Hope you enjoy the show. If you have any… if you do like it, make sure you click the like button and let us know or those little hearts or something like that. Of course if you have any questions or comments, just feel free to comment. If we catch you while we're live, we'll try to respond.
Are we on? Let's see, are we on? I can't tell. Well anyway, yeah we're on. Okay Lisa, we're on. Everybody else, you're listening to John and Lisa on Aging Insight. We are here as we are most Saturdays.
Yeah technically, we're not here every Saturday but we are here most Saturdays live in the studio where we can address your concerns about the aging process, about what you need to do to plan ahead if you want to avoid nursing home care and you want to avoid becoming a burden on your friends and family and you want to protect and preserve those resources. That's why we show up here. It's to talk to you all about this sort of stuff. Because we do it live, you can call in. Phone number's 903-793-1071 and that's 903-793-1071. You can call in, ask your questions or you can go to the Ross and Shoalmire Facebook page where you can check us out on Facebook Live.
Right. On that Facebook Live, you can of course watch the show, you can watch radio being made but you can also ask a question, type it in. Maybe, if you don't think you have a voice for radio and you don’t want to call in, well then you can type your question there on the comments under the show and we will see those here in the studio and we'll be glad to answer those questions as well.
That's right. You know, while we bring it to you all our listeners, our viewers for free, it's not free. We have some sponsors who help us out to make sure that we can have the airtime and have the studio equipment and such to bring it to you. I wanted to give a special thanks to Edgewood Manor, the Barnette Agency, Dukes Memorial Hospice, Riverview Behavioral Health in Calhoun Creek Estates, Kirk Green and Company and St. Michael’s Hospital, the Retreat at Kinwood, Red River Federal Credit Union, Twin City Rehab and Inspirations Health and Rehab. Those folks, they support us financially to make sure we can be here every Saturday and we appreciate them.
Hope Arkansas, hope some of our listeners north at 30 are listening, Longview also, a lot of places. There's just such a hunger for the information and I think people realize too that there's so much misinformation out there. I'll stand up and talk to you and I know what I'm saying to you is accurate and factual and that's what I want to get out there.
That's right. We want people to have good information out there because we so often see people mess this stuff up. Usually, it's not their fault necessarily. It's because they've acted on bad advice or they have had inaction because they were under the assumption that everything was fine. That's probably the worst situation. It's where for example, somebody went to their little small town corner next to the court house attorney's office, went in and said; ‘hey we want to do some estate planning.’
Their friend who they see at church and at the community barbecues and everything said, "Great. We'll do your will."
Well, let's get you a will. Who do you want to leave your stuff to? They say, well, we just want to leave everything to each other and then leave it to the two kids when we both die.
That's just a little… that's just one little segment of the issue and it's not covering everything. John, I thought today, we have some listeners who listen to us every week and I think maybe we've got some new folks. I thought today we would kind of pull all the pieces together a little bit. A lot of times we'll go off on the rabbit trails and really concentrate on something or another but I thought today we might kind of look at the total package, total picture here.
Yeah and as we get to that, we do have a question on the Facebook Live page. The person on there says that the one thing that they missed in doing their estate plan was related to the prescription drug deductibles. Looking at annual deductibles in the… it looks like $4,000-$5,000 range.
You know John, I presume they're kind of talking about the donut hole which is being the TV kid that always was every time on. When I say that term donut hole, I always think of the Simpsons and Homer Simpson. I think what they're talking about is that when you're on Medicare and have a prescription drug plan, there's a certain portion of those prescriptions and all that Medicare covers and then once you exceed that, you kind of fall in a hole where you are responsible for covering any of those costs. Then after you pay so much in that hole, you basically reach the other side and now you've fallen to some catastrophic care support, cost support and then you're back out of the hole and Medicare starts helping out again. That's why they call it the donut hole. One of the things that ObamaCare did was there were some provisions in ObamaCare that is looking to shrink that donut hole.
Each year, they're supposed to close that donut hole year after year. Unfortunately, we're probably also looking at the repeal of the affordable care Act which I actually have mixed emotions on that from a personal standpoint, perfectly cool with it because it's been jerking at my personal health insurance for years. But for many of my retiree clients, some of the provisions that would have protected them from the donut hole and that sort of stuff can be a big deal. The other thing is, you were talking about on Medicare and that's for many folks… the other place you can run into this is where your insurance company doesn't or won't cover it.
Right. If you are on a company plan of some sort of you have a separate prescription drug plan that the drugs that you take in your condition maybe they're no longer on the formulary. That's the list of drugs that that particular insurance company will pay for whether that be a generic version or a named brand version but the formulary… the formulary changes. John, this is what kills me. The formulary changes from year to year. Even if you pick something… I have a lot of folks as they near retirement, they get their Medicare plan, they pick their supplement plan, they purchase a Part D prescription plan and they're happy. Next year in January, they show up at the pharmacy and all of a sudden the cost to have that drug filled has gone up tremendously.
Sometimes I have folks that maybe do have some service connected issues from their military service but they've never pursued anything thinking that it's just outrageous and not going to be worth anything, that they're generally fine. That's a situation where it can be worth it just to be able to get into the prescription drug programs with the VA.
That's right. Of course anybody that's in our local region, one of our sponsors is the Barnette Agency and these guys are absolute experts when it comes to Medicare Insurance and stuff. They're who we call with those kinds of questions.
I talked to Jay earlier this week and he was wonderful with some great information that helped. I was able to look like the hero after talking to Jay.
Yeah get the information from him and then give it to the client like look how smart we are. Sometimes it's just a matter of knowing where to go. Anyway, that's a good question. You mentioned that the Older Americans Act is what supports the Area Agency on Aging. The Older Americans Act is one of the things that is on the chopping block. I know I did… when Lisa wasn't here one day, I did what we are expecting to get chopped and the Older Americans Act is certainly one that we do anticipate getting chopped. If it gets chopped, that will essentially be the end of the Area Agency on Aging as well as the Meals on Wheels Program. Anyway, I think we need to take a break and then we can jump into our kind of topic of today of if you're going to do an estate plan, do it right or just don't do it. Don't bother. If you're going to do it right, what does doing it right mean? Essentially, there are three things that your estate plan should address. We're going to talk about those three things for today's show s stick around. We'll be right back. I've got something in my chest, it's killing me.
That's right. Thank you all for continuing to watch while we have our little commercial break from our live radio. Like I said, we're going to be talking today about some of the stuff that we think you should keep in mind. We have a lot of people that come into the office and they say, "Oh well, really, I think we've got all that stuff taken care of." Then when we start asking them questions, they're like, "Well, no we don't, no, no. No I don't have that, no, no," just one thing after another. That's kind of what we thought, what the heck, we'll just point it out. Of course again, if you enjoy it, feel free to give us a like. If you're watching, if you like it, give us a like. Hit the little heart button, if you have any questions, feel free to comment on there, share with your friends if you think other people might get a little something out of the program. We've got about a minute and a half before we've got to get back live on the actual radio. You all never go away but we get a little break here with these people.
I was speaking in Paris to a group of retired teachers on Monday and our radio program doesn't reach out there but I told them about our Facebook Live so I'm guessing that some of our folks who may be not in our listening area will be able to login on Facebook. I think it's really great, technology.
Yes the modern world. Looks like we've got about 20 more seconds and then we've got to go back live on our radio. Thank you all for sticking around. I'll turn the volume up so you all can hear our handy dandy music when we come back on live.
All right everyone, welcome back to Aging Insight. I'm Lisa Shoalmire and I'm here live in the studio with John Ross. You can call in, ask a question at 903-793-1071. You can watch us on Facebook live and type in your question on Facebook. John, I thought today we'd kind of talk about the pieces, the parts of an estate plan and I think it's more than planning. I was going to call it, I don't know, it's a plan.
Then as you're looking forward, as you're heading down the road, there's essentially your plan here whatever you want to call it. Your plan should generally address three things. That's what kind of we're going to talk about today. It's no surprise here, these three things that your plan should accomplish; the first one is it should address what's going to happen when you become incapacitated.
John, I noticed the way you phrased that. You said what happens when you become incapacitated. Everyone and we can get into the details later but everyone should plan for the potential of becoming incapacitated.
Sure. You just go ahead and assume yes I'm going to be incapacitated. Just assume that because frankly, it's one of those things where unless you die very suddenly, if you age along with everybody else up into the average life expectancy's range, then your statistical likelihood of being incapacitated for at least a portion of time before your death is virtually guaranteed. If you live a natural life expectancy, you will be incapacitated before you die at some point. Maybe not for long, maybe a couple of days, maybe a week, maybe five years.
Everyone should plan for that. If that's not a situation that happens to you, well there's no harm in planning for that potential incapacity.
What we're talking about is the transition at death. We're talking about the transition of assets, of income, of responsibilities, of debts, of all kinds of things. We're talking about what happens to these sort of things at death. Essentially again, your goal should be that that process is the smoothest, easiest, most economical and most protected way that you could transfer assets at death.
A lot of times we'll get into as far as transferring assets at death, we'll get into transfers through a probate process with the will and a court system and then we'll talk about transfers through a non-probate transfer such as bank accounts or life insurance beneficiaries, things like that. Those are, that's the transition right there. The John there's a-
Then we get into the third. The third phase of all of this is the people that you're leaving behind. It doesn't even have to be people. It could be entities like charities but for most people we're talking about your kids or if you don't have any kids it's your aunt and uncle or your brother and sister, whoever it is that you're ultimately going to benefit from or who's going to benefit from you. Again, we're not thinking about what we want for them. We're thinking about how bad their situation could be at some indeterminate time in the future.
That's right. Typically, you're talking about in this case, we're talking about what I call the four Ds; Death, Divorce, Disability ad Debts.
That's right and so we're going to kind of break each of the three sections down as we come back from our bottom of the hour news break and we'll go into if you're planning for incapacity, here's what you've got to have in place. If you're transitioning assets at death, here's the way you need to do it and if you're looking out for those ultimate beneficiaries in step number three, here's how you need to be planning to protect them. We're going to talk about all of those things.
I think you're going to get a lot out of it. It's going to really bring it all together. Stick around after this break, it's going to be a good overview.
That's right. In the meantime, if you're not on Facebook Live, you can whip out your phone during the news break, not if you're driving. If you're driving, pull over but anyway, we'll see you in a second. All right, so we're at least not live on the radio but we're still live on Facebook Live.
I think this is a good show. People get so overwhelmed and so this is a good show to kind of bring it together.
To be perfectly honest, this is also basically how I spend many of my client appointments. It's learning about them, what are their incomes, what are their assets, what is their personal situation and then looking at those personal facts of them, how do their personal facts fit in in each of these three phases. That's essentially where… that's how you develop. That's how from this side of the table, that's how we try to develop these plans. It's looking at your personal situation but looking at it in the context of these three elements. How are we going to plan based on you, how are we going to plan for incapacity, how are we going to transition your assets at death and how are we going to protect the people that you leave behind?
It's such a lawyer answer John with… everybody's situation is different. I even know that's part of our tagline on the radio but it's just true, everybody's situation is different and so you've got to individualize and customize.
Every speech that I've given and just every one of them period but just having given quite a few in the last couple of days, there's always somebody in the audience that will say, well okay, all right John, how is it charged to get everything done? Of course, even though they've heard me say, I've spent a whole hour talking to them about the complexities of all of this, somehow they still have it in their mind that there's this, this one solution. That there's this magic bean that is going to be appropriate for everybody and so they want to know how much does the magic bean cost. If you've got somebody out there, if you're talking to somebody and they're trying to sell you the magic bean, this is the perfect thing for everybody and aren't you lucky that you're getting to hear about it, run away from that person. There may be something that is appropriate for more than one person, sure there's lots of those but it should be very individualized. I always, I hate to do it but I have to answer that question the same every time which is; I have no idea because I don't know how complicated or not complicated that person's situation is.
That's hard. I think people think that you're just kind of trying to keep your options open on your fees and charges for planning but it really is… there are so many different tools in the tool box and we try to pull out the right tool for the job. They all have their own …
We've got everybody from Hope Arkansas to Lemit Texas checking out the show. That's a lot of real estate work covered Lisa, from the Panhandle to the birthplace of Bill Clinton.
Yes where we were just at yesterday giving a speech and where I'll probably be at if my daughter decides she wants to go look at Texas Tech. They do have a fine law school there.
Lisa may have a slightly different opinion on law schools. All right, we've got to go back live on the radio here in ten seconds.
Welcome back everybody this is your host John Ross here live here live in the studio with Lisa Shoalmire. Today, we're talking about the three things, three things that every single estate plan should address out there. Essentially what we're talking about is we've got the phase one which is planning for the incapacity, phase two the transition at death and phase three the people that you're leaving behind. Let's focus on stage one for a second.
John, I will have to say that I think the stage one focus of planning for your incapacity. Most people just want to skip over that.
All of those documents, I call those documents John, the living and breathing documents. I don't mean it like a constitution. I mean it that these are the documents that you need while you are living and breathing. They have nothing to do whatsoever with the transition of your property at death. A lot of times I have to remind folks, if you're incapacitated, bills still have to be paid, decisions still have to be made and you need some method to make that happen if you can't do it for yourself. Luckily, the law has already come up with some tools that make that happen. John, there is a big difference between a screwdriver that you buy on … You know how those grocery stores have little tool isles sometimes, you can go buy a little screwdriver on the grocery store isle or you can go get that snap on tool. We need to make them sponsors for that but you can go get that high end quality tool that you're going to have for the rest of your life that's never going to break. It's a big difference in quality of those tools but the tools are very common; powers of attorney, healthcare powers of attorney, a HIPPA release for medical information and a living will.
Absolutely but there's actually a bigger issue with that incapacity for most people and that's going to be if you become incapacitated, what happens is you have the medical crisis that creates the incapacity. The medical crisis creates a housing crisis of where are you going to live, how do you stay home if that's where you want to, do you need to go to assisted living or nursing homecare? Which the next thing you find out is that all of those are very expensive, so your health crisis becomes a housing crisis which becomes a financial crisis. It's that financial crisis that's probably the bigger issue in planning for incapacity. I know we recently had somebody who they had a pretty good sized estate and they had a couple of kids. One of the kids maybe he didn’t quite like as much as the others and so they left them a small bequest. Let's say they gave them say $10,000 but at the time they made the will, they had quite a bit in assets.
Yeah flipping your nose at him and saying, hi, you're just getting $10,000 but because of a long long-term care situation, the cost of that care essentially drained the estate down to just over $10,000 by the time the person died. Ironically at that point, she had given the vast majority of her estate to the one person that she really was trying to thumb her nose at.
That $10,000 bequest essentially sucked up the entire estate and the kids that were left who split the rest, they thought they were going to be splitting six and seven figures and they ended up with next to nothing.
The perfect example of somebody who may be ten or 15 or 20 years before their death went in to do some planning and just completely skipped over the incapacity part. Just skipped over it and just said here's what I want to happen at death on the assumption that the $200,000 in assets that she had at the time she made the document was going to be the same 200,000. Had she planned for that long-term care, had she for example set up asset protection trust to shield those assets or if she was a married couple had built in contingent special needs trusts into their estate planning to protect the surviving spouse, any number of different ways that they could have shielded a portion of the assets so that they did not have to get burned up in that long term care. Again that's not appropriate for everybody. Some people have more income that's not a big deal.
Some people can afford long-term care insurance or who have access to very affordable long term care insurance through an employer or something like that. That changes the dynamics. But for everybody else, you're going to have to figure out how you're going to pay for those costs because if you burn up all your assets paying long-term care, then it doesn't matter what you've put in place at death.
That's right, the transition won't matter, so planning for incapacity now in the financial portion of it but making sure that you've assembled your team through powers of attorney and things like that. I tell folks that when those things occur, those are the documents and the planning that you care the most about is your planning for incapacity.
We're going to have to take a break here in a second but I wanted to go ahead and get started on phase number two. Essentially what I want you to understand is, here's what a will does. A will, if you're planning with a will, you're saying that you want two things to happen. One, you want a court to control the disposition of your assets at death. You want it to be supervised y a judicial process. That's the first thing you're saying. The second thing you're saying is, before any of my heirs get any of my estate, I want anybody I owed money to to be able to clean house first even if the people I owe money to; say the plaintiff in a lawsuit from a car wreck that you died in. For example if you were at a nursing home and on Medicaid then the state wanting to get paid back. If you're planning with a will and planning for your assets to go through the process, essentially what you're saying is, one, you want your family to have to hire attorneys and go through a process after your death and two you want all of your assets to be available to pay-off potential creditors at your death.
As we talk about the transition of your assets at your death, during the break, ask yourself, are those the two things you want?
Is that what you were planning when you were thinking about making a will? We've got to take one more break. We'll be back in just a second. People have no idea what a will actually does or doesn't do unless you're in the business of dealing with these silly things. Again, I'm not saying that having a will is a bad thing but a will is the perfect example of something that you want to have but you don't ever plan on needing. When we come back, we'll talk about some alternatives to the will and things like that.
I met with a lady this week and she was on top of it. She had already decided that she did not want her children to have to deal with her incapacity but she wanted stay at home. What she said is, she already talked to a trust officer with the bank and talked to them about when she reached some incapacity then they would take over paying her bills. She was letting them know that she wanted to be cared for in her home and she wanted all the money to be used to make that happen but she didn't want her children to have to carry the burden of doing that. That's one of the few people I've met that has already jumped out there before they even saw me about dealing with incapacity.
Yeah been thinking it through a little bit. It is pretty unusual. I will say it's not often … I mean, people do think about it, a lot of times they're just thinking incorrectly. These are folks who come in and say, oh I've been thinking about it and I want to give everything to my kids now. No, no, we don't do that.
Welcome back everyone, this is Lisa Shoalmire, I'm here in the studio with John Ross and you are listening to Aging Insight. You may be watching Aging Insight on Facebook Live but we're glad you're here regardless and this is our final segment today. If you've got a burning question; this is the time to call it in at 909-793-1071 or type it in on our Facebook Live. Today we've been talking about the three things to consider as part of your estate plan. The first thing we went over is planning for your incapacity. Just face it head on, make the plan and then we move on to phase two of our plan and that is dealing with transfers of assets at death. Before the break John, you were talking about using a will to transfer those assets. Essentially, that is what we would call a probate transfer.
It is not an efficient way to transfer the estate. It's just not. It takes time, it takes effort, it takes money and frankly it's easy to avoid.
Because it's subject to a set of court rules and laws, then you actually have no idea what those court rules or laws will be at the time of your death. We run into this just in the … I think what are we operating in about 40, 50, 60 different counties between Texas and Arkanasas?
We cover a gigantic area with our firm and so we deal with a lot of different judges. The exact same type of case can be an easy process in one county and a monumental pain in another strictly because of the way that that particular court administers the rules and regulations related to this process.
It's the same rules. That's exactly right. We're not talking about the difference between Texas and Arkansas, we're talking about the differences between Texas County X and Texas County Y. Same laws, same rules, same place just two different interpretations of the same zip.
Would you really want to make a plan if you could make a plan that was subject to Willy Nilly rules and interpretations of those rules?
By yes elected officials or you can make a plan that would be above all those rules and possibilities and process. What would you do?
Outside of that, private. There's just really no question about it. You don't want to… again, of course we add in the death factor. If you talk about losing everything to the state because of a Medicaid claim or something, then it's even a bigger deal. You definitely need to be planning for transition at death that avoids the necessity of probate. There's lots of-
Here in the tool box, you've got lots of little one offs. What I mean by one offs is there are ways you can go asset by asset by asset. For example, I can go to my bank and name a pay on death beneficiary. That's good for that one account. Then I can call my IRA people and I can name a beneficiary on my IRA and that's a one off. Then I could even do a deed on my house-
Or a Lady Bird deed, and this is a one off, it's for the house. The problem is if you're doing them individually like that, trying to wrap all of those up and make sure that for example, how many different banks have we had in Texas just in the-
There was a certain flood and yeah we've had situations where somebody went and named a pay on death or they swear they did but the bank has no record of it because the current iteration of the bank didn't transfer the records from the previous bank that they bought from and all of that. You can run into problems on that kind of case by case or one off type thing.
It can work. Again, if you have a relatively modest estate, if I've got a checking account and a house, it may be very simple to go and name a pay on death beneficiary on that checking account and do a lady bird deed on my house. Bam, done.
Right and that's all you need out of the tool box. It's the most efficient, economical way for your situation.
On the other hand, if I've got two or three different bank accounts plus IRAs, maybe some other land, plus a house, maybe there's a mortgage on my house, maybe I've got some life insurance, any number of things, maybe I need a tool that'll wrap all of these together into one umbrella. Usually for something like that, now you're talking about using a trust of some sort, a revocable trust, irrevocable trust, asset protection, there's different types of trusts out there but you'll find that all types of trusts are non-probate transfers. Depending on your complexity, your long-term care needs on the frontend, that's going to dictate the type of non-probate transfer tool you're going to use. Something very simple like just naming beneficiaries, something quite complex like an asset protection trust and something in the middle like just revocable living trust. There's lots of different ways to accomplish this based on your situation.
That focus is okay how are you going to transfer assets at death? We kind of talked about two of the three things to look at when we're doing an estate plan. We've talked about planning for incapacity, we've talked about planning for the transition of your assets upon your death and the final piece that we want to look at is how are you going to protect your beneficiaries following your death as they receive those assets?
Essentially people want to… they want to hope that at their death, they leave behind; living, healthy, well married, financially stable, debt free adult children.
Very much the exception. John, typically at a minimum, at a minimum, this week I can't tell you how many clients told me, well I have great kids but my daughter-in-law, she rushes. I just feel like she would be calling the shots and my son would be doing whatever she said and I'm worried that that wouldn't work out too well. At minimum I see that.
The point here is, you want to plan for what we call the four Ds. When you're talking about your kids or ultimately your beneficiaries, whether they're your kids or not, it doesn't matter but with your beneficiaries, we want to think about the four D's. The first of those is death. Just assume that somebody you're going to leave behind assets to is going to die first. If they do, where is their share going? You say, oh well that's fine. If my son dies, I want it to go to his two kids. Well, yeah, you're talking about the ten year old and the eight year old? Is that who you're talking about?
Then there's always the potential for divorce and that's a pretty common thing especially when it comes to adult children. What you don't want to end up is having your assets transferred to your child and then a year or two later, those assets end up getting caught in the crossfire of your child's divorce and be subject to division by a divorce court.
Do not just think that well, oh I heard that inherited property is separate property so they don't have to worry about that. It isn't that simple.
Yeah there's a way. You want to protect for that. Say along that same line, is the debts. Lisa and I will get calls almost weekly from attorney general's office because there's a beneficiary of an estate that owes child support. They want the inheritance.
The thing is that it's actually relatively easy to leave behind assets in a way. We'll leave assets, say, I'm going to leave assets to the four kids but we're going to do it in a way that it's not divisible under force, that it can't be attacked by a third party creditor, that it doesn't count towards their eligibility for any need based government benefit. If that child dies, then here's who it goes to, in what shares and here's who's in charge of it if they're under the age of whatever. I would say at least 25, maybe 30.
You John, I had an outcall this week. I went to a nursing home, 90 something year old lady. Her daughter had passed away and left her, her $75,000 life insurance policy. We've got to deal with it or else it's going to kick off her grandma off her Medicaid and it's not going to be for the benefit of the family as intended.
We actually run into this all the time. We just run into it all the time. All that decided, let's wrap it all up. You're going to plan for your own incapacity with powers of attorney and figuring out how you're going to pay for your care, you're going to transition you assets at death in a non-probate way that is smooth, easy and protects the assets from creditors and you're going to protect your beneficiaries from those four Ds, the death, the divorce, the disability and the debts.
Let's give a shout out real quick to our sponsors; Edgewood Manor, the Barnette Agency, Dukes Memorial Hospice, Riverview Behavioral Health, Carlow Creek, Kirk Green and Company and St. Michael’s Hospital, Red River Federal Credit Union, Twin City Rehab and Inspirations.
In this episode, Lisa and John discuss the three things that every good estate plan should contain: incapacitation, asset transfers at death, and the people that you’re leaving behind.