A couple of examples:
Young Successful Doctor
My nephew helps groups of Doctors set up their practices in clinics. He gets to know them, their families and their goals in life. He has convinced some of them to talk with me and do their Estate Planning so their family assets, their ownership in the clinics and their affairs are in order. I thank him for the referrals. A few months ago he called me from Alaska and told me of a doctor who, although he is quite young, bought into a clinic and was doing quite well. My nephew suggested to him that his Estate Planning should be looked into but the young doc said there was no rush and declined to talk with me.
My nephew called me a couple of weeks ago and said this doctor was in the back-country of Alaska and was swept away by an avalanche. The town has been looking for his body for over a month to no avail. In dealing with the Doctors in the medical clinic, there are those who would like to buy out the deceased doctors interest. It has been determined that they are unable buy his interest. The young doctor’s assets will have to go through probate and no one can open up a probate since he has not been legally declared dead yet. His mother, I assume will be named his only heir, will have to wait, as will the partner doctors, for an undisclosed amount of time to settle things in Probate Court.
This could have all been avoided by having the Premier Trust as owner of the interest the young Doctor owns in the Clinic Partnership. The Trustee doesn’t have to wait to make decisions for the ownership of the interest and can give the named beneficiary peace of mind as to what will happen to that and other assets within the young doctors estate once he has been legally declared dead.
An Airline pilot client of mine referred one of his good friends (also a Pilot) to me last year. The friend called me and said that he was interested in protecting his assets as my client had done and he wanted to meet with me as soon as possible. His voice on the phone led me to wonder what the urgency was, but I am patient and agreed to meet with him.
I began my presentation by asking him questions, what type of assets he owned, what his and his wife’s full names and citizenship was, how many kids he and she had and then the topic came up as to why he was anxious in getting his estate planning (Asset Protection) done quickly. He decided to level with me, since he realized I would find out about it anyway, and said that his son had recently had an accident and he feared he was going to be sued…….
I listened to the story of the accident. It was a serious one, where several people had gotten hurt badly and his son was driving the family car.
As you may have guessed, I revealed to him that coming to me about this matter was too late. There was no way to move his assets, i.e. House, cars, rental properties, savings, stock portfolio, etc. now. I advised him to come back to me after he had settled the inevitable lawsuit and we could put a plan together that would protect what he had left from anything that might happen in the future. That is what he has done. His auto insurance did pay the bulk of the damages that were established, but he did lose significant assets due to the resulting judgment that came down from the accident.
Had he come to me and got his properties safely deeded and titles changed to Holding Trusts. Had he come to me and had his savings and stock portfolio’s ownership changed to his primary trust. All the damaged parties would have received was the auto involved in the accident and the insurance covering the auto. Period!
Now is the time to do your Estate Planning! Picture me pounding on my desk to get your attention. DO IT NOW!