Heidi explains what Lifeguarding Legacies is all about; Without a custom estate plan and lifeguard to protect your legacy, you run the risk of drowning in the complications of what can happen if you swim the legal waters without a buddy. Lifeguarding Legacies is an easy and affordable concierge service for wills, trusts, probate and estate planning.
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| Rise Grind Repeat 109 |
On today’s episode of Rise, Grind, Repeat, we talked to Heidi from lifeguarding legacies. We discuss how she differentiated herself, which allowed her to grow during COVID. Let’s dive right in. How do you thank you so much for coming on to another episode of Rise, Grind, Repeat. I’m really excited about this. Because usually, when you talk to you know, anyone that deals with law, you’re gonna get a big bill. But you know, hopefully, I won’t see a big invoice come, but I’d love to kind of pick your brain.
No, I actually didn’t get the bill from your office to be on here. So, so I appreciate it. This is fun. Thank you.
Awesome. Well, before we kind of pick your brain on, you know, everything that you do, we’d love to learn a bit more about yourself and just kind of your entrepreneurial journey. And, and really, how did you get started in entrepreneurship?
Well, that’s a great question. Honestly, I did the stupidest thing I think you can do. I moved somewhere where I didn’t know anybody to do something I’d never done when I’d never run a business before. yourself for success. Great business model.
So what where was that place? And what was the thing that you wanted to do that you’ve never done before?
Well, you know, I went to law school. Back in the day, I 2004. my alma mater, opened a law school, I was part of that inaugural guinea pig class to go through where, you know, we got beat up good to get their accreditation and graduated 2007 took the Florida Bar thought I’d go practice in Florida, which is where I had been before I went to law school. Okay, the economy tanked in 2007. As we all know, we ended up in Houston, I went back into education, which is what I did before law school, and I stayed in education for the next 15 years. Okay. So then we move to Arizona with my husband’s job, and I look at what they pay in education and say, No, I can’t do that. It would have been a $30,000. Cut. I mean, who can do that?
It’s insane. I mean, yeah, we’re definitely underfunded when it comes to education here in Arizona. That’s, that’s for sure.
Yeah. So I was trying to figure out well wonder what chapter comes next. And I’d actually started to take some doctoral classes in education, thinking, maybe I’ll go towards Superintendent or something like that. And I went to my law school, 10 year reunion. And that’s when I met up with a friend of mine who had who grabbed me by the arm and said, you need to be doing what I’m doing. What are you doing? He said, I’m an estate planning attorney. I said, Yeah, I’d have to take the bar in Arizona. He goes, yep. And then you’re gonna come spend a week in Florida with me, learn what I do take back and do it in Arizona. And I laughed, I thought this was the funniest thing I had ever heard. My husband, though, was there and he didn’t think it was quite so funny. He’s been kind of anxious for me to use that law degree he helped put me through this whole time, I guess, what’s his moral I from that? Yeah. So he was I think you should really follow up with Josh, I think you should really do this. And so I think mostly to humor him, I started kind of investigating. So what does an estate planner do and I realized, seminar work well, education, counseling clients, okay. There’s all those years in school counseling. It’s a lot of coaching, helping people make good choices, and a lot of walking them through problem solving. Well, that’s what I did in the behavior realm. And so I realized, holy cow, this is all the same exact skill set. It’s just different clients and a little different focus area, I thought, well, I could really do that. So I did, I buckled down as a grandmother, I think was the only grandma sitting for the Arizona bar, and started a practice because again, moving somewhere, you’ve never done anything where you don’t know anyone, you’ve never run a business is a really good model.
For sitting out of your comfort zone, that’s for sure.
So there was definitely no comfort zone. In the meantime, in the last three years that I’ve been doing this, and I’ve only been at it three years, I’ve written a book. I’ve worked with a couple 100 clients now Wow, a couple 100. I know, Isn’t that crazy? That is insane. It’s crazy. And I’ve found I love what I’m getting to do. It’s exactly what I researched. I’m getting to do teaching, I’m getting to do counseling, I’m getting to do coaching. And I get to do that in an area of the law that people don’t understand. And I get to break it down in a way that I don’t think most attorneys can break it down.
I think the education background is huge, because you’re taking big ideas and breaking it down into a way that is consumable. So that someone goes, Oh, I get that, because that’s usually the hardest thing. I mean, for what we do, I mean, you video and all these, it’s like could easily just lose someone very quickly. And then they don’t understand what what we’re actually talking about. And so being able to take that and not sort of dumb it down, but be able to communicate it in a way that you know, the average person can actually consume it and go Yeah, let’s do that.
Exactly. And so that’s what I strove to do. When I wrote the book life guard your legacy. I took. I took a lot of the blogs I had already written which were super easy to understand, put them into an outline filled in the blanks for the things that didn’t cover and ended up with a book that’s about a one hour read cover to cover. And when people read this, they understand the parts they need to understand about what I do with their estate plan. helps them make good decisions gives them some ideas that are outside the box that maybe other attorneys might not have talked about. And it’s, it’s actually been a huge marketing tool for me.
I love that you say that because it’s it. I mean, blogs, I don’t know, I feel like so many people think they’re just uncool or waste of time, or whatever it may be. But I mean, for what you do for we do that all industries I feel are getting more complex and how you actually do the business and everything like that. And so those blogs are a way to really communicate it in an easier way to consume it, how big has content and just blogs in general played a role and really going from I don’t know, anyone to getting the 300 plus clients?
I’m not sure. It does seem that the clients have mostly been through networking and referrals. I mean, I was at three to eight events a week, because I didn’t know anybody. For the first year and a half pre COVID. That’s that was how I spent my time. In fact, when I filed for my liability insurance that first year, at the end of the first year when you have to renew, I said, Well, I only spend about 10% of my time with clients. So I don’t think I should really be charged like a normal lawyer. My time professionally, networking, building marketing. And I said, so I’m, I’m not sure what I’m paying for yet. And they actually cut down my liability insurance based on that. And of course, it’s grown. Yeah, since then, obviously, because clients have been added to the mix. But it was a lot of building that base. Because really, you can develop all the best content in the world, you have to have people to deliver it to Yep. And if I didn’t do the networking piece, then I don’t have an email list to send that to I don’t have people to look at a blog. And other than, you know, maybe if I spent a ton of money in SEO, but if you don’t have clients, you don’t have money.
Exactly. And then SEO doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. And so it’s a I think the networking I mean, getting in front of people is the word of mouth is always so big. And in order to create that word of mouth, you got to meet people. So the word of mouth happens and stuff like that. And so, I mean, you went from knowing knowing no one here in Arizona to the 300 plus clients is that really the the primary source of how you got yourself out there was networking events and
networking, I would say is just huge. Now I will say I’m going to name drop here for a minute. But everyone if you are in Phoenix, you have got to meet Jason Bressler.
He was actually in here two weeks ago. Yeah. Yeah. Three weeks. Yeah. Recently.
He is the the genius connector.
He, you asked him, I need to meet someone who is a financial advisor. And he will blow up your inbox 20 introductions to financial advisors. That’s actually how my business really got started, right more than anything is I got the networking passport that we’re all familiar with here with with gaesco. And what Yes, I love Delhi. And one of the first events that was on it was a Phoenix metro chamber breakfast that I went to. And there I met Jason, Jason sent 19 introductions, I met with all 19 people in those in the first two weeks, and my first client started there and has sped from there. So that’s,
that’s amazing. Most small business owners, entrepreneurs, I mean, understand, I need to go out there network meet people. But once you get there, I feel so many people. I mean, I still do it quite a bit as I’m hearing, but I don’t know how to engage. I don’t know how to network, essentially, do you have any tips or suggestions on when someone gets there? And also they’re feeling the pressure? I don’t want to just talk to some random person and feel like I’m just selling like, how did you navigate the networking that then built the relationship that then led to clients?
That’s a really great question. And I’m not sure I have a perfect answer. I just know what works for me. Yeah. What works for me is try to get if you’re going to show up to a place try to have two deep conversations. You may not even really talk about your business. Mm hmm. Just two really good human conversations where you connect and that are memorable. And if you like that person, and they like you, then the next time you run into them at a networking event, because let’s be honest, we all go to multiple networking events. The next time you see them, oh, yeah, you’re the one who and it’s from those connections over time. Now they’re in your database. Now they see your emails, you’ve had all of these multiple touch points with these people that have some positive a sense of how you made them feel in that conversation. And to me, that’s really where it comes. It’s this networking around the room telling your commercial unless you need something in the room that they said and you’re like, yeah, oh my gosh, I need that. I don’t really find that that’s very effective for me.
I mean, I agree 100% I think even outside of networking, I think that even transcends into all marketing. I think a lot of people think it’s, hey, we do digital marketing, all sudden everyone’s gonna want to come to you. You have to build that relationship, communicate who you are. showed the build the brand awareness and to your point it takes, it’s crazy, it takes 15 plus touch points to get in front of someone before they actually start remembering you. And then once the remembering starts, then it takes some time to actually go, alright, I want to do business with you. So the fact that you see multiple people really helps build a relationship. But one thing that like they said, is, too, too big communications or deep levels of conversation. Having a goal in mind, I think is because I think a lot of people go into this and Alright, I’m gonna go spew everything that I do, I’m gonna get eight clients, but it’s not a realistic goal.
Well, and if all you’re doing is that you’re working around the room, passing out business cards, telling people what you do, you are not memorable. That’s what everyone else in the room is doing. Yeah. I mean, you’re gonna have to have 15 touch points with that person before you become memorable, because you’re doing what everyone else is doing. Yeah, you sit and you have to really deep conversations. You are memorable. It doesn’t take 15.
Yeah, exactly, exactly. But people go on and take so much time, blah, blah. But how much time would it take to get in front of 15? I mean, in that one sense, yet a microsecond, here, microsecond there, but it might take two weeks a month to finally get that that you know, memory ingrained, where if you just have a good conversation takes 30 minutes an hour.
And, and I’ll and I’ll say this too, don’t go in thinking the two conversations are going to be my clients. You’re going there to make friends that are going to be business contexts. And, and if you kind of go in with that idea, I’m going to make two new friends tonight. Yep. That’s, that’s where business happens. I not that they are going to ever be your clients, but that they’re going to remember you.
Yeah, it’s I love that. It’s funny that you mentioned that cuz I mean, we bring it up in here quite a bit. I mean, it’s, it’s a weird mindset thing. How, how am I going to sell myself without going in and selling myself? I mean, we all played sports in here. And it’s a how, how can I throw the ball harder by slowing down how hard I throw and slowing down my swing? So I can hit further. But it’s, it’s knowing that, you know, slow down a little bit, you’re gonna don’t go in with the goal of selling just go in with going to build a relationship, and those sales will come?
I agree. 100% Yeah. 100%. The other thing I’ll say is, you know, a lot of people that deal with mindsets, and all those kinds of things, we’ll talk about that ever present moment. And, and I don’t do a lot of the woowoo stuff, I’m I tend to be a little bit more analytical as an attorney. But um, but the idea that when you are sitting with someone, don’t try to be thinking about what is this going to do for my business? Don’t let that be part of your your thinking or your conversation, just be present. Just have a good get to know and have some fun. I mean, you’re for crying out loud, you’re at a networking event, have that glass of wine, a nice conversation, and I consider this your entertainment for the night. And it’s just entertainment that through time does build a business. Now, I couldn’t agree more. And you’ve been doing all the right right things. I
mean, in three years. That’s over 100 clients a year. I mean, that’s huge. I mean, you’re you’re doing the right, I certainly wasn’t 100 clients the first year. That was rough. I just mean this last year has been that much bigger.
It’s been huge. And I will say there’s a business model. That’s a niche, you know, I’m sure you talk a lot in there about having a niche. There’s a bunch of estate planning attorneys out there. And I will say, the people in this industry are fabulous. I am so lucky in Phoenix to be among the estate planners. We are a sharing, loving kind group, our clients hug us it is it is we are a different kind of lawyer and and I love the people I get to do this with, but most of them like to be in their office and have clients come to them. That’s fine. That’s a traditional model. It’s worked for a long, long time. People are still very comfortable with that. Yeah, I don’t like to do anything the easy way. I like so so I have a niche. I do concierge client work. I go to the client in their home. And the other thing that I do different is I recognized early on when I saw the packets we’re supposed to use for intake that you know, are prescribed the industry uses. It’s 14 pages of fairly small print things that people have to fill out. And I realized, first of all, people aren’t going to want to do it. So they’re going to delay coming back. So you’re creating a hindrance to a sale. from a marketing standpoint, that’s not a good idea. Yeah. Second, there’s just things you miss in that form. You know, it says fill in your kids names and their birth dates. Well, that’s forward and straightforward enough. Of course, people can fill that in. Yeah. But if I am instead sitting with them and say, Tell me about your kids. I get a very different reaction than their names and birthdays. Eventually I’ll get their names and birth dates, but I’m going to get this kids really you know this grandkid is struggling with alcohol or is getting ready to go through a divorce. I guess You know, this kid is really struggling with decisions, this kid may have special needs this kid, you know, it’s a whole different level of conversation that you would never capture having them fill out forms. So my clients don’t fill out any forms. Now, that means I can’t do as many clients today in a day as someone sitting in an office, yep, cuz I’m having to drive and I’m having to do that work.
But how much more appreciative are your clients? Yes. And that’s the key, even through that it’s here, you can fill out this form, or we can have a conversation, the end result, you’re gonna get the same information, but the experience that you give your clients is that much better. I mean, probably charge a little bit more. So it pays for the not be able to take on so many. But at the end of the day, your clients are gonna stay longer, because you’re focusing on them. And really what you’re doing, I mean, how everyone else does it, they’re kind of putting themselves at the focus of the conversation, but you have to come to me, you’re changing it and putting the focus on your client, which is what everyone wants.
Right? Exactly. Right. And so it’s been a neat concierge model.
Has anyone else kind of followed suit? I mean, it sounds like it’s a pretty innovative thing for the industry. Well, I’ll
tell you what, during COVID, it was fantastic. Because, you know, we do have a nice group of other attorneys. And people would say, Well, I’m not leaving my house, can you come to me? And they’d say, No, the only one, I knew that. No, that does that is Heidi. And so I got referrals, even in my industry, from other attorneys who don’t use that model. There are a handful, I think there’s three in Greater Phoenix that do that out of a couple of attorneys. So it’s a pretty small niche. Not that I want everyone to jump start going into it. I like having it. But but it’s a good niche for me.
So when it comes to it’s been great, how you’ve kind of grown the business, but really want to learn a little bit more about estate planning. So what what all does that entail? It’s, I mean, from my perspective, it’s, well, I got assets, I want them to be dispersed, how I want them? I mean, is that essentially what it is? Or how do you help someone plan appropriately?
That’s a great question. If that’s really what you believe, you’d probably go to LegalZoom and think you’ve got something. Because you know, education is power.
And, yes, distributing your assets is definitely a part of estate planning, but it’s really not the whole thing by any stretch. So there’s there’s two key documents that every estate plan starts with, they either go with a will or they go with a trust, okay. Two very different ways to accomplish some of the same things a trust does more than a well does a trust cost more than will does. But not everyone needs a trust. So there’s two different models. The first one is the will. everyone’s familiar with that. You’ve seen lots of TV shows that make great drama out of after someone dies, the the attorneys in an office and they’re they’re talking about this, this reading, I love Brewster’s millions, he had to spend down all that money from his family, hilarious. It’s usually not that dramatic, but you’re usually deciding how you want your assets distributed in a well, yep. Just like what you talked about. The other thing a will will do is you can assign the guardians for your children. So to me, that’s the bigger reason to have a well, if you have minor children, you need to be able to name a guardian. If you fail to do that, then what you’ve got is you’ve got the state that gets to make that decision for you.
It’s never good to put the decision in the state or government’s hand.
Well, right. I mean, they’re gonna try to get it right. Yes. If you only have one person that would have taken on the kids anyway, they’ll probably end up with the right result. But you can end up with nobody really wants the kids. And then they’re like, wow, a ward of the state going through the foster care system till they can find someone, or you can have both sides of your family that fight over the kid. And now the kids getting dragged back and forth. I mean, what and it could be that the people that are fighting are not even the people you would have chosen.
So I, you know, I really think the strongest reason if you’ve got minor children to get a will has nothing to do with your assets. It has to do with a guardianship for your kids.
Yeah. And it’s just having the peace of mind or just knowing that, you know, God forbid, something happened, that at least their happiness, their joy, their their their futures, at least carved out or been thought about. I mean, that’s, that’s something that everyone should be doing. If you have a little one.
Absolutely. 100%. Like when you’re in the hospital, I really feel like the OB nurses should say, Okay, now you’ve got this responsibility. Make sure that you make sure that if you’re not there to be able to take care of the baby someone is Yeah, that’s I almost feel like it’s the conversations should start there.
Yep. I agree. It’s amazing. I mean, I have a seven month old how I had to take tests and all this to drive a vehicle but have a kid there’s no have fun, go learn on your own and right, there’s no tests or anything. I mean, it’s right, it is crazy.
It is 100%. So well can also make sure that if you’ve got furbabies You can also designate where they would go not quite as difficult to process as the whole court process for a child but you can still appoint that as well. So a will is somewhat limited in what it accomplishes, but it does those things well, even with a will you’re gonna get the extra documents and he good attorneys got to make sure you have the other things that go with it. So the other documents that go with a will you’ve got a power of attorney, and that’s during your life, it’s a person who can take care of your finances if you can’t. So you get to designate who does that. Your healthcare power of attorney is the person that’s making medical decisions, if you can’t HIPAA waivers are the people that can if they showed up in a hospital waiting room, you authorize them to talk to a doctor, find out how you’re doing, they can’t make decisions, but at least they can be there and ask questions. And then living wills, where you make those end of life decisions about you know, do you want to be artificially kept alive and those kinds of things where you get to make those, so your health care power of attorney doesn’t have to gotcha. So and then also in a will a goodwill is also going to include some asset planning to make sure that you can try to avoid probate here in the state of Arizona, we have what are called beneficiary deeds, they allow you to decide who gets your house when you pass. So it doesn’t, the court doesn’t have to be involved in that process. kind of neat. Yep, those can be included with a will package. And then we can also do beneficiary forms for our cars, we can advise you about doing beneficiaries on your bank accounts. So everything can pass. So it’s a really comprehensive thing, way more than filling out a document on LegalZoom.
Totally, totally. And with that. I mean, if things are getting past, how does that work from a tax perspective? Or is that something that don’t have much insight into? And is there a difference between a will and trust?
Okay, well, we’ll get into the trust here in just a second. But I will ask answer that tax question first, because you raised it, it’s a good one. In general, right now, it’s $11.7 million that a person can have when they die, that doesn’t get taxed. Wow. So if you’re a married couple, just double that.
it’s a fair amount of money. Now, I can tell you, in 2026, that’s going to cut down most people believe it’ll go to about 6 million a person that’s still 12 million, very couple how many of my clients are in that bracket? Not very many. So in general, most people don’t have to worry about taxes. Now, we did have a change in administration, the new change in administration does want to get its hands on more tax dollars. And there have been all kinds of proposals that would lower the tax exclusion amounts and get rid of some of the wonderful benefits that we’ve had. Yeah, and get rid of some of our tax holidays. Now, at this point, there’s no reason to necessarily believe it’s all gonna pass. But it’s certainly all been proposed, and it would change my world. World pass so so taxes are an issue, I will say it’s not that you pay no taxes, anything that you have, that got that had capital gains, can be subject to taxes. So if you did, for example, an IRA where you didn’t pay taxes going in, when it comes out during your retirement, you’d have to pay taxes, same thing, when it comes out, those taxes are gonna have to be paid on what gained in that account, when it’s distributed, and to your kids that has to be distributed within 10 years after you die. So that’s how that works for those houses at this point, still get a step up and basis. I know, we’re getting a little technical now. But basically, that means that the value of the house is the value at the date of your death, not the value you bought it for. So capital gains are only what it increases after you die before it’s resold. And so there’s not a lot of taxes there. If you get a realtor, you know, it’s gonna pretty much offset that. So generally, the only taxes you’re gonna end up paying in most states are things like IRAs. Gotcha. And I mean, I have seen recently that even they’re trying to pass something to where it changes it not the gains on the time that you pass away, but from the time you bought it. Yes. Which the step up and basis. Yeah, that would be it that goes away. That is a big, big deal. Now, so far, the proposal on losing the sorry, we’re going a little aside, this is a great stuff. But so far, what’s been proposed is that it would be anything above a million dollars, is it step up and basis? So for a lot of people, your house isn’t worth a million dollars, you know, if you have two houses, they might be Yeah, but so it’s still, you know, they’re considered this more of a wealth tax than they are just a general effect. But even if it gets passed, let’s think about this. So let’s say you’ve got your grandmother’s house that she bought for $9,000 in California in 1920. Right. And now it’s $3 million. Are you really going to have to pay on $2 million of gains, you
have to liquidate it. I mean, in order just to pay the tax bill? I mean, most people aren’t going to have the the money to pay that tax bill. Right.
And are they going to be able to find what she paid for it in 1920? I mean, where’s the record coming from? That’s, that’s another very important. So I’m kind of anxious to see even if it were to pass, how they’re going to propose that if they’re going to put some stop date that they just go back to evaluation in the 90s. Or, you know, were they going back to so it’ll be anxious to see how that how that plays out.
Yep. So how does Trust.
I will tell you, you know, one of my taglines when I go to networking is because you know, I’m all about that trust, that trust. I love trusts, they really are the Cadillac vehicle for taking care of your estate plan, I jokingly tell clients at a trust can let you do anything you might have wanted to do. So where will it’s going to decide who gets what they’re going to receive everything in lump sums, if they’re a child, someone’s going to be responsible for managing that lump sum until they’re old enough to have it because kids can’t take under a well, under a trust, you really can’t. If you can dream it, you can do it. So we’ve done things where if the goal was to get your son in law to do better at work, we can match his w two income every year to die so that you’re you’re seeing him do something productive, we can have ongoing for my own kids, what I have is, I have ongoing gifts every year that are going to be the today equivalent of $15,000 a year, well, that means that it’s below the poverty line, they can never quit and be a trust baby. They have to work. But but it’s enough that a couple years, they get a really nice car, they can do a kitchen remodel, they can do some nice family trips, they can pay off some stupid credit card debt, you know, it’ll supplement their lives without being the one thing they relied on, they still have to be self sufficient. Makes sense. So I mean, it’s, if you have a little one or someone that it’s like want to help them out, but they’re not they have a few years before they’re gonna mature, you can kind of set how you disperse the money, the assets, whatever it may be, in a way that if it takes 10 years, you’re gonna kind of give it to them over that 10 years, or you have full control of where it goes. and whatnot. Well, and it can be for the rest of their lives, in some cases, depending on what things are in there. Obviously, if it’s IRAs, it still has to be fully distributed in 10 years. Yeah, but if you’ve got a house that’s being sold, and that’s funding if you’ve got life insurance, that that, you know, that can be spread for longer and, and then you’ve got these options to do some really neat things. My grandkids by the way. I spoiled them already. I don’t I don’t intend to stop after I die. And so my trusty is set up basically to say yes, so if my grandkids want soccer camp, the answer is yes. If they want to take baton twirling lessons. Yes, piano? Absolutely. You know, my trusty will pay for anything that would supplement their life during their growing up here. So plus, then take care of some college a first wedding. Yeah. So because all those things I they’re my grandbabies. Yeah.
Yeah. That’s really cool. So I mean, what’s the difference in cost? Typically, I mean, I’m sure there’s a lot that goes into, but what are the,
it’s usually going to be somewhere in the two and a half to three times more to do with trust. And part of the reason is with the will we’re just doing the document prep, with a trust, we’re helping you put all of your assets into it. Gotcha. So we have to know what those assets are. We have to plan accordingly. We have to walk you through and work with filling out forms with you. It’s it’s a lot. Yeah. And so it’s it’s just a more comprehensive process. Plus, it’s a lot more custom, we take some real time to brainstorm. The other nice thing about a trust is if you are incapacitated, remember, we talked about the power of attorney form with a will. That’s someone that takes care of the finances when you can’t, and you have one of those. But when you have a trust, your trustee is the one that takes on that role. And they already have access to all your accounts. Gotcha. So it’s a little smoother transition and dealing with incapacity. Whereas with the power of attorney, sometimes you’ll have a bank say, we don’t recognize this form. Yeah. And then you have to go through a fight to get access to the funds.
Yeah, I’m sure things fall through the cracks, I’m sure there’s there’s accounts or whatever that Yeah, just
it gets to be a challenge, where a trust really makes that seamless. Now, we’ll get there, it’ll get, you’ll get what you need under a power of attorney eventually, yeah, but it can be a bit of a struggle. Whereas with a trust, it’s just seamless. Same thing with a will if you don’t have every asset with a way for it to pass, it’s going to go through probate, if you’ve got a trust, and you’ve got all your assets in it, the trust never dies. That’s why it’s called a living trust. So when you die, it doesn’t. So it avoids ever going to probate. It also has the word re vocable in there, meaning you can still change it during your life. But it’s like if I’m really getting tactical with the trust, it’s a contract. It’s a contract with you, you and you.
So it’s kind of a weird, your present self future self and
legal idea. But it’s You are the grantor you’re the ones putting things into it. You’re the trustee, you’re the one managing it, and you’re the beneficiary who benefits from it. So really, even though the trust owns everything on paper, you’re still doing everything with it that you would have done during your normal lifetime. You can still sell things Yes, still, you know, move things around. You can still invest it’s still yours. Yeah, you just got to make sure it’s still in the name of the trust. Makes sense. And if the trust is, you know, two to five times more expensive than a well what is the typical cost to draft up a will Is there ongoing costs? Or what does
that look like? Typically?
Okay, so I’ll speak for my costs individually here, but but there’s a range. Yeah, you know, you can get a document preparer who’s not a lawyer to do a well package as low as $500. Starting with a lawyer, you’re going to be somewhere in that $1,000 range for a well package. A little more of it’s a married couple, usually, for my pricing right now, for 2021. I’m still doing individual wills for 800 and a married couple 4020 22. That’s going out.
Well reach out for discussion.
My trust pricing is going to remain fairly fixed even in 2022. I really like it’s it’s a nice pricing line of work. So I’m 2500 on a single I’m 3000 on a married couple 3500 on a blended family where we’re having to do kind of a his hers and ours with some of the assets. So make sense, if we’re treating the assets the same. It’s just like a married couple. But
gotcha. No, I think that’s super reasonable for no one that you know, you have the peace of mind that what you’ve worked so hard to build up is going to the right places, it’s going to be mean, you work hard to build these things up. You want to make sure they’re going in the right spots, and under a couple $1,000. And that’s all done and don’t have to worry about it. It’s very, very cheap. causton, in my opinion.
Thank you. I appreciate that. I I like to think that people find it reasonable. There are certainly those who will charge more.
Oh, yeah, I mean, probably a lot less. might not want to go that route. Yeah,
there’s not a lot less. There are a few that you can find better, less, but but there’s plenty of it or more.
Gotcha. Yeah. So what’s been the most, I guess, exciting or fun story where someone came to you and just knew nothing. And after the education and the process, it was just like, Wow, I didn’t know I could do all this would love to kind of hear
story. Oh, gosh, you know, I love that part. So you know how people talk about their bartenders, and their beauticians, and they tell your whole life story. Yeah, the first time I sit with clients, I get the whole life story. So I become their best friend pretty quickly. And so there’s a lot of stories I could tell. But I think a couple of the most significant ones that that just show what a trust could do. I have a woman, love sweetest lady and single lady, divorce many, many years ago spent much of her life as a single lady, her only child got in some trouble when he was 19. And he ended up in in prison for a 10 year sentence for drug related offenses. And he’s about two years from getting out. And it seems like he’s wanting to go down the right track. But with with drugs and alcohol and other addictions, you know, people fall on and off. That’s just the way it goes. So I took some creative Liberty after I met with her really sitting back and thinking about if this was my kid, how would I want to deal with a situation like this? How would I want to provide for them now while they’re in prison? How would I want to provide for them the first few years getting on their feet when they’re out? And what am I going to do if they fall off and fall back into trouble? And what’s the cycle look like for that to make sure that we really do take care of them throughout their life. And so that’s exactly what we created for her is we created something where he’ll get some care packages while he’s in school, when he’s out. It’ll take care of getting set up in an apartment with that paid directly. So there’s not that large sum of money for him to run off and get crazy on. it’ll, it’ll take care of kind of a living stipend, and it’ll go up with his w two income as he becomes kind of self sufficient. And if he falls off, it’ll pay for treatment. it’ll pay for testing. it’ll pay for his education and health and maintenance, and tell his back on and then he can start having that w two match again. So it’s really cool. It’ll just always it’ll never enable him. Yeah, but it’ll always take care of him.
I bet you that that. She is so appreciative of that. I mean, that’s, I’m sure you get many thanks for that.
It’s it was it was a pretty special one to work on. Because, you know, this was her only family. Yeah. And and, you know, we all know any, any one of us, but for the grace of God could have gone down that Oh, yeah. And yeah. And so it’s, you know, it was neat and and you know, lots of families who we’re just, we’ve got blended families where maybe one of them makes more and so we have to account for how do we take care of both spouses and still provide for each of their independent kids with blended families? in a way that’s fair, and yet, yeah, still feels like a family that we could all come to agreement on. So there’s a lot of marital counseling.
I can only imagine wearing two hats, though, the the planning and the psychiatrists a little bit. Yeah.
So there’s a lot of that. So there’s, you know, and it’s and it’s the whole gamut and a lot of just Healthy Families wanting to do the right thing and take care of their their children and their grandchildren. So it runs the gamut and a lot of people who just want to leave a mark on Oh, my first client, this was cool. She was single, never married. No kids, but a large family. That was awesome. She had amassed a pretty good savings for self working as a W two employee, she’d been a saver.
okay. But her family ran a bunch of businesses and all made more money than she does. So her family really doesn’t need her money. So we sat down and we figured out okay, well this person lives in Hawaii and loves to do nature hikes. What if we give to a nature conservatory where he is, this person really is into, you know, it, we just went through and charities for each honorarium charities for each person in her family, that would mean something to each person and family.
And that’s, I mean, that, that, again, probably super happy because she’s probably sitting there going, I have money, but it’s not gonna like, make my family happy. They already have that. So getting creative and Okay, well, how can I still use this money to still align with what my family loves to do? And I’m sure her even telling that that was there with that they were probably appreciative made her feel good and price on that she didn’t even know was even on the table.
Well, yeah, she came into that first meeting. I know I need to do this. I have no idea what to do. And so we we brainstorm together and came up with things. And it’s kind of a beautiful, I think that’s part of what I like the most is the creative people part of how do we solve these problems in a way that makes them feel like they’re leaving that legacy they really wanted? Yeah,
yeah. It’s not black and white. It’s creative thinking you’re at, you’re a problem solver. And it’s amazing, when you’re helping so many people plan for their future, helping their family out. shifting over that spotlight to you. What are you working on? What are you trying to accomplish in the short term, maybe next three to six months from a personal level, but also for the business?
Okay. Well, since I started this business, my five year goal, I at one point, I’ll say it was a three year goal. It didn’t make it. At least one of the goals I mean, better than overshooting Yes, yes. Yeah. The big hairy audacious goals be hags? Is that what they call them as something like that? Yes. So my B hag was I wanted to make enough money financially that my husband wouldn’t have to work. He’s been he has been at the grindstone as a W two corporate hamster wheel runner, our whole married lives. And he’s been a great provider. He’s a great partner. We’ve been married 29 years. He’s awesome. I’ve known him since I was 11. And, and I would absolutely love to get to the point in my business where he could choose to work. Yeah, I wouldn’t want him to not work because I think he’d get bored. He’s a workaholic. But, but to choose where and how he’s never had that. Yeah, always kind of just been forced to keep the reins on. Yeah, so that’s a big one. I would say that’s probably the biggest one. I’d also i’m, i’m using my daughter somewhat, she didn’t quite finish her degree, long story there. I’m using her to do some admin things. And that I think that’s built some of her confidence and I’d love to see my business get to the point where she really finds her sole purpose. And I think she’s gaining some of that confidence and, and that kind of thing through it too. So, you know, like a lot of people my human side it’s gonna be about my family.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, no, it’s funny because it’s a similar story. I’m like semester and a half away from graduating with an accounting degree at ASU and it’s like so got almost there and then life happened and then finish it up but it sounds like she’s probably gonna learn her kind of what makes her happy working with you a lot quicker than the college college route. I mean, it’s to me I learned a lot more I mean, I learn a lot you know, accounting book smarts, you know, in college but the what truly makes me happy What do I want to do? What do I want to impact all that I mean, came in real life work and I’m sure that’s what she’s learning more of which probably been put to good use in the in the near future.
Well, and being a stay at home mom with two littles mean, my grandson turned four in March, my granddaughter will turn three the end of this month. Oh, wow. And so there to have her hands full all the time. So little Tasmanian devils. That’s the age where they’re just Yeah, yeah. Running around. Yeah, they’re so fun. And they’re so funny. You know, they’re, it’s amazing how it was true of my two kids as well. Two kids that come from the same parents genetically race in the same house can be so very different.
Yep, no, it’s so different there. But I mean, just just watch them grow up. I mean, it’s so fun. I mean, I’m only seven months into it, but it’s just every single day you learn something new or they do something new and it’s just going back to planning out your futures that love It’s like being irresponsible doing nothing knowing that you know, something happens that’s what she could have got might not have been what I want it you know what I mean? And just having that plan of attack, I think is huge.
It is absolutely take care of those babies. Man. That’s, that’s what it’s all about. Yeah. And then if you do a good job raising them, then you get to spoil your grandkids. If you do a bad job by spoiling them, then you get to raise your grants. I didn’t make that.
That’s so funny. Yeah, it’s my parents love spoiling a little one. So
yeah. Well, there’s a magic thing that happens the first time you hold a grandbaby. Oh, I can imagine just like the grants, your heart grows three sizes that day. Really, I cannot and you want to do something different in the world. So it’s, it’s a neat, and I get to be part of that too, with trust that different thing you can do in the world, right? When you’re when your heart just supersize? Yeah,
no, I love everything you’re doing love all the growth that you’ve had. And in the last three years, you’re going to accomplish that goal of allowing your husband to have the choice of working, where to work and all that, and I’m sure that’ll be a huge accomplishment. I can’t wait to see that. But you know, anyone that’s watching that, you know, got their this got their, you know, wheels turn in on, maybe I should start thinking about my estate and everything like that? How would they be able to reach out to you and start a conversation?
Fantastic? Well, I try to make that super easy. I have just about every way that you can reach me, you can reach it. So probably the best way is you go to lifeguarding legacies.com, that’s my website on there, I’ve got all kinds of information, a lot of the things I talked about today is there. You can on there, book an appointment directly, you can go on live chat on there and get information from people that manage chat thing all the time. You it’s got the phone number on there, which is 6025298 to 27. There’s a live person to take your call 20 473 65. And they get messages to me very quickly. If you tell them your prospective client, they’ll try to get through just reaching me directly. If I can’t answer I’m probably with somebody. But I get back to people pretty quick. That’s
not to pick your brain on what that services that you’re using.
It’s well, I’ll just I’ll just say it, it is for attorneys. Oh, it’s called Smith AI. And they do the chat and the the phone answering. And they I don’t know how small practices work without that they do such a phenomenal job of making big The other thing they do is they screen sales calls. So if you if you’re you know, thinking you’re listening to the podcast and thinking, well, I can sell this to an attorney. Good luck.
My gatekeeper gatekeeper. To your time. Yeah, absolutely. When I answered all my own phone calls I
i tough. It was tough. Yeah. So they do a really good job of making sure that people get to me that should get to me. It’s awesome. How do you thank you so much for coming in. This has been great learning more about yourself and your business. And I said, excited to watch you continue to grow.
Thank you. Such a pleasure, Dustin. I can’t believe we didn’t do this. I know. Thank you.
Where To Find Heidi Thompson
LinkedIn: Heidi Thompson
On the previous episode of RGR, Dustin talked Connor Smolensky