Friday, September 20, 2013

Disasters and Con Artists: 4 Ways to Protect Yourself

Disasters seem to bring out the best in us and also the worst in our society. Con artists love a good disaster and use our sensitivities and vulnerabilities against us. As this story from today's Denver Post shows, the recent Colorado floods are no exception.

Colorado floods: Beware of shady outfits when demand for restoration surges - The Denver Post:
'via Blog this'

Here are four time proven ways to protect yourself, your family and your property:

1. Deal only with proven and reliable sources. Disasters bring out the door to door and telephone scams. Avoid doing any repairs and renovation with someone who comes to your door or cold calls you.

2. Always check credentials and referrals. If someone won't provide those to you, send them packing.

3. Get written estimates, and use written contracts. Failure to do so is hazardous to you, your family and your money.

4. When in doubt get out. Don't be intimidated or bullied. Many con artists prey on vulnerability and will try and bully you into signing up with them. Don't be bullied and dial 911 if you are fearful and nervous in any situation. Report these people so the authorities can deal with them.

There you have them, four proven ways to protect yourself. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment here or sending me an email. Thank you.

Bernie Greenberg

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What's New In Estate Planning

What's New in Estate Planning? What was Old is New Again!

Many people mistakenly believe that estate planning is only for rich folk. Others mistakenly believe that it is all about saving death taxes. While these areas can be part of an estate plan, neither is what estate planning is about.

What estate planning is about is protecting yourself and loved ones. I coined this phrase years ago: estate planning is not about how much you have but about how much you care about those you care about and for.

This is what is new again in estate planning. With the federal estate tax exemption making most estates non-taxable, estate planners are returning to their roots and focusing on what really matters with the estate plan--your family. As you read through the other articles here, you will find this theme repeated over and over.

If you care about yourself and family, you will do a plan and make arrangements to protect yourself and family. Every person's plan is different and every plan contains certain components. And making what was the first focus of estate planning new again is very exciting to  me. As an estate planning attorney, it is refreshing to see this return to the core values of estate planning.

What do you think? Please join our conversation and leave a comment here or send me an email. Thank you for your interest.

Bernie Greenberg