REAL ESTATE

Building Generational Wealth? Don’t Lose It with This ONE Critical Mistake


You’re working hard to build wealth, but without estate planning, your assets could easily land in the wrong hands, causing your family a great deal of trouble. No one likes thinking about their death, but you NEED to tackle this issue head-on if you hope to preserve your legacy!

Welcome back to the BiggerPockets Money podcast! Today, we’re tackling two of the most taboo topics—death and money—with estate and elder attorney Jenny Rozelle. If you’re nearly ready to retire, you MUST develop an estate plan. Otherwise, intestate succession laws will determine your fortune’s fate. Even if you’re young and have little to your name, there are basic steps you can take today to ensure that your current and future assets don’t go to the wrong person.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to find the BEST estate planning attorney and prepare for your first meeting. Jenny also shares the truth behind probate and why it isn’t nearly as painful as it sounds!

Stick around for part two, where we rapid-fire estate planning questions at Jenny as she shares information even we didn’t know about!

Mindy:
You’ve worked hard or are working hard towards building your retirement and generational wealth, so how will your financial legacy carry on after you’re gone? Do you have a plan? Who will carry it out? Hello, hello, hello and welcome to the BiggerPockets Money podcast. My name is Mindy Jensen, and with me as always is my four informational and educational purposes only. Co-host Scott Judge.

Scott:
Hey Mindy, great to be here and forward to seeing you get into a state of flow, talking about your favorite subject today. As always, BiggerPockets has a goal to make 1 million millionaires and that starts right here with us and a strong financial foundation because we truly believe financial freedom is attainable for everyone, no matter when or where you’re starting or where you plan to finish. Today we have an estate and elder attorney, Jenny Rosell, who has a decade of working in this type of law here to share with some levity how important estate planning can be for your financial legacy.

Mindy:
Jenny Rosell, welcome to the BiggerPockets Money podcast. I am so excited to talk to you today.

Jenny:
I Know I’m excited to have people that actually have the same energy as I do, so it’s very refreshing to be on the same screen with you guys.

Mindy:
This is going to be awesome, even though we’re talking about end of life and plans for what happens with your money afterwards, this is something that I think everybody needs to be thinking of, even though nobody wants to think of it. So yay. This is going to be a great show though, I promise you should really, really, really, really, really listen to this because we’re going to teach you a lot, Jenny. We’ve had guests of our show tell stories about the consequences of not having a will or an estate plan. Can you share a cautionary tale that’s ingrained in your memory so that we can paint a picture for our listeners of why having a plan in place is so important?

Jenny:
My goodness, I have so many, so I’m going to kick a question back and say, do you guys want one that is not like that doesn’t happen hardly ever. Or do you want a more like, okay, this is more of a real life one that happens all the time.

Scott:
We’re going to have to do both.

Mindy:
Yeah, I was going to say I want both.

Scott:
Yeah, let’s go. Yeah.

Jenny:
What happens when someone passes away if you do not have an estate plan? There’s these really funky rules and laws that apply that are called intestacy rules, which sounds like something from anatomy class, but intestacy rules are part of all of our state laws, so it’s just a fancy word for when people die without a will, and what I always tell people is intestacy laws are really non-intuitive, and so the amount of cases I’ve seen where someone has passed away, and here in Indiana, if someone passes away without a will and you’re married and have kids, half of the estate goes to your spouse and half goes to your kids. Things change when you are a subsequent spouse, so this is your second or third or fourth spouse, so that really surprises a lot of people. You think that just everything would go to your spouse, but it doesn’t. It would go 50% if it’s your first spouse, 50% to your spouse, 50% to your kids, which surprises a lot of people.

Scott:
We talk about pren and postnup on BP money. I think it was Aaron Lowery who said, you have a prenup or a postnup. It’s the laws of the state that govern what happens to assets in the event of divorce, for example. And it sounds like the same thing applies here. You have an estate plan, it’s the law this, it’s these intestacy laws that of your state that are going to govern what happens to it. That’s your estate plan. If you don’t go through this exercise, and if you don’t know what those are, you don’t know what your estate plan is.

Jenny:
Yeah, so it’s either do you want to be in the driver’s seat or the passenger seat decision’s yours?

Mindy:
That’s a great way. I found this out in Colorado. A friend’s husband passed away unexpectedly with no will and in Colorado it is the first 300,000 of the estate goes to the spouse and the remainder of the estate is 75%, the spouse, 25%, the decedent’s parents, if there are no children,

Jenny:
There’s some funkiness there, and that’s like the takeaway there is everyone would think it would just, oh, go to your spouse. That’s usually not the case without a

Mindy:
Will and every state’s different. We are only the United States for some things and we are not the United States when it comes to intestacy. Okay. Jenny, you alluded to a juicy story.

Jenny:
The juicy one. I have worked on a case where there was a couple and dad had, I don’t want to say the number of kids, so it’s not identifying, but a few different few kids. One of the kids was a bit of a troublemaker. That child ended up murdering his parents, both of them. Had there been an estate played in place, they could have disinherited him or put some provisions around maybe even how he inherits. There’s also some weird laws called slayer statutes where they also prevent someone from murdering and inheriting as well. But I use that as kind of a juicy example more from a place of, clearly there’s a strange relationship there between parents and this child and there are so many different types of planning mechanisms in my world to support even those strained relationships, whether we disinherit someone or even if we just provide maybe a staggered distribution to them, people think my estate world is boring, but my goodness, I have seen and worked on a lot.

Scott:
Wow, that is not what I was expecting from juicy. That’s terrible. Well, let’s get into who and when you should begin worrying about estate planning. When I’m zooming back, I’m 23 years old, have no, and I’m just getting started in life. Do I still need to be thinking about estate planning then What’s your take on that?

Jenny:
Yeah, I think that of course there’s different levels and types of estate plans and I think that that’s kind of the confusing part of my world is people say estate planning so freely and loosely, I would consider it very important for an 18-year-old to 18 plus when people are considered an adult, they should absolutely have very basic documents like healthcare, power of attorney, healthcare directives, and a financial power of attorney. I have done so many of those very basic documents for, I’m going to call ’em kids because they’re kids at that age still for kids that are going to study abroad or going to college and maybe they want mom or dad to be able to make healthcare decision decisions for them if something happens to them. Say for example, a lot of people don’t think about estate planning that young, technically that’s estate planning, but by far like what you just said, Scott, I think a big trigger usually comes when we’ve got minor kids and then definitely another big trigger at retiring and as we age as well, and of course those planning just become more complex and as we age, of course, but yeah, it’s kind of for anyone above the age of 18, a lot of people don’t realize that, but they’ll sure realize it if something happens.
They don’t have people in a position to make decisions for them if something happens.

Scott:
Alright, I want to get more into this estate planning process and what it’s like for early retirees specifically and hear more about the process of doing this, but first we need to hear a quick word from our show sponsors who make the show possible. Alright, welcome back. We are here with Jenny Elder law and estate planning attorney. Let’s dig in to the process of estate planning. Jenny, how does one start and let’s specifically talk about somebody who’s an early retiree or on the cusp of early retirement, hasn’t thought about this before. What do we do? What are the very first steps to begin going down this rabbit hole?

Jenny:
So if I start from the very, very first step, you have to find someone, right? You have to find an estate attorney, kind of a, I’m going to call it an annoying thing about the legal profession is that we are only allowed to help people within whatever states that we’re licensed in. So if you have a best friend Sally that is an attorney that practices in say the state of New York, but you live in the state of California, best friend Sally is not going to be able to help you. So step one is to find someone that is licensed in your state. A big bugaboo of mine is that law school just kind of cranks out these attorneys without requiring any kind of specialty. When you go to investigate someone to work with, you should find someone that this is what they do day in and day out.
If you go to website or their bio and you see that they dabble in a little this little, that little this little that they may not be the best resource to help you because that’s not the world that they live in every single day. So I think the first step is trying to find someone that is qualified to help you but also that you like estate planning is usually a relationship, it’s not usually a transaction, so it’s really important to find someone that you enjoy working with and then really from there, I mean attorneys really vary from a process standpoint. There’s always a going to be kind of an introductory blind date. Who are you? Who am I? What are you trying to accomplish sort of thing. From there, it’s gathering the data and the facts to incorporate into these documents and ultimately get them signed. I don’t know if that’s what you were looking for, Scott, but that’s kind of where my head went when you asked that.

Scott:
Why don’t I reframe the question a little bit because I think that that’s helpful, but it’s too far down the pipeline. I guess. What am I looking to accomplish with an estate? You mentioned power of attorney over various things, so I’m not thinking just about what happens to my assets when I die. I’m thinking about other things there. So can you maybe give us a checklist of things that are good outcomes of an estate plan, what decisions are made

Jenny:
For sure. So a good estate plan is going to help someone in the event something happens while they’re alive and they may not be able to make their own healthcare decisions or make their own financial decisions. And then in addition to that, after we pass away, so a really robust estate plan is going to address not only after we pass away, which is a lot of what people think, that they’re just going to get their will in place in case something happens to ’em. Where estate planning is really about, well, what if something happens while you’re alive, you’re still living, but maybe not in a position to manage your own affairs, make your own decisions. And so these document healthcare, power of attorney, financial power of attorney, those are documents that really govern while we’re living and support us in the event something happens and we’re still living, but we need someone to step in and help

Scott:
Us. I think that folks are interested in those, but probably listeners are watching with the intent of understanding how to disperse their assets. At least for me, things that come to mind. There are one, yes, making sure that they go to the right places, but I think also let’s say that I’m fortunate enough to have several children over the few years making sure that, oh, my passing does not create a huge conflict among future adult children. I don’t know if that’s what other people are thinking, but that that’s top of mind for me is making that clear. And so I’m wondering how does one do that good and what decisions should we make? And I think also in the context of that question, I think a lot of people perhaps like me are thinking I don’t plan to pass away anytime soon, so I may have a large estate in 50 years.
If things go well because I am arrogant and talk about money all the time, I think I’ll probably accumulate a lot of it over my lifetime. So do I pass that all this large potential theoretical future pile of money to my children or do I say, no, I’m going to give you enough to do anything, but what was it? Warren Buffett says, I’m going to give each of my children enough to do anything they want but not enough for them to do nothing. What are some general frameworks of advice that you would help give people to guide this discussion and then the process to spit out that outcome? Yeah,

Jenny:
I think that the most fun part of my job is every single person that sits in front of me comes with different family dynamics, family setups, different types of assets, different types of goals, but if I really take all of them and bring ’em up to a 50,000 foot overview, hands down, every single client, every single person wants to make it easy on their family. The difficult thing from my seat is people define easy for their family in different ways. And what I mean by that is I have sometimes clients will come to me and say, Jenny, I want to make sure I avoid the probate court process after I pass away. What I find, a lot of people say that and they don’t even understand what the process is, but their uncle Bob told them that that probate court was the worst thing, the worst nightmare come true.
And so I consider it my responsibility to really kind of peel back that onion of what’s prompting the client, the person to say that, and from there really guide them into what the options are to satisfy those goals that they’re kind of spitting out to me because sometimes people will say, I just want to make it easy on my family and they follow up with that. Maybe I can accomplish with a very simple basic plan that does not involve any kind of trust planning that maybe we’re just using a very basic last will and testament and maybe some beneficiary designations. Sometimes people will say, Jenny, I want to make it really easy on my family and I want to avoid the probate court process because I want to alleviate the fees that that’s going to occur on my family. That may be looking at trust planning. So it’s a hard question for me because that’s usually what people are saying that they want to make it easy, but people mean different things when they say that. And so from there it’s just a matter of what options on the table make sense for them depending on their age, depending on their assets, and depending on how much of the elephant they want to eat all at one time.

Mindy:
So could you clarify what probate court is for us? Because I kind of know and I kind of don’t

Jenny:
Know. Yeah, it cracks me up when people bulldoze their way into my conference room and they’re like, I want to avoid probate. And I’m like, tell me what you think probate is and they don’t know. The probate court process happens when someone passes away and if their assets are being governed by their last one and testament or their assets are being governed by those funky intestacy rules that we were talking about earlier, then probate court process has to happen. If those assets exceed a very certain amount, every state has a different amount, so I don’t want to say a certain amount and someone misconstrue, but every state has a different threshold If the person exceeds that threshold when they die, we have to go through the probate court process to get the assets from the deceased person to their beneficiaries. I always tell people probate is not that scary.
People will, a lot of professionals will try to make it seem like it’s the worst thing ever. It’s just more annoying than anything. There’s three non-negotiables about probate that I always tell people that if you don’t care about these three things, then probate’s not going to be a big deal. But if any of them are concerns or keeping you up at night, then maybe we need to talk about how we avoid probate. So the three non-negotiables, just to kind of quickly spout them off, one is it takes time, it varies by state, but I can tell you that you’re going to be hard pressed to get through a probate process in less than a year in Indiana. I know some states are much longer. I know some states are shorter, but nonetheless there’s always going to be a delay on getting assets from the deceased person to the beneficiaries if we’re going through that probate process.
So that first one is delay or time. The second one is that it’s public record. So if you have someone that may be very private in nature that doesn’t want their nosy neighbor, Nancy to see what’s going through the probate process, then maybe we need to look at how we avoid the probate court process. The third one is, and by far is what warrants the most concern are the legal fees. I promise I won’t go on this soapbox, but long story short, with probate you have to have an attorney to go through that process and it’s kind of like textbook monopoly. My only competition are other estate attorneys, and so a lot of times lawyers can kind of get away with charging a pretty penny to go through that probate process. So those are the three non-negotiables, time, public record and cost. If none of those are causing you to lose any sleep at night, then it is what it is and we can go through probate and it won’t be scary, it’ll just be kind of annoying for them to go through. But otherwise, if any of them you have concerns around, then we need to look how to perhaps avoid that.

Scott:
I think that’s really good to hear those concepts about avoiding probate. I’m still kind of stuck on what does good look like in the context of making it easy for my family here, and I am the kind of person, maybe some people listening are too who’s like, I don’t want to just show up at a state attorney’s office and say, let’s begin. Let’s start from the beginning. You tell me drive. I want to drive the conversation or at least have a hypothesis coming in that then I can bounce off that person and get feedback on. And so to me, for example, good includes things like, okay, I have decisions made around all of this, a lengthy checklist of what’s going to happen if I become disabled or not capable of making decisions. What is going to happen in the event if I pass away? What’s the funeral arrangements going to look like? I don’t want other people having to worry about figuring that out when I pass. So checking off a long list of those things. Then it’s about what happens with assets and where do they go? Do they go directly where I want? How does that compare with the law and people’s expectations that are around me? What are decisions that I should come in with a good framework around prior to meeting with my estate attorney?

Jenny:
I think first you need to identify people around you that you are perhaps going to put in some estate planning roles. So doing your due diligence of before you walk into that attorney’s office, look at kind of the people around you that are close and who you would trust to make healthcare decisions for you if you weren’t unable to make them for yourself or who you would trust to pay your bills and make financial decisions if you were unable to do so. So I think one thing that listeners can take away is to really look at the people around you and look at them very honestly. One thing that it makes me squirm when clients will say, oh, I’m going to put Susie in that role because she’s the oldest and in reality, Susie may be not great with money or whatever, she’s maybe not a great fit for that role, but because she’s the oldest, people will think that they need to put ’em in these roles.
And so I think just making sure you look at the people around you to see who you feel comfortable putting in some of these roles because the thing you have to understand is none of these are kicking in really until something’s happened, whether that something has happened and you are living but unable to take care of your affairs or after you’ve passed away. So it’s a high amount of trust and confidence that you’re putting in this person. So once you look at the who, a second thing that I think you could go into the conversation with or considering is whether or not you want to do any kind of customized distribution. So as you were talking earlier, Scott, you have some kids, I work with a lot of families that want to put provisions in place for kids to inherit at various ages. So I think what I always tell people, the nice thing about an estate plan is it’s kind of a blank canvas and whatever they want, whatever they being the client being the person that’s doing this estate plan wants to have happen. Someone like me can make happen. There’s very, very, very few things that we cannot do because case law tells us we can’t do them, but otherwise 99% of things I can make happen. So I think it’s really just an analysis of who around you, you feel comfortable in these roles as well as like, okay, when I pass away, who do I want to inherit and how do I want them in here? And really from there, I mean that’s what I look at it from a conversational standpoint.

Mindy:
If I am hearing you correctly, I need to contact an estate attorney licensed in my specific state that I live in now to craft help me craft my estate plan, which is not just a will. It is a series of documents that will help direct my end of life treatment, my end of life if I’m not able to make decisions or if I am suddenly passed away, it will dictate where my assets go. Do I just need an attorney? Do I need an attorney working in tandem with a CPA or a tax professional or is this something that an attorney can do all by themselves?

Jenny:
An attorney can do ’em all by themselves though if someone has a CPA or a financial advisor. The three of us are very used to collaborating for someone’s estate plan and in fact, I am a firm believer that the three of us need to stay in our own lanes. And so I think it’s really important that we stay in our own lanes from a place of our lane is what we know best. And so if I have, say the CPA is saying, oh, Jenny, the client wants to do that, but the tax strategy around that, maybe less than desirable, but then the financial advisor may pop up and say, okay, I hear you CPA and I hear you Jenny, and what I can do on my side of the table is I can minimize those taxes to accomplish both of what you’re saying. So it’s very much a collaborative effort, but I said that at the beginning too of an attorney can do it by themselves too because a lot of people don’t have an advisor in their life. A lot of people don’t have an accountant in their life. I think there’s definitely benefits of having a team of professionals around you, but I would be, I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize the people that don’t have those professionals and if that’s the case then someone like me is very used to just being all of those people for the client,

Mindy:
And I think that’s fair. I think some of our listeners, a lot of our listeners me consider cost as a big factor when they’re going into this estate plan, and I don’t know that that’s really the right thing to be concerned about at this time. Although if it should cost me a thousand and somebody wants to charge me 50,000, then I’m going to be a little bit concerned.

Jenny:
Yeah,

Mindy:
Yeah. Okay. What documents do we need and more challenges we may face is what we’ll get into next after this quick word from our sponsors. Welcome back. We covered the process and some of the considerations and who you need. We’re financially savvy, but there are things that we don’t know about protecting our financial legacy. Are there any tools you would recommend or some sort of filing system to be used so that we can get organized as we’re going through the process and even before we reach out to the attorney?

Jenny:
Oh my goodness, yeah. The more organized you can be and heading into that conversation or letting the estate attorney conversation be an inspiration for getting organized, I can kind of stumble my way through. I don’t enjoy it, but I can stumble my way through and get an estate plan put in place when someone is still very disorganized. I’m very used to having people come in with, I always call ’em their Mary Poppins purse or the big box of, it’s like a banker’s box full of stuff, but I will say it will make my job and life significantly easier and able to focus on way more important things if someone is nice and organized. And what I specifically need is not only up to date names and contact information for everyone, I say that because the amount of people that get date of births wrong for their own kids is kind of hysterical, but as well as assets where those assets are, I’m not talking about just I have bank accounts at Chase.
Okay, tell me what kind of bank accounts they are. Are they checking? Are they money market? Is it a cd? Who’s on the assets? Is it just one of you? Is it jointly held as well as debts? And so I will take as much information as someone is willing to give me because that’s, like I said, going to make my job significantly easier, which that sounds self-serving and I don’t mean for it to, but what that allows me to do is really get to what I really should be doing and talking with a client and helping them get this plan put together, not rummaging through a banker’s box or the Mary Poppins purse looking for things that honestly, sometimes people when they’re that disorganized, they lose track of things. And when you lose track of things, and when I say things I mean assets, the amount of assets that I have after someone has passed away that we flat didn’t know about, it’s often life insurance for whatever reason, and those will surface when we pass away and we have to kind of deal with them at that point. And sometimes dealing with them is not ideal because sometimes we’re working with outdated beneficiary designations and things like that, so the more organized that you can get, it will just the bleed over of that will be really, really good things.

Scott:
I feel like there’s two kind of important considerations left to cover in estate planning, at least as I see it. Maybe you have plenty more here. One is the price of this exercise, and I just don’t think it makes sense for 23-year-old Scott to spend $2,500 on an estate plan, and I don’t think it makes sense for someone worth millions of dollars not to spend a few thousand dollars on a great estate plan. Can you give us a framework for how much to spend on this at different stages in life and how to go about it?

Jenny:
What I will say generally to specifically answer your question is that a very basic estate plan, which I consider to be the following documents, healthcare documents, so healthcare power of attorney at advanced directives, a financial power of attorney, and a last one testament that’s always going to be more affordable and cheaper than when you start talking about trust planning. Now, trust planning comes into play when you start wanting to talk about customizing distributions to beneficiaries or doing any kind of advanced tax planning or asset protection planning. That’s always going to be trust planning. I shouldn’t say never. I don’t like to use the words always and never. I almost said you’re not going to find an attorney that’s going to do any kind of trust planning for in the three digits. I’m sure there’s some out there. I don’t know how they’re keeping their business afloat, but nonetheless, I’ll say it, you get what you pay for.
Yes, totally. So trust planning is definitely, it’s always going to be in the thousands of dollars. Of course, someone like me here in Indiana, I charge for, we have a flat fee schedule. We don’t do anything hourly. Usually in the revocable trust land, that’s going to be about three to 4,000. You start talking about asset protection, trust planning, tax planning, that’s usually in the five, six, 7,000. And so usually you can find the more basic plans that I referenced before I started talking about trusts. Those aren’t usually, at least in Indiana, granted I have Midwest cost of living. I mean less than 2000 bucks I would say in California or New York. Those states that have higher cost of living, those numbers that I just threw out there are going to be hard pressed to find. But do know that the more basic planning is always going to be cheaper than when you start talking about trust planning for sure.

Mindy:
Who needs a trust and who doesn’t need a trust or need to start thinking about a trust.

Jenny:
Yeah, I am a firm believer in that not every single person needs a trust. I will never forget when I was in law school, one of my trust and estates professors used to always say Every basic estate plan consists of a trust because consists of a trust singular. And I always think back to that like I just really disagree with that. Us talking about what Scott and I were just talking someone 23 that was just trying to survive and buy diapers and not file bankruptcy, I am not going to convince them to do a trust. I think if someone made me say who needs a trust, I think it really is more fact dependent. And so it’s not even asset dependent when people, a lot of people are like, how much money do I need to have before I start looking at trust planning? I’ve done trust planning for someone that has $40,000.
The fact of that case was that she really wanted to protect her $40,000 from the nursing home to be able to leave to her kids. That is going to involve a trust and it was that important to her to protect her assets that she was willing to do a trust even though she had very modest assets. I’m not a believer that it’s asset dependent, it’s more fact dependent. So some flags that I look for are anyone that wants to do anything customized from a distribution standpoint. So you think minor kids, if they want to make staggered distributions based on age or you think of beneficiaries that may be special needs or may have some personal issues going on, think addictions, or maybe we secretly don’t love our in-laws and we want to protect it against a divorce, or maybe we have a beneficiary that is a spin thrift and cannot hold a dollar to save their life.
Any of those are usually going to warrant some very custom distribution language and that’s going to be best served through a trust. Beyond that, a couple other facts that I look for is people that have properties in multiple states that is going to usually warrant a trust most days of the week. Business owners usually are going to be best served by utilizing a trust. Those are probably good examples of what I mean by that. It’s fact dependent and those are the kind of little things I am listening for while we’re talking, the client and I talking to identify if any of those things exist and whether or not we want to be looking at any more additional planning. So I wish I could give a crystal clear it is when you cross over x, y, z net worth, it doesn’t really exist though. I

Scott:
Heard when you’re over $40,000 and want to direct where your money goes more clearly. That’s what I heard you say, Jenny.

Jenny:
That was a pretty extreme example. I was actually kind of trying to talk her out of it. I was like, man, I don’t feel really great about doing that. I think I gave her a heck of a deal too. She was so concerned about the nursing home taking her $40,000 that she worked her tail off for and at the end of the day, what did I say earlier, estate planning, it puts you in the driver’s seat and that’s what it allowed her to do. I’m

Mindy:
Reading between the lines, but it sounds like you’re saying I need to get an estate attorney to help me with my estate plan.

Jenny:
So I want to say yes to you, Mindy, but at the same time, at the end of the day, I just want more people to have these documents in place. Whether you use an attorney or not, there’s risks of not utilizing an attorney, but I just want more people to have these estate plans in place. I think the latest statistic I heard was like 50 or 60% of people die without an estate plan. That’s ridiculous. That’s silly. And that’s way too many people. So if online platforms can help bring that number down in a way that does so in an okay way, then I’ll be a fan of

Scott:
It. I have one last question here before we wrap up timelines. You told us that it varies by state If you haven’t figured all your stuff out and you decide to go with your state sponsor to state plan, but if you’ve done this correctly, set up a trust or working with someone like yourself, how long does it usually take to get a state sorted out in the event of one’s passing?

Jenny:
It will go as fast or as slow as the executor or trustees going to work. I have worked on cases where the executor trustee deserves a little smiley face sticker because they are Johnny on the spot of everything I need everything I ask and those things are very quick through a will. If we’re going through probate, of course we’re dealing with whatever the routine average probate cases, but I’ve settled a trust literally in my conference room in a single meeting where we can just through online bank accounts and it was incredible. Conversely, if you think of a client that may have a lot going on, maybe there’s beneficiaries in a lot of different states, we may have some unique assets or maybe we’re just kind of going through a good old normal administration process that is going to go as fast or as slow as that executor trustee is going to work. So if you imagine someone that’s going to drag their feet, that’s going to take longer than someone that’s Johnny on the spot.

Mindy:
Okay, well that’s fair. I think that it is unrealistic to expect this one meeting and done unless you use Jenny and have all the same circumstances that everybody else had. But that’s valid. It’s going to take a little bit of time, so don’t go to the reading of the will thinking, okay, where’s my big fat pile of cash?

Jenny:
Yeah. Do you guys want to hear something? This will be a great way to end

Mindy:
It. I always want to hear stories.

Jenny:
Yeah, the reading of the will is not a thing. It happens in movies and books. It doesn’t happen in real life.

Mindy:
Oh man. I

Jenny:
Know. I know.

Mindy:
I guess my John Grisham law degree isn’t worth as much as your actual law degree.

Jenny:
Granted, I’ve had where families have asked me to read the will, but it is it definitely not standard procedure to do a So-called Reading of the Will. It does not exist in the real world.

Mindy:
Thank you Jenny, so much for your time today. This was so much fun. And we will link Jenny’s information in our show notes. We invite you to post your follow-up questions in the BiggerPockets forums, which can be found at biggerpockets.com/forums. Don’t forget to tag Scott or me or both of us and we will jump right in and give you the best John Grisham esque answer we can find

Scott:
For entertainment and informational purposes only. Thank you, Jenny.

Jenny:
Thank you guys so much. It was a blast.

Mindy:
Alright Scott, that was Jenny Rosell and I learned so much from her. I knew I would, I mean, I’m not really an attorney even though I’ve got that John Grisham degree. I learned that there’s a lot of gray areas in estate planning and that DIY is probably not going to serve me best. I really liked that she shared healthcare, power of attorney, financial power of attorney trust planning. I think this is something that my estate plan needs and I’m now going to go back and revisit my estate plan. How about you? What’d you learn from the show?

Scott:
I think it was a great deep dive and I learned so much about the ins and outs of this process here it is a look. We said at the beginning you have an estate plan, it’s the laws of the state where you pass away, right? So it’s either that or when you build custom and there’s no right answer is what I learned to all of this. The right answer is to have a plan and make a decision about many different things and conditional scenarios that might happen between now and your passing about how you want your state to be distributed. But it’s just a process you have to go through and think through and no substitute for a professional to walk you through all that.

Mindy:
Yeah, absolutely. Alright, Scott, should we get out of here?

Scott:
Let’s do

Mindy:
It. That wraps up this episode of the BiggerPockets Money podcast. He is Scott Tr and I am Mindy Jensen saying, show me out. Rainbow Trout. BiggerPockets money was created by Mindy Jensen and Scott Treach, produced by Hija s, edited by Exodus Media Copywriting by Nate Weintraub. And lastly, a big thank you to the BiggerPockets team for making this show possible.

 

 

 

 

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.



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