Asset Protection: Most People Turn To Professionals For Everything Except this Important Area
Why should you consider turning to professionals for asset protection?
It’s not unusual to turn to professionals…
We go to doctors when we don’t feel well. We go to teachers when we want to learn something. If we want to play sports, we have coaches. Even at the very highest level of sports, athletes often have a team of coaches. We take our cars to people who know how to fix them. We hire general contractors to build our homes or renovate them. But, when it comes to personal finances and asset protection, the majority of people do not turn to professionals for help making their money grow or for protecting it. For some reason the majority of people think they can do that themselves. I find this to be very confounding.
Just as an example. I had a new client come to me who had to pay $1 million in estate taxes. She was trying to avoid paying that tax, but because she didn’t have a professional handling her financial concerns, by the time she came to me it was too late. Like most people, she had a will that was created in 1980. She never revisited it or changed it. Subsequently, her husband died. Her child became disabled. All of her siblings and named executors on the will had also passed away. In the ensuing years, her estate, which was initially valued at $25,000 had one little known stock that grew to over $12 million. That’s why she had a $1 million tax bill.
When it comes to asset protection, don’t get caught unaware.
People think they can just do their own planning, draft their own documents, or use someone who is not a specialist. Many people assume a simple will or a basic estate plan will last through marriages, divorces, the birth of new children and grandchildren, unexpected disabilities, moving, starting or selling a business, ad infinitum…And that is simply not true.
My suggestion is to always use a specialist for the goal at hand. You wouldn’t go to a GP for heart surgery. Also, it’s important to prioritize value over cost. The fact is that when you get the right result you save so much more. And lastly, I encourage people to review and update as life changes, the same way you do as you age and your health changes and as your car gets older.