritance can be like a fire. Under control, it can give warmth, safety, and provision. Out of control, it can consume, destroy, and compound irresponsible behavior.

Bob:
This is so true, and we have seen this over and over and I love when we do our presentation. Jenna here who does all our graphics design, she has this amazing picture that shows the family around a real nice firepit enjoying one another and that’s a fire under control, but then we know about those fires in California and some of the ones in Colorado that just destroy everything. An inheritance quickly gained can be just like that. Please, I emphasize to those of you that are listening to the podcast today, you really need to get with someone that is experienced in estate planning. I’m very experienced in that and have set around many conference tables with an attorney, with my clients, with a CPA to where all this flows together.

Mary Jo:
So you’ve mentioned that’s that part of the estate planning team. We were going to say that for later, but why don’t we talk about that a little bit? Who all encompasses the state planning team, Bob?

Bob:
Well, we’ve had family meetings here, and we’ll have it over a full day. So besides the family being involved, that would be a fee based financial advisor, an estate planning attorney. In other words, an attorney that’s very experienced in estate planning. Don’t just pick any attorney you need to find one that’s very experienced in that. That would also be in the case if oil and gas interests are involved or business interests are involved, a CPA, maybe the bookkeeper. It also may bring in the insurance representative to structure the insurance properly.

Mary Jo:
And if trusts are involved, a trust officer to help administer those.

Bob:
That’s correct. We help people set up a trust, and we use a corporate trustee program. I like to use a corporate trustee over an individual trustee because the corporate trustee is not going to be manipulated possibly by the children or the family. They’re going to follow what the parents want with those assets after they’re gone and to be given in a loving and wise way to the heirs.

Mary Jo:
And I’ve heard that there are families that actually have taken a videographer to video these conferences. What do you think about that approach?

Bob:
We’ve actually had that happen. Yes, we’ve done that. I work with an individual that lives here in New Braunfels now and he works with families doing that. That is a fantastic way. You take that video and you upload it into a cloud based environment where the family can see it.`

Mary Jo:
We talked earlier about giving and how much is in our hearts and how we were a little surprised that we find that people don’t actually give to the church after death, but they’re so active and engaged before death. So we call that planned giving. And there are certainly ways to talk about where your heart is so goes your money. So having a planned giving specialist as part of that team of experts to help with the family, that can be very helpful.

Bob:
I was thinking there’s one more that’s so important, and that was true. And we had a plan giving specialist from the National Christian Foundation on a meeting that we had just about two months ago from a client that is about to have an IPO stock go public that could result in $25-$30 million in value, and he wants to give a large majority of that away because he’s felt that God has been a part of all this, and he certainly has.

Mary Jo:
Well, you know Bob, we’ve talked a lot about the wrong way and the right way. Let’s explore that a little bit more, but one thing I wanted to share is the more your children know about what to expect, the less likely they are to fight between themselves. My mom, over the years, she hated conflict and she wanted to avoid that at all costs and so she talked to us all individually and asked what we would want from the estate and she would label the items so that we wouldn’t have to have those heated discussions when the time came and it did make it so much easier. I think that kind of sets you up. Talk about the wrong way about approaching estate planning, and tell us more about that.

Bob:
Well, we talked about that a little bit in the beginning, but again, that wrong way is when that parent or loved one dies. And for the very first time, the family hears what the parents want to do with the estate.

Mary Jo:
We’ve talked a lot about the wrong way to approach estate planning. What are some of the right ways to consider for our families that are listening?

Bob:
Well, you remember I started off and I was talking about the book called “Family. Money. Five Questions Every Family Should Ask About Wealth”. And by the way, we give away this book to a lot of our clients once we’ve met with the estate planning attorney. In the back of this book, it has a four or five page area that talks about how to have a family meeting. We’ve had clients even go rent a retreat center or maybe rent out of five or six bedroom house on the coast or in the mountains and get all the family together. And during this meeting, they really talk with their family about how the wealth was acquired and how many years it took to make up that wealth and get to that wealth, especially, you know, if they’re like a business owner. As you know, wealth can take years and years to accumulate.

Bob:
It’s not done overnight, but when you inherit it, you get it overnight. Sharing with the family, things like where you grew up as a child, what were some of your childhood memories? What places have you lived? This should be a part of that family meeting. Maybe if you were in the military – where you serve or if your own organizations, what kind of boards did you serve on or ministries, what kind of mission trips did you do? What jobs have you had during your lifetime? As you can see here in front of you, the list just goes on and on. Like what were your parents and grandparents like? These are things that your children want to know. As you know, ancestry.com is at an all time popular high, and everybody’s wanting to get their DNA tested today so they know where they came from.

Mary Jo:
You know, Bob, it allows the parents the opportunity to tell their story and help their children understand what the parents wish for them in their lives, what their legacy goals are after they are gone. And it’s so great to be able to hear that directly from the parents. We talked a lot about the technical aspects of estate planning, but we want to touch on the spiritual and personal components. In fact, the Bible has much to say about estate planning if you dig deep. What are some of those passages?

Bob:
Well, we’ve got Deuteronomy 11:18-19, “Commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you were at home and when you’re on the road, when you’re going to bed and when you get up.”

Mary Jo:
So it clearly does say to talk about these things and be open with your families

Bob:
And to share with your families the good and the bad times and the victories and the mistakes you’ve made. Because as you know, you learn from mistakes. As a parent, I’d rather learn from the mistake than my child having to go through some of those hard lessons. So I need to tell them these are some of the mistakes. I think mistakes and learning from them gives you wisdom. Ecclesiastes 7:11 says, “Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing. It benefits those who see the sun.” And you’ve got another version here that you like. I know that’s your favorite version, the New Living Translation.

Mary Jo:
Yes, “Wisdom is even better when you have money. Both are a benefit as you go through life. Wisdom and money can get you almost anything. But only wisdom can save your life.”

Bob:
And I remember in the Bible where God was asking Solomon, you can have anything you want. What do you want? He wanted wisdom. He didn’t ask for money. He asked for wisdom. Because when you have wisdom that’s going to get you through those hard times,

Mary Jo:
Right. And the money is nothing without the wisdom to know what to do with it and how to make it grow and work for you. And I think that’s the point of our message today.

Bob:
Let’s get to some of the technical components. I’ve seen that you’ve listed some of these here, Mary Jo. Do you want to share some of the technical components of an estate that somebody needs to have and these are very important documents.

Mary Jo:
Well, they absolutely are and we call this the suite of documents. If you will. An estate planning attorney can easily set these up, but I think these are the basics that everyone needs to have – a last Will and Testament and they also need to name an executor and a backup executor in those documents, especially for those that have minor children, you want to establish guardianship for those children. That becomes increasingly important if you have developmentally challenged family members. You want to set up a care plan for those individuals. You need a medical power of attorney, directive to physicians and a durable or financial power of attorney. I want want to talk a little bit about the directive to physicians. I think people don’t really understand what all is encompassed in that document, and they need to be very specific about their wishes and what they want to have happen at the end of life and that end of life care and transition. Once maybe hospice is brought in, how far do they want the family to go? Do they want to be on life support? If so, for how long? Do they want to have a feeding tube? So when do they want medicines to stop being administered? So I think you want to be very specific about the quality of that end of life process. Have you ever experienced that and how comfortable or uncomfortable that can be?

Bob:
Well, yes. I know that you have, and I did with my own dad

Mary Jo:
My mom, one of the biggest blessings that she did for us, she was very clear in her wishes. She spelled it out. In fact, towards the end she would follow us around and say, you understand what I want, don’t you? And she wanted to just make sure that we knew what her wishes were and it made it all so easy for us and my siblings. Another thing is you want to talk about your burial wishes. So many children don’t have any idea what their parents had planned. If you’re going to prepay for a burial plot, where is that plot? Where are the documents? Where’s the deed and what cemetery do you want to use? Maybe you want to be cremated and not buried. Talk about your spiritual thoughts around those two issues.

Bob:
I want to mention something about that because I saw that in your list too. You’ve got to decide if you believe this is scriptural or not. Being cremated, for a lot of Christians, are like, that’s not supposed to happen. I know how I feel about that personally. I don’t believe you should be cremated and your ashes spread elsewhere because the second coming, but that is something that I think you need to seek out God’s word on it and see what the Holy spirit says to you.

Mary Jo:
And you know, now there are thoughts, especially in coastal areas, and we’ve seen where cemeteries have been flooded. There’s all kinds of new information in today’s world that impacts that decision. So one of the other things we want to think about is if being buried and the funeral process, what should that look like? What do you want in the form of a casket? How much do you want the family to spend on that? What kind of flowers and songs. For a loved one to spell all that out like my mother did, she even put down what scriptures she wanted read, what songs were her favorite, and it just made it so easy for us during our time of grief. And so I really encourage people to talk about those things and document them.

Bob:
I think it’s also important for higher net worth families to have additional documents like forming a trust if they’re a very high net worth, because we have tax exemptions above $10 million, but they might want to consider setting up a credit shelter trust. That’s where you can double that tax exemption to over $20 million. And then there’s things like an irrevocable trust, a revocable living trust, there’s family limited partnerships, there’s buy sell agreements. I have a very complex buy sell agreement that we have in place and how that’s going to happen for our business.

Mary Jo:
An attorney can help families understand. Those are some very technical terms and they’re very complex vehicles, but they are important and that’s where a skilled attorney can come in and help you understand what the various trusts are, what they do for families, and which ones might be appropriate for your situation. As we wrap up, Bob, we talked about estate and legacy planning goals. What are some questions that a Christian would ask in respect to this?

Bob:
I think the question that the family needs to ask is do they really believe that God owns it all and when they’re passing down wealth to the next generation, how much is enough. It comes under the question too, should all heirs be treated equally?

Mary Jo:
That’s a good one.

Bob:
There’s no scriptural bases that the heirs should be treated equally. How much is enough for one may not be enough for another, especially under the case of a special needs child or in the case where a large quick monetary inheritance could actually hurt someone more than it can help them. There’s so many of these things that you’ve got to sit down and ask these questions. How can we help our children’s children also share in a biblical stewardship philosophy by how we set up our estate plan? We talked a little bit earlier about the donor advised fund and a giving fund. That’s a fantastic thing to do. We’ve set up one for our family to where 20% of our estate will go to our giving fund and that’s like a family endowment for the children to be involved in. Should you consider tithing part of your estate to your church or to that type of fund?

Mary Jo:
I think that’s a wonderful idea. It’s a wonderful legacy for young adults to help them understand giving and to help them open their hearts to the possibility. So, it allows them to research charities that they want to support. And it kinda gives the family a project to work on to make sure mom and dad’s wishes are carried out. But it gives them the ability to impact that as well. So, I think it’s a really cool concept. One of the things we talked about is should all heirs be treated equally? We’re living in a different time today, and we have so much in the news about the issues of drug addiction. So we want to make sure that each of those family members are equipped both emotionally and with wisdom and that they’re not a spin threat. Maybe that’s something to think about and wise people will just wonder, should we put somebody else in control of those assets so that anyone that has a tendency to maybe be irresponsible might have somebody to help police those, at least the ability to withdraw those funds. Or, they could only be used for certain things. So, you can be very specific on the way you want your assets to be distributed after your death. And that’s where those trusts become important.

Bob:
Well, Mary Jo, I think we have put enough information on someone in today’s podcast. I know we went really long, but estate planning is so important and I would invite you to come back and listen to this podcast. You might have to listen to it over a couple of days because there’s so much information that we have shared with you today, but the bottom line is don’t put off your estate plan. I think about 80% of the population puts this off. One of the very first questions that we always ask our clients when we do their annual financial review and assessment is, do you have your estate plan in order? And I’m amazed how many say no. Or if they say yes, I ask them that question. Well, how long ago? And that takes us right back to the beginning of the program. If you haven’t had an estate plan updated in the past eight to 10 years, you need to have it updated because so many things have changed since then.

Mary Jo:
Since this applies a lot to our more senior clients out there and those listeners. One of the things when they talk about their medical power of attorney, who is going to be best equipped to make those decisions if the individual can no longer make those decisions on their own. Is it a younger family member? Is it one of their peers or what happened if that person predeceases them? So you want to make sure that you give some thought as to who’s going to be the most appropriate person that’s not going to be as emotional as maybe one of your direct family members. A lot to consider there.

Bob:
So as we come to the end of the program, we don’t want you to feel alone out there when it comes to estate planning. There’s so much documentation that we have like questions to ask an attorney. There’s information on trust, there’s information on medical power of attorneys. There’s a whole book on estate planning information that we have and we’re here to help you. So, feel free to give us a call at (877) 718-7884 and if you don’t have a pen handy, all you got to remember is 877- 71-TRUTH cause we’re going to give you the truth about estate planning and about everything financial from a biblical perspective. Anything you want to close on today, Mary Jo?

Mary Jo:
I think that does it. We’ve covered a lot.

[CONCLUSION]

Mary Jo: You’ve been listening to Christian Financial Perspectives. Join us as we explore more about how to apply biblical wisdom to your financial situations.

Bob: To make sure you don’t miss any of our podcasts, you can subscribe to Christian Financial Perspectives on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher. To learn more about integrating your faith with your finances, visit out website at ciswealth.com or call 830-609-6986.

Mary Jo: That’s all for now.

[DISCLOSURES]

Comments from today’s show are for informational purposes only and not to be considered investment advice or recommendations to buy or sell any company that may have been mentioned or discussed. The opinions expressed are solely those of the hosts, Bob Barber and Mary Jo Lyons. Bob and Mary Jo do not provide tax advice and encourage you to seek guidance from a tax professional. Investment advisory services offered through Christian Investment Advisors Inc. DBA Christian Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor.