Thursday, January 30, 2014

Common Sense: What a Concept!

Do you use common sense before acting on what you read on the internet?

Wouldn't it be great if we could all use some common sense before acting? Of course it would and yet our lives are full of numerous examples of where this concept did not hold true. Among the many examples of this is how often people act without thinking from something they read on the internet or receive via email.

Have you ever clicked on a link you shouldn't?

Have you ever read something and acted on it without considering that it may have come from an internut?

That's right, I didn't misspell, I said, "internut". That is the common nickname for the con artists that have infected the internet, they are referred to internuts. I like to just call them con artists and hope that you will too.

My message today is about exercising some common sense before you act on things you encounter or read on the internet. Just because you read it there is reason for pause. I advise ALL clients not to act on internet advice before checking out with their actual advisors. I can tell you that the clients who followed this advice saved themselves a ton of money.

What does it take to exercise common sense about the internet? Try these simple steps:

1. Stop before clicking and acting.

2. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

3. Never, ever trust an internet source as your only source. Verify, check out and take it to your CPA, lawyer or other advisor before acting. Ask a trusted friend or family  member before jumping into that offer.

Three easy and simple steps and added up they equal common sense.

Let me know your thoughts and please join our conversation. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

Bernie Greenberg

Monday, January 27, 2014

The 6 biggest estate planning mistakes NFL players make | LifeHealthPro

Did you know that professional athletes have to do their estate plans, just like you do? Here is a list of the mistakes NFL players make and the list sounds familiar doesn't it?

The Super Bowl is this coming Sunday and my favorite team is playing. You can guess who that team is since I live in Colorado.

And wouldn't you know, an estate planning attorney can weave estate planning into a discussion of the Super Bowl.

Here is an excellent article that discusses how professional athletes must pay attention to estate planning to make their very short careers of value in their lives.

The 6 biggest estate planning mistakes NFL players make | LifeHealthPro:

'via Blog this'

Let me know your thoughts by joining our estate planning conversation. Also, let me know if you can correctly guess my favorite team.

Bernie Greenberg

Monday, January 6, 2014

Discussing Estate Planning With Aging Parents: 3 Ways to Make the Conversation Go Easier

There comes a time in your life when your roles as children will reverse. In this article on the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys Blog, this reversal of roles is discussed as relates estate planning.

Have you had this talk with your parents yet? Have you noticed a changing of the roles with your aging parents? For all of us this time will come and since estate planning and conversations about estate planning always are an act of love, having this conversation with your parents is am important transition in life.

Role Reversal: Discussing Estate Planning With Aging Parents | American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys - Blog:

'via Blog this'

Here are some tips to make this conversation go easier:

1. Remember that talking with your parents about estate planning is an act of love and not an attempt to gain favor or money.

2. Parents are less likely to enjoy this role reversal than you may be. Be sensitive to this and remember that your parents deserve their autonomy as long as it is safe for them.

3. Estate planning is a process that requires deliberate thought and expert guidance. You and your parents will fare better with the guidance of an estate planning specialist.

Let me know your thoughts and please join our conversation on this and other estate planning topics. Thank you for your interest.

Bernie Greenberg

Friday, January 3, 2014

Things to Know Before Starting Your Estate Plan

What You Need to Know Before Starting Your Estate Plan: 3 Facts That Will Protect Your Family

As you start this new year, you may be thinking of finally finishing the traditional resolution of completing your Will or estate plan. That's great and there are several things you will want to know and understand before starting. In this article we explore what those are and how not knowing them is hazardous to yourself and family.

As a Colorado estate planning attorney, I have seen examples of how ignoring these simple rules can prevent a Will or estate plan from working.There is no value to a Will or estate plan that fails or fails to accomplish your goals. Since your objectives drive the estate planning process, that leads us to the first rule:

1. Your Will and Estate Plan Require Thought and Consideration.

To be more accurate, we should pair those two words and say that your estate plan requires thoughtful consideration. Such deliberation is required from you and from your estate planner. Why is this so? Consideration is necessary because everyone's situation and family are unique. There is no one who is you or even like you. Our family structures vary, have different issues and with today's more and more common blending of families, this couldn't be more true.

Your individuality and your unique family means that your estate plan and your Will will not look like anyone else's. You need to think through ALL of the factors and issues that lead to what you are trying to accomplish with your family yourself. Let's list some examples to illustrate this point:

     1. Do you have particular people you want as your decision makers if you are incapacitated or upon death? This makes you unique.

     2. If you have kids, do you care who will raise them if you are not here to do so? If so, this makes your situation special and those desires need to be considered.

     3. Do you want to protect your spouse from creditors and predators when you die?

     4. Do you want your spouse to leave your assets to a new spouse or relationship upon your death?

These are only four of hundreds of factors and issues that a qualified estate planning specialist will review with you as you embark on the design of your estate plan. Without thoughtful consideration, there can be no thoughtful and useful estate plan. Ever.

The next rule to be aware of involves something known as commodization. A recent development is the treatment of your Will and estate plan as a commodity, something that you can just buy at a store or off the internet. That leads to rule number 2:

2. Wills and Estate Plans Are Not Commodities-As Products vs. Plans, They Always Fail.

As an estate planning specialist, I was trained and I believe that estate planning involves something critical and that critical element is in it's name, PLANNING. Wills are not like hamburgers or fruit that you just buy from some street vendor or shopping mall. Notice the picture below, this is what the internet looks like if you are using it to buy a form. That's right, the internet is just one big street bazaar.

Some would have you believe that you can just drive by, or surf on the internet purchase a Will or estate plan. You can't, these don't work and represent a boondoggle for estate lawyers like myself to straighten out. Your Will is not a piece of fruit and if you treat like one, it will be rotten before you need it and after you do need it, it's too late to fix.

So what is missing from these internet Wills and fill in the blank  form documents? The element that makes estate planning special, the planning element. It is the planning element that takes into account the first rule, that one above we discussed known as thoughtful consideration. If you treat your estate plan as a commodity, a piece of fruit, you are saying that your situation, your family, your spouse, your kids, your goals and objectives don't count. Simply stated, that is not estate planning.

On to our last rule, your plan and your property must be synchronized in order for the plan to work. So our last of the three rules is:

3. Property Must be Titled Correctly and Beneficiary Designations Must be Coordinated with the Estate Plan.

Several years ago there was a movie titled, Failure to Launch.  It was a romantic comedy about someone who just couldn't get their life in order to have a successful relationship. Well much the same is true about your estate plan. It won't matter how good your plan and documents are if the plan fails due to improper titling and beneficiary designations.

This is another example of the "planning" part of estate planning. A qualified estate planning specialist can guide you to ensure that all property is correctly titled and that any beneficiary designations are properly drafted. By doing so, you will know that the effort you put into your plan will be worth it.

What are your thoughts about these three rules? Please join our conversation and let me know of any questions you may have. Feel free to email me or call me at the contact information provided. Thank you fr your interest in protecting yourself and your family.

Bernie Greenberg

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What to Know About Obamacare in 2014

2014 Changes to Obamacare:

Now that 2014 is here, there are more changes in laws in the U.S. related to health care. Not knowing how these impact you can be hazardous to your financial health. Here is something from PBS that will help:

What to know as the health reform law takes effect | PBS NewsHour:

'via Blog this'

For more specific information, contact your insurance advisor immediately.