When listening to sales pitches to buy estate planning or financial products beware of “The Ring of Truth”:

  • A broken clock is right twice a day
  • One size does not fit all!
  • Is it an endorsement or is it paid for advertising?

FLPs, trusts, annuities, asset protection are popular seminar topics because they are serious and confusing topics.

When choosing professionals don’t be led astray by self-promotion and testimonials, ask questions and listen to the answers, even well credentialed or experienced professionals may not be right for you.

  1. “Avoiding Probate” is not an expensive or difficult task in Arizona nor is it necessarily desirable!
    1. TOD/POD, beneficiary deeds for simple estates
    2. Trusts if there are more issues
    3. FLPs and LLCs are not for family homes – you lose step up basis and the §121 capital gains exclusions.
  2. [asset protection] 95% of our listeners can adequately protect themselves from the most likely class of unexpected creditors by using common sense and insurance they probably already have.
    1. After liability insurance (auto and home), umbrella insurance is the first line of defense.
    2. Retirement accounts are exempt
    3. Cash value in insurance policies are exempt under most ordinary circumstances
    4. $150,000 homestead allowance and the actual protection is much greater
    5. Professional liability insurance is the next line of defense if you are a magnet for litigation.
  3. Favorite line from the Michael Douglas character in “The American President

    “He is not the least bit interested in solving your problem, he is only interested in making you afraid of it, and telling you who to blame for it”

  4. If you are interested in learning more about common estate planning topics, call my office and I will send you my Available Reading List from which you can choose several free basic flyers that describe common estate planning issues.
  5. Or if you are ready to put your affairs in order, call for an appointment.