Category: Estate Planning

5 Keys to Dealing with Loss Aversion

Back when I started in this business, our firm’s founder, Ed Coyle, used to joke that investors expect 20 percent annual return on their money, fully guaranteed by the government, fully liquid, with no taxes. We laughed because it’s not achievable. Everything seems wonderful for investors when markets are calm like they are right now, but sooner or later the tide will turn, and investors will be in the grips of what behavior finance experts call “loss aversion.”

Avoiding the Big Mistake

When you look at your life, you realize you have probably made some big mistakes—hopefully with small amounts of money or minimal physical harm. No one sails through life mistake-free or regret-free, but it’s about more than just being lucky. In their new book Decisive, authors Chip and Dan Heath take a good look at four big reasons we make mistakes and misjudgments.

Check Your Fear at the Door

Some of you may remember Orson Welles’ infamous “War of the Worlds” radio hoax back in 1938. He told listeners that a Martian ship had crash-landed in New Jersey. Scores of people ran to police stations fearing gas attacks and many more were treated in hospitals for hysteria and shock.  The power of fear is amazing, and equally amazing is the way our media manipulates it.

Risking Your Estate

From insurance and investments to disability and death, there are so many risks involved with our money. But one risk we don’t think about much is how we’re going to tell our children and grandchildren about our money and our estate plans. We want our offspring to be comfortable, but not so complacent that they lose their incentive to work hard or feel automatically entitled to our estates when we pass on.

Survive and Thrive Estate Planning

As many of you know firsthand, there’s nothing more joyful than having a new grandchild. Right off the bat, many of you start thinking about ways to help fund the newborn’s education. That’s wonderful, but there’s something even more important to be thinking about—estate planning. What if something terrible happens to the baby’s parents? Suppose one of them becomes disabled or even dies? It’s horrible to think about, but unfortunately these things happen all too often.

Seventh-Generation Thinking

What parent out there doesn’t want a better life for his or her children or grandchildren? I don’t know of any. But research shows that 90 percent of family wealth will disappear in just three generations.

Death & Taxes – Is There Any Relief?

A New York State circuit court judge in the 1930s and 1940s named the Honorable Learned Hand famously said there were two tax systems in the United States—one for the informed and one for the uninformed.

Guidebook to Your Galaxy

Unfortunately we always have several clients going through the probate process. I don’t mean they’re going through probate in the courts, but they’re going through the overall estate planning, end-of-life process in which we are helping family members through this difficult transition.

5 Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Many times a successful investor will come in to see us and we’ll ask them if they have estate planning documents in place? Typically they’ll say “Yes” and then we’ll ask them if they’ve funded their trusts. That’s when they’ll give us a funny look and ask what that means. Well, it typically means changing your assets out of joint tenancy to the name of your trust. Invariably, we find that a lot of this planning has not taken place.

Intentional Wealth Transfer

We’ve all heard the horror stories about families ripped apart after an elder dies–the money struggles, the lawsuits, the horrendous probate processes with endless fees, charges and paperwork. None of us want that, but there are huge numbers of people who still don’t have an estate plan in place. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a will when you pass away, it’s called dying “intestate.” In Illinois, like in many other states, the government says 50 percent of your assets will go to your spouse and the other 50 percent to your children. That may not be exactly how you wanted to divide things up, but without a will, there’s nothing you or your family can do to change it.

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