Proper Estate Planning for Real Estate Investors | PREI 079
There’s a quote by Ambrose Bierce, “Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.” With this quote from this journalist and writer, today’s show is about proper estate planning for real estate investors. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while because I’ve realized it’s a little bit of a gap in the content that I’ve been putting out.
Today, I brought on a guest who I found out about through a friend of mine. His name is Jules Martin Haas. He is a New York City based lawyer who provides clients with legal representation in various areas of law including real estate, trusts and estates, probate estate planning, and business law. With that amount of over regulation that we have out today, it’s very important to have a good attorney.
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Proper Estate Planning for Real Estate Investors
Jules, welcome to the show.
Thank you, Marco. It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you very much for inviting me on your show today.
Let’s just start off with taking a minute and having you tell us about yourself.
As you said, I’m a New York attorney. My office is in Midtown Manhattan. I’m at 845 3rd Avenue, New York, New York, which is between 51st and 52nd, right in Midtown Manhattan. I have a website. I have a blog, New York Probate Lawyer blog. I practice pretty much throughout the New York metropolitan area, which is New York City and all; there’s Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island, and some of the surrounding counties, which include Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties as well.
Tell us about your background as an attorney and your focus on estate planning and whatnot, just so we have a better idea of your practice.
I’ve been representing clients and practicing here in New York since 1979. The folks that I represent really are a wide array of interest. The areas that I primarily work in, as you mentioned, include estate planning, which includes wills and trust and various items like that. I do a lot of what we call Surrogate’s Court work here in New York, which people outside of New York may know it as probate court, which is probate of wills, administration of estates, various forms of litigation that go along with that, which there are a lot, such as will contest and various other trust and accounting proceedings, kinship proceedings.
I handle guardianship matters where people become incapacitated and they need a guardian. I also do a lot and have done a lot of representation in connection with real estate matters. Real estate matters really, as your audience knows, can really run a whole array of different things. There are matters such as the run-of-the-mill closings, which can be single, multifamily homes. Here in New York City, we have cooperatives, co-op apartments, we have condominium apartments. There are leases. There are landlord-tenant issues. There are all kinds of stuff. New York being as it is, there are many rules and regulations and various things that you have to overcome even in the simplest type of transaction. I’ve been doing all of that for well over 30 years as well.
It’s interesting because a lot of the representation that I have in the estate area and the real estate area go hand in hand. The reason being that many times, the main asset, the most valuable asset that a person owns is usually going to be real estate, whether it’s a house or an investment property or some other type of interest. As your audience probably knows, those interests can have a tremendous amount of value. Even someone who has what we would think of as a very simple type of an estate with some bank accounts, retirement funds, whatever, if they own a house and an investment property or whatever, those properties are going to have probably the largest value in their estate.
It’s very interesting because many times, the way those properties are owned and the way those properties are disposed of create a tremendous amount of confusion and complications with respect to either a person’s estate plan or the settlement and administration of a person’s estate. As we talk a little bit more later on, I can give your audience some examples of some of the difficulties that people have encountered because they really don’t pay attention to how they are owning their assets and administering their assets during life, which causes a great deal of problems in planning their estate and administering their estate once they’re deceased.
Jules, the best place to start is really with clearly defining what estate planning is and why it’s so important, and then we can just build off of that.
Getting back to what I had mentioned. People think, “I’m doing an estate plan and this sounds very complicated. Everything that I have is very simple. What do I need to know?” I’m admitted in New York so basically the law that I can speak to is New York law. But I can speak generally because, without giving an opinion, the law across the United States is generally the same. When you sit down to do an estate plan, the most important thing to think about first is what it is that you own. Because the way you own assets are basically going to be the method by which these assets can be disposed of and handled in an estate plan and also when someone dies. I’m just going to give you a very simple example and this is really based on New York law but it applies generally throughout the country.
Let’s say you own a house and that house is in your name alone. Any asset that’s in your name alone is going to be controlled by your will. If that asset’s in your name, the will’s going to say where it goes. But many times, that asset is not in your name alone, the house may be held jointly with someone else. If the house is held jointly with someone else, here in New York and most likely throughout the country, that asset as a joint asset is going to go automatically to the person that you own the house jointly with. Even though you write a will, not thinking about how do I own this house, your will’s not going to control where that house goes because the house is going to go to the joint owner, what we call here in New York, “by operation of law.” The estate plan that you’re putting together in your will may very well not be effective because of the way you own your assets. That example that I gave you with respect to the house applies to other assets as well, whether it’s a joint bank account that may be held jointly, whether it’s a retirement fund where you have a designated beneficiary, such as an IRA or a pension or whatever or 401K. Where you have these joint owners or designated owners, those assets are going to go automatically to that person on your death. Even though you write a will and you say, “I want everything to go to so and so,” it may very well not work.
I’m just going to take the opportunity here to give one example of problems where this arises all the time. Many times, older people have assets such as real estate or bank accounts or whatever, and they have a number of children. It’s not unusual where some children live outside of the state where their parents live. Even though the parent has three, four, five kids and they want to treat them all equally, what ends up happening is the parent says, “My daughter, Mary, she lives around the corner from me. Everybody else lives a thousand miles away. What I’m going to do is, because I want my life to be easy and Mary helps me every day of the week, I want her to be able to go to the bank and I want her to be able to deal with my stuff. In order to take care of this, I’m going to put Mary on the account with me and then someday when I die, I’m sure Mary’s going to do the right thing.” Lo and behold, the parents don’t really think about it. Even though you can create a special account as a convenience account with someone else’s name on it, very often people put their name on it as a joint owner. The parent dies and automatically Mary gets everything. Mary says, “I’m not giving anything to anybody else because I stayed here and took care of my parents. You guys were 500 miles away doing nothing.” Obviously, that doesn’t carry out the person’s intent, but that person’s no longer around to say, “That’s not what I really wanted. I wrote in my will, I want my kids to get everything equally.”
The point of that story is that you need to understand what you own, whether it’s a bank account, whether it’s real estate, whether you own the real estate in your name alone, whether you own the real estate in the name of an LLC where you really own membership interests or a small corporation where you own stock. All of these things still operate the same way. The first thing you do is you sit down and you make an inventory of what you own and how you own it. Then you can sit down and think about, “What do I want to do? What do I want to happen if I’m not around?” Then you can start to begin to map out an estate plan. Just to keep on the simple side of things, when I sit down with clients and say, “What do you want your will to say?” The client will say, “I want everything to go to my wife. If my wife’s not around or my husband’s not around, I want it to go to my children or whatever.” Sometimes, there’s no spouse, sometimes there are no children and sometimes it’s friends or charities or whatever.
The important point there is, what happens if the person that you want your assets to go to are not alive? You really have to go down another level. It really requires a lot of thought because you have to say, “I want this to happen, but if this person is not around or this contingency is not going to occur, then I want this to happen.” You really have to give a lot of thought to what you own and where you want it to go in various levels. It does take some effort to do this. If you have a spouse and you have children, it’s easy. But nowadays, that’s not always the case. People have a lot of different relationships and families that are no longer around or families that they don’t like, that they don’t want to have to deal with. It really requires a lot of thought. The only way to do it is to actually sit down, think about what you’re doing, speak to whatever professionals, whether it’s your attorney or whoever, to try to start to deal with these various questions so you could at least create a basic map.
The will doesn’t have to be very complicated. I’m not getting into issues with estate taxes where for the federal level you don’t have to worry until you’re over $5.4 million. New York State is getting up there and some states don’t even have an estate tax. A husband and wife, if you combine their two exemptions, you can basically transfer over $10 million estate tax free from the federal estate tax. Putting all of that aside and everyone doesn’t have an estate tax issue, you do have a property transfer issue. So many estates, they don’t reflect what a person really wanted.
If you do not have a will, then your estate is going to be controlled by the laws of the state where you live for any asset that’s in your name alone. If it’s not a joint owner or not a designated beneficiary, you just own that house in your name, that house is going to go to, under the laws of the state, your next of kin. There are many problems with that. First of all, you’ve got to figure out who the next of kin are. Many people’s families may be estranged. I’m working with an estate right today where this woman died, she has an estate. Let’s say it’s around $1 million. She owns a co-op. She owns some bank accounts. Her family tree is impossible because her family originally came from Ireland, there are dozens of cousins or whatever, but nobody knows who it was. She wrote a will leaving everything to her friend. Her friend doesn’t know who her family was a hundred years ago. The lawyer who, in this case, took the information, didn’t take down a family tree. Now what’s going to end up happening is I’m going to have to go to a genealogist and we’re going to have to try to piece this together after the fact.
If you don’t write a will, your estate’s going to go to your next of kin. It may very well be that even if you can find who they are, they may very well be persons that you don’t want your assets to go to. With all of these things considered, it’s better to sit down and do a plan than just to leave it to the wind, so to speak, to try to figure it out after you’re gone.
You’ve established that estate planning is very important. You’ve established that having a minimum of a will is important. But it sounds like estate planning is much more than just a will. Correct me if I’m wrong, this is a question from ignorance. Is the scenario you gave with Mary and all these other situations that you brought up, are those not all handled through a good will? Or is it more than just a will that you need for a proper estate plan?
The point is that the will is going to control the asset that’s in your name alone. When you’re sitting down with somebody to help you consider what your plan is, you have to understand how the property’s going to go. It may very well be that some of these assets that are held jointly are going to go outside of your will. But that’s still part of your plan because your plan is, “My house goes automatically to my wife. My house goes automatically to my son. My 401K, my designated beneficiary is my wife. That’s great.” The will’s going to cover stuff that you don’t have beneficiaries for.
There are other aspects and documents that go along with what we call advanced planning and estate planning. You can do what we call a grant or a living trust, a lifetime trust, which is really a will substitute where you take all of your assets and put it into a trust and it has the same provisions that would be in your will if you die. When someone comes in for an estate plan, even though it’s not a plan to distribute assets, clients will do what we call a health care proxy to name someone to make healthcare decisions for them. They can do a power of attorney, which has its own issues as far as giving someone authority over assets. There are many different things. But the will forms the basic foundation.
There’s more to it. It’s not just the will, there are other tools. There are multiple documents, multiple tools that make up an entire estate plan. The will is just one piece of that bigger puzzle. That may be true for most people.
That’s correct. The point is to sit down so you can figure out what meets your needs best.
Moving on, there are so many taxes. There are federal, state and all kinds of taxes. The goal of a good estate plan, as I understand it, is to reduce the overall estate and gift taxes that a person will be responsible for or at least to defer that tax burden. How does an estate plan help to minimize what I know is four taxes that apply: gift, tax as estate, tax as a transfer tax, and of course income tax?
Let me try to speak to those issues. As I had mentioned, the federal estate tax does not kick in until you have over, I think $5.435 million of assets. If you have a spouse, there’s a 100% marital deduction. You could have a gazillion dollars and give everything to your spouse and there’s no estate tax. We’re talking about federal estate tax, because like income tax, there’s federal and there’s state. Each state has its own tax structure. In New York, of course New York is New York, you have an estate tax. It’s pretty much following along the federal exemption lines. It’s going to reach the highest amount to be equal with the federal level in 2019. Right now it’s a little bit lower than that, I think it’s at three something. That’s your exempt amount. Over that, you’re subject to an estate tax. Of course, as I said, husband or wife combined can transfer over $10 million because they’ve both got exemptions. If you need to do a plan where someone’s assets are in excess of that, you can take advantage of those exemptions.
Even though a lot of folks have a lot of wealth these days, there are fewer estates that are subject to the state tax because $10 million is still a big number. Even $5 million potentially for an individual is still a fairly large number. In many estates, probably most estates, the estate tax is not going to be an issue. Because the estate tax is not an issue, a gift tax is probably not going to be an issue either because the gift tax works along the same way as the estate tax, at least on the federal level. In New York State, we don’t even have a gift tax.
There are different issues with basis when somebody dies. Under the tax law, you get a step up in basis, the value of an asset in the estate is going to have a tax basis, if your audience is familiar with that tax concept of a date of death value. Even though that asset, for instance a house that you own, a commercial property or whatever it might be or anything that was bought, or a stock was bought at $5 that’s worth $100 when you die, now it’s going to be worth $100 and have a tax basis. If you sell it the next day, you’re going to have no income tax gain. Really you’re getting that income tax benefit out of an estate.
It’s a benefit to the beneficiary because it resets the tax clock.
That’s right. It does. But if you make a lifetime gift, if I gave that to someone, someone’s going to get my carry over basis. They’re not going to get that benefit up. There are different ways to deal with that. Just to understand those concepts, the important thing to do again is, depending upon what your estate looks like and what you’re planning to do, is to sit down with someone, whether it’s your attorney, whether it’s your tax advisor, whoever, and say, “What is the consequence of me doing A, B, C, and D?” Because there are loads of different issues that you run across in dealing with going towards end of life issues. You may have a Medicaid issue about transferring assets and, “How do I keep from losing all of my assets if I have a catastrophic illness? How do I qualify for Medicaid?” It’s not something that I deal with as far as doing a Medicaid plan, but I obviously work with people that do, but that’s another whole area of dealing with this aspect of planning. The basic estate plan that people should think about, again, is to sit down, understand what you have, think about what you want, and then be able to create something that’s going to carry that plan out and take into account whatever the estate tax or income tax or gift tax result might be in various scenarios.
That’s a perfect summary. Figure out what you have, what you want, and how you’re going to carry it out. The combination of those three sound like your estate plan in a nutshell. I’m trying to think of what real estate investors should actually be concerned about, because real estate is valuable but it’s not really liquid. Does that pose a problem or an issue?
Of course it always poses a problem. It poses a problem for a number of reasons. The most basic reason is that let’s say you write a will and you have an estate plan and you say, “I give everything to my five children.” You’ve got two, three, four properties or whatever. It’s not very easy to divide that stuff up. What you end up having to do in order to make distributions out of an estate where you have property that’s not liquid is you’ve got to liquefy it, you’ve got to sell it so everyone can get their share.
That’s assuming you want to sell it though.
That’s assuming you want to sell it. But here’s the problem that you run into. When your assets are being distributed to more than one person, when you ran it through your life, that was okay. You are the boss. You’re in charge. You have, most of the time, no one to answer to but yourself. When you start having properties distributed to diverse members of your family, they may or may not get along. They may or may not like each other. Having multiple people operate properties who don’t get along or may not get along or who have no idea as to what they’re doing because some of them may have other professions and they’re not real estate professionals, they don’t know how to run real estate properties and everyone wants to be in charge, you’ve got a major problem. The way that those problems are solved is by liquidating the property. What you have to think of there again is also, how does this work down the road? Because you’re saying, “I’m giving this to these three people or these five people,” or whatever it may be. They may not be children. They may be other beneficiaries that are related or unrelated.
Let’s say one of those beneficiaries is not alive or let’s say one of those beneficiaries dies, so then you start having multiple layers of various people. Instead of five people, all of a sudden you’ve got eight people. Then another person dies and you’ve got fifteen people. You have a whole group of people that have ownership interests in these assets. There’s certainly a great chance that they won’t get along.
What ends up happening too is the natural reaction of folks. Let’s say you have a property that’s worth $2 million dollars, which in today’s market really isn’t even that much, and you’ve got five people. One of these five people has two kids going to college. He says, “I could use my $400,000 in my pocket. I don’t want this house. I don’t know how to run property. I’ve never wanted to run property. But I sure as heck could use the $400,000 in my pocket because I’m going to retire. I could pay for college and it could make my life easy. I want to sell this house.” Then the other people say, “No. It’s a great investment. We can rent it.” Anybody that rents property knows that it’s a great investment, but when you’ve got tenants and you’ve got other stuff going on, you’ve got to fix the boiler and the pipe breaks and people call you in the middle of the night and the property manager doesn’t show up, it’s a nightmare.
Who makes that decision? Is it the multiple owners of the family or is that defined as part of the estate plan before the owner is deceased?
It can be either way. You can put a direction in your will that says, “When I die, this gets sold and you distribute the proceeds.” You really have to understand what you’re dealing with. There are just so many issues that come up. The stuff that I’m describing is basic. If you get on a more sophisticated level, let’s say you do have partners that own interests in properties. How do they own these interests? Is there a partnership agreement? Is there a shareholders’ agreement? What happens if one becomes disabled? What happens if one dies? How do you buy that partner out? What does the agreement say? Is there life insurance to fund that buyout? Is the life insurance sufficient to fund the buyout on a fair market value basis? How do you determine that? You have a surviving spouse who is left with a partner who’s adversed her interests and wants to fight with her and she can’t get her money out of this property. The surviving spouse didn’t run the property. She doesn’t want to be a partner with somebody else. The surviving partner doesn’t want the five kids of the fellow that’s deceased to be his partners either. How do you deal with this? They’re questions that people should think about how they want answered beforehand. Afterwards, it’s just a nightmare.
Does that all apply just the same to having multiple owners, not just having family members, but actually having partners who are not family? Do the same things apply?
Yes, it applies very directly. In fact, that’s what I was referring to. You can have two partners and one partner dies, it goes to the spouse, it goes to his kids. How do they get their money out? What happens to the remaining partner who doesn’t want to have people who he never dealt with as his partners?
I think real estate investors need to be concerned with three basic things here: planning for the payment of estate taxes, inheritance taxes. Second would be planning for the transfer of the ownership of these investments. Third is how to deal with the debt that’s attached to these properties if there is any debt. Maybe comment on that real quick, how does the debt apply? Does it just ride along with the property and it’s there until the asset is sold?
Again, it depends on the nature of the debt. If it’s a mortgage against the property, the mortgage is going to stay there. Depending on the structure, many times individuals have to guarantee the mortgage or whatever unless the lender allowed it to be in the name of the entity. But usually they’ll want some guarantee, particularly with smaller owners. It’s going to be an obligation. The mortgage is going to stay there. The mortgage is not going to go away. It’s an issue that has to be thought about and dealt with.
The property may generate enough income to pay for the mortgage, but ultimately, how do you extricate yourself from that when you have someone that passed away and there’s an obligation there to deal with? These are not simple issues but they’re issues that just need to be thought about so they can be dealt with going forward, should the situation arise. When you have the ability to try to plan for it, at least you have the opportunity to try to figure out, how will we solve this problem? Because when the person is not around, you can’t say, “What would you like to do?” Here I am, I’m stuck. The family’s stuck with this issue. People start fighting against each other. Then of course they will hire their own lawyers and everybody gets in an uproar. Why do you want to be there?
Just to talk about fighting, just a totally different side of this. You really should do a will and have it done right because the Surrogates Court, which is the probate court here in New York, is filled with will contests. When you leave people out of a will or you don’t give someone who thinks that they should be entitled to what they’re supposed to get, or “So and so said they were going to leave me a million dollars, how come it’s not in the will?” You have will contests. There’s interfamily fighting. I don’t know if you’ve read in the paper, but this fellow, Aoki, who was the owner of the Benihana Steakhouse. He died a few years ago. There’s been a war, literally, here in New York in the Surrogates Court over his estate between his family, his kids, and his second wife as to who controls the business, which will is going to control, who’s got the right to do this, who’s got the right to do that. These things go on all the time. They can drag out for years very easily.
I don’t want the audiences to have their eyes glaze over or get crossed here thinking that, “This is so complicated.” It can be complicated but it doesn’t have to be. The reason I say it doesn’t have to be is because working with the right attorney who can help make this simple for you and create an estate plan that works for you and your heirs doesn’t have to be that complicated. The best thing is to do the right thing and get it done and done right. Here’s a simple question, is estate planning for everyone or does it exclude certain people? If you don’t have assets, do you still need an estate plan?
If you have no assets, obviously there’s not much to worry about. You don’t have to do an estate plan vis-à-vis a will. But you should still think about health care proxy, that type of thing. People say, “An estate plan, that’s just for rich folks.” But it’s not because most folks are not going to have to worry about estate planning from a tax advantage point. They need to worry about the estate plan from the property transfer standpoint, because even the simplest estate where you’ve got a bank account and a savings account and a retirement account and a house, how’s that stuff going to be dealt with and where’s it going to go? I see all kinds of things. People buy their house and they can’t afford a mortgage or they can’t qualify for mortgage. What happens is that they buy the house and they say, “I need my cousin to help me get this mortgage. I’m going to put my cousin on the deed and give him a 10% ownership interest in the house.” Lo and behold, they never change that. The cousin went on because they needed the cousin on the deed to get the mortgage and sign on the mortgage, which may have been paid off years ago. Lo and behold, the fellow dies. The cousin’s got 10%. There are all kinds of things that go on.
I’m going to put the house in my child’s name just temporarily because I need the child to help me do this or that. Lo and behold, the one child gets the whole thing. Or my second spouse is going to go on the deed with me, not thinking that all of the money that went into the house I’m buying now came from my first marriage, the house is now going to go to my second wife and my kids from my first marriage are going to end up getting nothing. Then they go berserk. You just have to think about this stuff. It’s not really that hard. It’s not very complicated. I’m playing the devil’s advocate, in a way. But all of the things I’m talking about are really positive things. With that car commercial, pay me now or pay me later type of thing, just think about it. It’s not really that hard because most folks that are listening to your show, your audience, are very sophisticated and knowledgeable people. They spend a lot of time looking at their investments, what they’re going to do, how they’re going to run their business. The stuff that I’m talking about is probably a lot easier than making an analysis as to whether or not this income-producing property is going to make a profit in five years and should I buy it. That probably requires a lot more analysis than sitting down and understanding your estate plan.
I like to look at things in its most simplistic way. I like to boil the complex down into the simple so it’s easier to understand because I’m not smart enough to understand the most complex things. For me, estate planning comes down to this. Who’s going to own what? Of all your possessions and assets, how is that going to be passed on and how’s it going to be split up? Who’s going to have the title to what? The estate plan is to help minimize the various taxes: your gift tax, estate tax, transfer tax if applicable, and your income taxes. Really that’s the big question, the two big questions to be answered in putting an estate plan together.
That applies to most people and hopefully this episode is eye opening and enlightening and helps to clarify, what the heck is an estate plan and why is it important to me, especially as a real estate investor? I think we’ve done that. I also think that a lot of people are listening to this thinking, “This sounds complicated.” Hopefully it’ll give them a kick in the butt to get off the fence and talk to someone like you or their own attorney and figure this stuff out. One last question, it’s a loaded question. When is a good time to actually go and set one up? I know you’re probably going to say as soon as possible, but when is a good time?
You’re right, as soon as possible. Everybody’s got their own schedule in life. Whenever you feel comfortable about going ahead and doing it. It’s never too early to do it really and it’s never too late. When you feel good about it and you sit down and say, “I’ve got a few minutes in my hectic day to try to think about this.” The other point that I really want to stress is that when it’s not thought about or done in an effective way, the anxiety and the cost and the turmoil is really laid on the shoulders of the family after a person passes away. Because it’s at that point that you’re in the court fighting about what you need to fix, which could’ve been hopefully fixed before. I do loads of probate proceedings and administration and will contests and all kinds of stuff in court. You can’t solve everything. Of course, there are always problems that you can’t anticipate. But many of the problems can be avoided by just thinking about what you were doing before. At any point when you decide to do it, you don’t have to do it today, tomorrow, or next week, but it’s another thing on the list of things that should be taken care of in due time.
It’s an important thing to do, you should get it done. My dad passed away last year and my dad did put a will together. He didn’t have a lot of assets, but my brother was the executor and it just made it very simple to have everything clearly spelled out as to what goes where and how things get paid off. It’s well worth the cost and well worth the time to do.
Jules, thank you so much. Tell our audiences how they can find you and how they can get more information.
You can find me on the web, I have a website, Jules Haas. When you hit my website, you’ll see I have a blog, it’s called New York Probate Lawyer Blog. I publish an article every week about some aspect of New York probate law or guardianship law. Usually I discuss one of the cases. It’s all very simple, this is not complicated language. If you look at my website, it has loads of information about estates and real estate. Again, it’s New York centered because that’s where I am. My phone number is 212-355-2575. Again, my phone number, my email, everything is right on my website.
Jules, thank you so much for your time, your wealth of knowledge. I appreciate your help in clarifying what estate planning is.
You’re very welcome, Marco. I’m glad to be able to spend this time with you and your audience.
Estate planning is not the most joyful or fun topic to think about or to deal with. But the fact is that it needs to be done. Statistics show that only 55% of Americans actually have a will or an estate plan, which is a surprisingly low percentage. Estate planning has five primary objectives. It’s to minimize taxes. It’s to avoid probate. It’s to direct the disposition of your property, again, who owns what. Fourth, it’s to nominate guardians for minor children, should that apply. Fifth, it’s to plan for your potential incapacity. This is one thing that people don’t really think about. It’s not just about death, but what happens if you become incapacitated and you can’t take care of yourself, maybe you can’t communicate or talk. These are things that are, again, not happy thoughts but things to consider because things happen in life.
There are a lot of tools in an estate planning, as we’ve come to learn. There’s the will, there’s the trust, there are community property agreements, there are advanced healthcare directives, and a power of attorney for healthcare, there is the durable power of attorney for property management, and of course there is life insurance and possibly a life insurance trust. It’s important to speak to a professional. This is not something to take lightly. I would encourage you to call either your local attorney, or if you’re in the state of New York, you can call up Jules. He’s more than happy to help you out. He’s very knowledgeable.
This was a necessary episode. I hope it was helpful. Maybe there was something here you can take and then build upon, so take the next step. If you have any questions, by all means, contact Jules or your local attorney and they can give you a hand.
If you haven’t done so, download and read the free report I’ve created, The Ultimate Guide to Passive Real Estate Investing. I know it’s been downloaded literally thousands of times. Some people download it, they put it in their iPhone or wherever and they don’t read it. Definitely read that. If you are sitting on the fence or thinking about investing in real estate, contact one of our investment counselors or your investment counselor here for a free strategy session or just to take your investing to the next level. If you have any questions about real estate, be sure to shoot me an email. If you have my email address, great. If not, just go to PassiveRealEstateInvesting.com. At the top you’ll see Ask Marco and just let me know what it is. I could possibly cover it in a future episode. I try to do that all the time, but usually I’ll just email you back.
If you like the show, remember to subscribe. If you can, leave us a rating and review on iTunes, that certainly helps get the word out and spreads it to more people who need this type of information. After today’s episode, I’m sure you realize that if 55% of people in the US don’t have a will or a trust or an estate plan, they need to hear this stuff. With that, we will see you next week on our next episode.
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