Hello and welcome to the Trust Attorney Las Vegas podcast where we talk about all the topics that revolve around having a, uh, having a lot of trust in others. I’m your host, Blake Johnson. Today we’ll be discussing a state planning, uh, what it is when you need to do it and how to find the right attorney to help you out. Now you’re probably wondering what qualifies me to discuss this topic. Well, uh, I am in fact in the state planning attorney, so that’s one thing. Um, I also have, uh, been in practice for five years is typically in a state planning. I grew up around state planning. My Dad is an estate planning attorney as well. So, uh, it’s been a part of my life ever since I can remember. I had to go into my dad’s office, help him out with, um, you know, cleaning up documents, uh, shredding papers and all that stuff.

So I’ve been seeing it, hearing about it for forever. Uh, I also, uh, and the author of you can’t take it with you, the top 15 estate planning questions answered in plain English. So, um, you can also find that book on Amazon by the way, a little self plug there. Now, what is estate planning? Ben Franklin, uh, you know, one of the fathers of our country said by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. So estate planning is planning for your future. It’s planning for uh, your eventual demise. It’s planning for, you know, kind of the worst case scenarios most of the time, but it’s also planning for, um, you know, however you want to spend your life, you know, the financial aspects of it, what you want to accomplish. All those things kind of come into play with the state planning. Now, uh, it’s got a couple of great statistics here for you.

They are scent of Americans have not done any estate planning, uh, meaning they have no documents, no will, no trust, no health care, power of attorney, anything like that. And that’s from a survey done by a RP. Uh, they also in that survey, arp discovered the 81% of 72 years and older have done a state planning. So it’s quite interesting. A variable, you know, 60% haven’t done any estate planning. So the majority of those who have done planning our 72 years or older. So why don’t any do the younger people not want to do a state planning? Also found some statistics from the American Bar Association. Uh, they said that 55% of people who die have no will or any estate plan. Um, you know, that’s pretty concerning. Um, because you know, there, it makes a lot of Trust Attorney Las Vegas trouble for your loved ones when you pass away and you haven’t done any planning.

Uh, but estate planning isn’t just death planning. So I’m a lot of people, uh, you know, think, oh, I need a will. I don’t want to think about it because then I’m, I mean, I’m getting close to dying and, um, you know, I just don’t want to think about that. And that’s the only part of an estate plan. Um, you know, no one likes to think about their own demise, but it is part of the process and something that you need to do. Um, another part of estate planning is asset protection. You know, how can you protect what you’ve worked? So hard to build a income tax planning, your investments, retirement accounts, et cetera. Uh, we also need to worry about who’s going to make healthcare decisions. If you’re undergoing surgery and something goes wrong. Um, what about longterm illness, longterm care, um, you know, you need and hope in home assistance, those kinds of things.

Um, you know, all these things. If it’s not just the attorney’s job to help you with these things, really it’s a, it’s a total team effort. So we like to work with your CPAS, with your financial advisors, um, you know, with your realtors, you know, all those people because we want to know and make sure that we’re all on the same page when we’re doing your estate plan. And it’s not just a onetime thing. It’s something that, uh, is an ongoing process, something that you need to revisit over and over again. Um, so let’s get back to, uh, to why people don’t do estate planning. A couple of myths that are out there. You know, estate planning is only for the Uber wealthy, you know, do you think Donald Trump, you think of, um, you know, Warren Buffet, they have a state plans because they have tons of money to worry about.

Well, it’s not exactly true. Um, you know, estate planning really can take effect once you, you, you own a home or you have kids that you want to plan for a, make sure that they’re taken care of if anything happens to you. Uh, the other myth I hear a lot of is a will is all I need. I have a will. I’m good. That’s, that’s it. Uh, like I mentioned before, you know, we want to worry about what healthcare decisions, um, you know, a power of attorney in case you can’t, um, you know, sign the checks. Um, we need to worry about, um, you know, maybe a trust if that’s the right situation for you. You know, making sure that, you know, we protect the assets. All of those things are part of an estate plan. So will’s not the only thing. And it will, all that does is it guarantees that you’re going to go through the court proceedings when you die or your assets will, I should say, uh, another myth I hear is, um, it’s for those who are close to death.

That’s why only those people send me two years and older have done their estate planning. Um, as I said before, it’s not, that is not the case. We want to help individuals and families, you know, throughout their whole lives. It’s an ongoing process. It’s a changing process. When you first, uh, have kids, you know, your focuses on different things, you might put restrictions on there cause you don’t know how your kids are going to turn out once they’re older than, you know, we do different type of planning. Maybe we want to start getting assets out of your name before you die. Maybe we want to worry about, you know, reducing your income tax. We want to, um, you know, look at, um, you know, how you can, can build your empire. All those things are, or an ongoing thing. So it is not just for those who are close to death.

The other, the last myth that I want to mention is I hear a lot of his estate planning. So expensive, let me put it to you this way. Um, you know, typical fee, I’m, I’m practice here in Los Vegas and typical fee for an estate plan, you’re looking anywhere from, you know, maybe 1500 up to 3,500, depending on the firm and um, you know, the lawyer and what’s all involved now. Um, and that, that’s the base price. You compare that with, uh, you know, going through probate court and that’s where if you died and you didn’t have anything in place where you just have a will, you have to go through probate court to get those assets to the right people. Minimum, you’re going to see a court costs and attorney’s fees of 5% of your total estate value. So let’s say you have a smallest state of 100,000 that includes the net worth of your house and what was in your bank account in your car when you died.

5,000 of that is going to go to attorney’s fees and court costs. And that’s on a smallest state. Um, you know, versus the, let’s say it was put on the higher end, a 3000 bill to the estate planning attorney. Um, you know, so you know, you do the math there. I think it’s pretty clear that, um, you know, planning ahead is actually better for you. Um, and so you want to, you want to look for, um, obviously, you know, we don’t want to go with the cheapest attorney, but you want to go someone who is reasonably priced and it really is gonna make sense for you to do an estate plan. So the next question, uh, I want to discuss is when do you need to do your estate planning? The late John F. Kennedy said, the time to patch the roof is when the sun is still shining.

So think about that. Basically, we need to act now while we, while we have the time, while we’re healthy, while we can actually make those decisions. Um, you know, it’s sad to see, but when I, you know, I get calls all the time of people who did not do any planning and all of a sudden mom in the hospital, um, and she’s unable to, to make any verbal communications. She can’t sign documents. She had a stroke so she can’t sign documents and now we don’t have a way, um, to help get those documents in place. And the kids say, Hey, what can we do? Well, there’s not a whole lot you can do unless we want to go to the court and try and get approval that way. And that’s such a long procedure. Usually mom dies before that’s taken care of. Um, so, you know, the earlier the better, but the two main kind of starting points I have are, um, you know, do you own a home?

If that’s the case, then yes, you definitely need to look into estate planning. And the other one is, do you have small kids? And if you have small kids, do you have significant life insurance that’s going to pay out, um, when you die? And because we don’t want those kids to get that money at 18, that’s the default rule. You know, you think about when you were a kid being 18 and if you had gotten $1 million and you know, what would that have done to you? Let’s say even you are, you know, we’ll give you credit. Your, you’re the most responsible 18 year old out there. Having $1 million is just, it’s going to add, um, you know, too much stress to that person because you know, they want to have fun. You know, it’s just in their nature, you know, 18 you just don’t know whole lot about the world.

So getting that much money is just not, not usually the best idea. And so, um, those are two main things that you want to think about with the state planning. Another thing is, you know, maybe you have some assets, um, and uh, you know, I started, I have a home, but you have some stocks. You have some, a business that you own and you’re single and you want to protect those assets in case you ever get married and divorced. Um, you know, estate planning can act as a, you know, a prenup is part of estate planning. But let’s say you don’t, you can’t get them to sign a prenup. Well, doing a separate property trust would act as a prenup without the other person’s signature. So that’s been one of those options as well. So, um, you know, it’s follow the late president of our great nation and you know, patch the roof while the sun is still shining.

Now the last topic is how do I find a good estate planning attorney? Now, um, I love lawyer jokes. So we’re going to insert a couple here. So what is the difference between a good lawyer and a bad lawyer? The answer a bad lawyer makes your case dragged on for years. A good lawyer makes it last even longer. Uh, so true. You know, there’s many attorneys in general are very good people in and do the honest thing, but you know, there’s always those few bad apples out there. So hopefully you got a laugh out of that. Uh, another attorney joke, our lawyer joke, where can you find a good lawyer in this cemetery? So hopefully that brought you, uh, some laughter there. Uh, but seriously, to find a good attorney, it really needs to be in a state planning attorney. So somebody who specializes, uh, I guess I shouldn’t use the word specialize cause that, um, you know, you can get in trouble for saying that unless you have a specific designation from the state and taking a test and that kind of thing.

But somebody whose primary focus and practices in a state planning, you know, that’s, that’s the main thing they do. They might do one or two other areas of law, but they’re not a general practitioner or they’re not a family law attorney who’s your friend and happens to say, hey look, I can do, um, your, your will and trust as well and do your estate plan. But they are, they’re not up to date with the current findings there. That can lead to a lot of issues just because there’s, there’s a lot of intricacies there. You know, it’s just the same thing as like your doctor. Um, you know, you have your general doctors, you know, your family practice doctors, and then you have heart surgeons and who specializes in that area. Um, you wouldn’t ask a heart surgeon to go and work on your foot, um, to, to, to reconstruct a fractured bone.

I’m just, because there’s so many different things that go on that are different between those two areas. And it’s the same thing with law. You know, I don’t practice in a personal injury. I don’t do family law. I do estate planning because that’s where I’m familiar with. That’s what I, that’s what I study on. I do a lot of continuing education. I do a lot of reading in that area and that’s what helps me to stay on top and be good at my practice. So, um, you know, when you go interview an attorney and you know, maybe ask him, you know, what kind of continued education do you do? Um, obviously length of practice. It was a good thing. You know, if there’s a new attorney, um, you know, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. You know, everybody has to start somewhere, but you make sure they have mentorship.

May they have another attorney in the firm that can help them out in those situations. And the other thing you want to look at is, you know, the size of the Trust Attorney Las Vegas firm, obviously the bigger firm that you go to, the more expensive it’s going to be. They have a lot more overhead and um, and things to pay for a lot more. Uh, you know, uh, attorneys, partners, um, you know, staff, those kinds of things. And so, um, just be aware that if you go to a bigger firm, typically the fees are going to be higher and that’s necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes if you have a really complicated estate, you need that because they do have a lot more resources to help you with your situation then, you know, as a solo practitioner does. Um, so, you know, evaluate those things with it. Uh, obviously I think personality, uh, you want to, this is somebody you’re going to hopefully be working with for a long time.

You’re going to be updating things, do with somebody who you get along with, somebody that you can actually feel comfortable talking to. Um, you know, how’s their followup check, their Google reviews, you know, have, do they have any negative ones? Is it for lack of communication? Is it for lack of, um, you know, follow through and getting the documents actually done or drafting it the way that they wanted them to? Um, so I think it’s always good to check out their Yelp, check out their Google reviews, check out, um, you know, if, if you happen to know any existing clients, I think most people, they like to find recommendations for an attorney. So, you know, start with, uh, you know, your neighbors, people that you get along with the extinct the same way you do and ask them if they have done their planning, if they know of anyone.

Then you also may ask your financial advisors, they are going to end, this is somebody who’s going to work with them. So you probably want them to, to recommend somebody that, um, that they know. So, because then they’ll communicate back and forth. Uh, same thing with CPAS. Um, you know, really good source of, of knowledge for, you know, who to work with and who’s good and who’s not. Um, you know, he may even, um, you know, ask other professionals, realtors seem to know, they know a lot of different industries. Um, but yeah, ask around, get a couple of opinions. I’d even say, you know, interview a couple of them because like I said, it’s a personality thing. You want to make sure you get along with this person because it is going to be a longterm relationship. So just to recap, we talked about estate planning.

What it is, it is planning for your future. You know, whether that’s while you’re living or if the worst case scenario happens. A estate planning is not just death planning. You know, why don’t people do it because they’re scared that that’s really what it comes down to. They’re scared and they don’t know. And then how do you, um, you know, why do you need to do your estate planning? Because you know, you never know what’s going to happen. You know, you could get sick at any time. You could die at any time. Um, you want to plan now an early while. The Sun is still shining. And then the last thing is how you find a good estate planning attorney. Ask around, check them out on Google. Make sure you do your research. Um, you know, it’s not a huge expense like buying a house, but it is an investment and that is a longterm relationship. So you don’t want to just take the first person that comes along. So hopefully that helps you out today. And I like, uh, my name is Blake Johnson. I am an Trust Attorney Las Vegas in Las Vegas. Uh, you can reach me at (702) 616-6001 and thank you for listening and have a great day.

Okay.