Plan Your Inheritance Without Breaking Your Bank. An interview with Alexander Konetzk

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Alex is an inheritance attorney who serves people looking for a lifetime relationship that is different from the typical attorney/client relationship in that his firm, Aleandros LLC does not charge you every time you call but rather charges a flat fee for a specific service that could stretch over your lifetime. Do you know what your story will be? Are you certain that your wishes will not be circumvented by the government and that your heirs will not pay more than necessary in legal fees and taxes? Alex helps answer some of those questions in this episode of Building Your Life with John Browning. And remember that you can always connect with John by texting "LIFE" to 21000 or by going to GuardianRockWealth.com.

Welcome to the build your life podcast with John Browning. Build your life as a relaxed and unedited conversation with financial expert in number one Amazon best selling author, John Browning. John's the founder of Guardian Rock Wealth and serves clients across the United States. John's the author of the book build a life, not a portfolio, a guide to your financial future based on your personal values, which you can purchase on Amazon, or stay around to the end of today's show and I'll tell you how to get a free copy mailed right to your door. I'm Michael The lawn, your host for the next few minutes as we chat with financial expert and business owner John Browning. Hello everybody, it's John Browning, a guardian rock wealth on the building your life podcast. We do this once a week and we come to you with what we think is going to provide some value to you. So listen in and feel free to go back and look at past episodes as well. Everyone that has listened to this before already knows this. But really quickly, the way that you can best get in touch with me is to text the word life, l Ife to twenty one tho, or go out to the web and go to Guardian Rock wealthcom hit the contact page. I'm happy to talk to anyone and it costs absolutely zero to speak with me for a little while. I'm happy to do that if I can had some value of your life. But normally we have Michael de Lan on with us and today we have given him the day off again and we have with US Alex and Alex, I'm going to let you introduce yourself. I'm very excited to have you on the show and learn a little bit more about this. I have we have talked about the idea of a state planning, inheritance, legacy, planning, all of those things on the show before. I think you've even met one of our podcast guests and talked with her, Cindy Arledge. Anybody wants to tune into that, you can do a search on our podcast website and find that. But Alex has been in this business for what over a decade now. You've been in the legal business and you've got some great things to share with us. But just to start out, because you tell us a little bit about not just sort of what you do but more about why you do it. Yes, absolutely. So thanks, John so much for having me on the show. I'm really happy to be here at Cindy, who is really wonderful, and glad you connected us and that is that is something that you clearly do well. You are connector so I very much appreciate the opportunity to meet and work with her a little bit and to get to know you a little bit better. So, in terms of what I do, yes, I am an attorney. I have an attorney for a about eleven years now. I actually, yes, coming up on coming upon this is my eleventh year, because I think I went in and November of twenty ten at my how time has flown. I began in litigation, was so, which is, you know, just that. That is exactly what it sounds like. It's lawsuits and it's a lot of fights and it's a lot of court and all kinds of stuff like that, and I worked in that, in that that part of the law practice, on the civil side, and I found success in that side of the practice, but I also found dissatisfaction because of the powers, because of the the acrimony that you have with the the the the the opponents that you face in cord. Sometimes the acrimony is with judges. You try to stay on their good side as much as possible, but some just are not interested to hear anything about that. And you know, and and so what I I really found that that was not the best place for me to spend my time and use my law degree in license. I found that I didn't really want to fight that I liked. I liked something that was creative. I wanted something that was like cooperative, I wanted something that was about building something. And so that's how I ultimately found my way and after babbling with it a bit in some of the the law firms that I've worked for here, it's Tago in the past night. I'm located Chicago, I found my way to what most people think of and call estate planning, but what I think of and call inheritance planning, which I think is as a it's a expressing a larger concept of what you are actually passing along to those people that you care about, are those institutions that you care about most in the world. And so to really illustrate, I think the difference between, you know, what I was doing in litigation and what I do now in plan is that really what you're doing when you hire a lawyer to litigate for you,...

...to file the lawsuits for you. I think what you're actually doing is paying that person to make your problem their problem and they have to solve that problems where you and they're probably going to charge you a lot of money to do that. Yes, they will. Yes, yes, they will. You sound like you might know something about that idea. And that's it, and that's the problem. Right like sometimes the problems that you face, legal or illegally, are not of your own making. In fact, often they're going to be somebody else is making. But you still it's still your problem and you still have to deal with that, which is stay you still have to pay a lot of money to have somebody else deal with it, and it's it's never an experience that makes anybody happy, you know, like even when clients win, it was my experience that they were just so, you know, relieved to be done with the whole process of it that, you know, it just like they were happy to win, but but it just kind of felt like it really extracted a lot of their energy, of their intention and so on and like, you know, moments of their life that they're not going to get back, unfortunately. So you're paying for somebody, a lawyer, namely to make your problems their problem. But in the case of planning, you would be a pain and, in turning, like me, to prevent you from ever having a problem the first place. That's really what the focus of planning is. Litigations about fixing them, like cleaning up a mess that somebody made. Really, it's it, and I always thought about it as like really glorified janitorial work. And, you know, except maybe before talking like about really great, interesting constitutional kinds of issues or things like that, but most litigation is just cleaning up somebody else with mass. Here again, we're we're preventing their from ever being a mess. That happens because of thoughtful decisions that are presented by someone like me and made by somebody like you about what they want to happen, plans they want, structures they want to have in place, documents that they want to have in place to kind of govern what happens to their financial wealth when they're no longer around, what what happens in situations of emergency, when they can't, for reasons having to do with a medical condition or something of the like, can't make consci decisions for themselves anymore about financial decisions that they need to make, a financial matters they need to make, or health matters that they need to make. And also, and this goes back to the what I was saying about the the idea of a more holistic idea of inheritance versus the states, is, what about the story that each person wants to tell about themselves? What what is each person's story? What do they want people to know about them? You know, people that matter to the most in the world or kids, their extended family, their friends, whatever, you know. What is it? What is the story that they want to know and about the ideas that they want to pass on, values that they might have in their own life that they want to inspire future generations with. All of that is part of an inheritance that will be passed on and that is the work that I'm really attracted to doing. fact, that's, on my favorite part of all of the work that I do with with clients, that narrative aspect of it. So that's what really attracted me. I'm somebody who has a story. I has a background and in a degree of like drama and storytelling. I studied for a couple of years at the second city improvisational comedy. I was, you know, I was in English Literature Major. I read a ton of Shakespeare and went to untold numbers of plays and have want can throw down at least with a lot of people who may not the true cinephiles up there. I know my movies really well and so it's just an idea of story that I'm really attracted to. This is a way to do that while using my law degree. So that's really great and that was what really really, you know, compelled me to to look at this area of law and find the way that's practice. It was a couple couple parallels in there that if I can take them out and you tell me if I'm doing this wrong. But one thing I thought of as you were as you were talking, is is just about. Well, they've even made it a law now, right, that you have to have health insurance. So people buy health insurance, people buy life insurance, and that's part of what we do here at Guardian Rock because we do comprehensive wealth management. We focus ourselves on managing the money, but that's not all your wealth, right, and the other part of wealth management is putting people in touch with people like you and be an insurance agents and the right insurance agents, the right legal people, the right tax people that have the correct long experience to make sure that things, bad things don't happen later on because they haven't prepared now. Yes, and so that's that's...

...kind of the thing. And when I speak with people I find that not very many people have really thought through. First of all thought through the idea of what they want their best life to be, but then certain only not what their end of life planning is going to be. Yes, and at the end of the day, a lot of times we've gone and we've chased the dollar, we chased the career, we've tried to grab everything that we can. And then also when we get to the end of our life and there's a cliff and there's the end and it's like where did it all go? Where did I go? What? Why did I do that? Well, what was I doing this whole time? And then one of my one of my one of my favorite things I've heard recently is, I think, from a from a study that was conducted where people were asked questions towards the end of their life in particular about regrets and what regrets they might have, if any, and the number one reported regret was I worked waste too much. You know. So you yeah, maybe you achieved some level of financial wealth that you were you are always chasing after, but you got there and then you're like, but what else? What is it? You know? I okay, so I want that part of the of the game, but why does it not feel like I won the whole thing? You know, because you ignored a lot of really other, really important, other aspects of your life? Maybe because you never reflected seriously and tried, like, dug deep and tried to figure out what is it you really need beyond just the doll that you're earning? You know what else you what else did you need in your life? And you don't have those questions, you probably put yourself in a position where you do put yourself in a position where you're more likely to end up with regrets towards the end. I shouldn't have worked as much. I should have gone on all those vacations. I really wanted to, but I decided that I wasn't wanted to. or I I should learn an guitar or whatever it might be. You know it just didn't make a time for it because there was always the excuse of I have to work, I have these responsibilities, I have to make more money, I have to do this, but that's so and I by the way, you know, a really great aspect and I think this is why the work that you and I do, though different, is mutually reinforcing, because I think that if there's somebody who comes into my office and we start talking about questions of story and who are you, and where are you going, and where do you want to be at the end of all this? What do you want people to remember you for? That naturally begs the question if you were to pass away tomorrow right are you ready? Would would people, do you think, think the things that you want them to think about you? Would you be remembered in the way that you you want to be remembered? Do you even know how you want to be remembered? But if the answer to that question no, I don't think that I would be remembered if I die tomorrow the way that I really want to well, then the quite that naturally jugs the question. What do we need to do to getting there? What? What do you need to do? Differently and that it's a conversation that I think I can have with people and I think that's a conversation that you can have a people you know. Like. It's weird, I think, very much two sides of the same one. Yeah, and it's it's all. It's also this idea that there's people that think they can do, you know, these things by themselves, and they can, if they're smart individuals. Right, they can go out on the website, they can go to youtube, they can, they can figure it out. But it's like if you put a football in my hands, it's worth about twenty bucks. Right. If you have put it in drew breeze has hand, it's worth about twenty million bucks. Right. It's do you if you know what you how you want to be remembered, if you know what your best life and maybe haven't thought about it, but when you do think about it, and I encourage everybody to think, really think deeply about this, then do you want to sort of do it yourself or would you rather put those tools, the money, the legal aspect, the tax, all those things that go into it? Would you? Would you want it and drew breeze's hands, or what do you want it in you after you watched a few youtube videos or did an internet search, right, are you really going to end up with that masterpiece that you really want? Yeah, there are. An Algorithm is never going to care that much about you. It's not that smart, it's not that sophisticated, right, and it's not going to know you. It's not gonna, you know, be able to sense things about you, it's not going to be able to have heart felt conversations with you. So yeah, that it's you know, if you're looking for absolutely the bare minimum and as cheap an option as you possibly can get, sure, I guess you know that's that's...

...a that's a choice. It's a choice that you can make. But I think that what people who do the kind of work that you and I do offer is that it's the relationship side of things that you know, that you can have with clients that make the extra money that those clients have to pay to work with you so much more worthwhile. Right, your feel I think, like a lot of clients who I worked with have felt like they didn't pay enough, like I didn't ask that, like we are you sure this is zid like, because because it feels like there's a in my experience, like I didn up having a really good relationships with clients, you know, and and I think that, you know what, you can't really put a price on that, especially, by the way, if you're talking about somebody who's not just going to be with you temporarily just to get some stuff done, but somebody who the proposition is no, no, like we're going to establish a relationship for as long as you want to write, as long as you want to keep calling me and you want to keep talking, you want to stay in touch and you want me to give you advice and so on. I'm here for that. My idea, as we say this on on our website and my my law firm is called Alexandros LLC. But what we say on our website, Alex Llc Dot Cot, for those who are interested to check it out, but what you'll see right at the beginning, they write at the home page when you go, is it's counsel for life. I'm going to I'm not going to be your lawyer, I'm going to be a counsel. Is Kind of how I want people to think about it. And I'm not just here to make some documents for you. What I'm here to do is I'm here to kind of shepherd you through a process and ask you a set of questions that you will answer and at the end of which you will feel confident, that I think, confident about what you want. You'll know where things are going and you'll feel more in control than you did prior to meeting me and doing this work together. You know that and that once we're done with that first phase, which is where most of the work has beyond that, then I'm staying involved. We might not talk in a regular basis, but anytime we want to call, anytime you want to email, anytime you have a question about or anytime you see changes that need to be reflected in the planning that we do, I'm here for that, all right. And I know that your relationship with clients is actually quite similar. Yeah, very similar. Yeah, well, a way. Let's so let's switch gears are just a little bit and and I often get the question I have. I you know, I love to work with all different types of people. So I'll work with I'll work with people like, like the families that maybe are quite big enough to be a family, opposite in and of themselves, but they're sort of just below that threshold but they need some financial I'll work with those really high net worth folks and and they're fun to work with right. And then I work with the retires or pre retirees that just have maybe a few hundredzero and they're trying to figure out, oh nuts, I didn't plan for my best life. How do I catch up? Right? And I have another subsection where they're younger and they may be in their twenties. I have a I don't make a lot of money at this, but I have a lot of fun at this. I have sort of a twenty somethings and they don't generally have a lot of assets, but they're fun to work with. When because I only will work with the twenty somethings that are truly dedicated to making a difference and building that foundation and are really willing to do the work and require to build that awesome foundation. And those guys are the guys that are really going to get ahead because they got their whole lives ahead of them and they've started out with a good base. Yeah, but those twenty somethings, when I say to them, usually on the third or fourth meeting because I have a program where I meet once a month month with them and I kind of I kind of just coach them. They don't have any assets under management or anything, but I just coach them on how to get started. Yeah, I'm about the third meeting. We start talking about als. Do you have a will? Yeah, I have a power of attorney, and then you have all the powers of attorneys that you need. And first of all they usually say, well, you know what it will is, but why the heck what I need want? And then they say what in the world is a power of attorney? And what you mean? There's two of them, to two main ones. I'm sure there's more than that. Yeah, but what would you say to a twenty something person, or even an eighteen year old maybe, who is just getting started and they say why in the world would I need a will or power of attorney? Well, first and foremost, the reason is because tomorrow is just not promised. You know, I think when we're twenty or thereabouts, you know like it feels like you do mean sure, like if all things go well, you do have your whole life and you can have like this long, prosperous light ahead of you. And you're Oh, well, I mean I've got all this time. It's not really it's kind of a down or topic...

...to talk about. Why do I really wanted? You know, it would be like worried about this stuff right now, especially if you don't have a ton of assets. You know, that's another reason tonight I suppose not do it. However, like, if you like, if you only look at it as something financial, sure, because because really like, if you have a very small amount of assets, you know, you're like, here's a I guess that's the thing, like the the the assumption as well, whatever I might you know, my family just sorted out or something like that. Right it. Maybe you're okay with that, but maybe you maybe you're not okay with that, because what happens is, if you don't have any planning whatsoever, is that the law has planning that it puts in place for you that you might not like. Might not like. You know, you might not care, but maybe if you are, if you but I think a lot of people who don't necessarily care about this haven't really fought it through. That's the experience that I get. And then what I do is, like I run people through scenarios like, okay, let's say that if you didn't do anything, if you love this meeting and you didn't want to work together, you just wanted to kind of keep things as they are, and you don't have any documents. You know, here's what would happen if you died tomorrow, right, this is this is where this, this asset would go invested so on, and like I kind of like break down the whole thing for people, and that often does lead to results that they're not that they're not particularly happy with, and so that's a exactly a reason you don't have all lots financially to speak of. That's a really good reason to plan. Now. The other thing that you mentioned, however, was was question of powers of attorney. Now, those are those are documents that you sign, that people sign, that empower someone other than them to stand in their shoes and make decisions for them, either in a financial context or in a healthcare context, or both. Right, it can let the oftentimes, especially in like a spousal situation, right, the spouses are granting each other both of those power hours of attorney, financial and healthcare of related right. Um, that's a really big deal. Right, and I think especially like even if you're, you know, if it's if you don't have a lot of assets to speak of, financial not such a big deal for power of attorney, but the one that is always a big deal is the healthcare of power of Atturney, because, no matter what assets you have, right, you know, there's no assets that's more important than your health. And it's your body and you might wanted to be treated in a certain way given certain circumstances. Right, and it's not just end of life stuff like should someone pull the plug or not, if you were in a certain condition, like an extended unconsciousness, but more so and under like, and you had to be assisted in order to stay alive, in order to keep your vital systems, you know, functioning. But it's it's also this, it's also this, this question of, you know, mental health. Like in a state of Illinoy, lawyers are expected to ask questions about the mental health preferences of their clients. Are there certain kinds of treatments that you might consent more explicitly not consent to in advance of potentially being offered them in the event that maybe you lost your marvels, either permanently or temporarily or you just like again, we're in a situation among us, like a situation where you could not make competent decisions for yourself. What are your wishes in that situation? If you haven't expressed them, then and you're, let's say you're either, you know, recently married, or you are not married. You know, if you're married, then your stouse is probably going to be able to make those decisions for you, but you haven't had a conversation with them to tell them what you really want, or you know, you in the case of parents, right, that's a that's a worst case scenario. If you were in a really critical situation. Maybe you know a situation where your end of life and they have to make a decision, the decision that your parents and you have not planned. If you don't have any documents in place, you haven't mentioned made a power returning determination. You're putting your parents in a situation where they have to make an impossible choice for you, which is to say they brought you up from they conceived you, they raised you, they invested all this time and effort and money and all this stuff, and you're saying to them, Hey, guys, I want you to decide whether or not I should come off of this machine. You know, that is that's that's and I you know, I hope that's not true. Upsetting to hear, but that's part of my job, is to actually present hard truths, you know, and get people to confront them so that they can take action if they don't like how that situation would play out. Right. So that's part of that's part of the value that I try to add in the part of part of my job is to confront people with these difficult questions that I don't particularly like ask. I don't like to you know, I don't really love to dig into the...

...stuff I love. The only reason I like it is that I think that it puts people in a better position than they would be had they not been confronted with the question. So that's so much easier to talk about now than it would be to talk about it when that is actually going on. Yes, absolutely, question and you can think about you know, have that conversation with loved ones in a situation where you're you're able your fully CONSCIS, you're young, you're healthy, you'R vibray whatever. Now is exactly the right time to start having to start thinking through some of these things and have that conversation with the people who matters matter most to you, because part of the process of naming someone as your agents with power of attorney for either financial or medical or both, you know, or someone naming someone who's going to be the executor, who will or your trustee if you were to set up a trust for yourself, you're having to really think hard about who's my person? Who can I trust to do this work right? And it's really important. It's really important things to be thinking about and people, I think, find it, like, really edified to go through this and do this. There's no time like the present to do that, especially because tomorrow is not promised to bring it all the way back around to there, ever, you know, I like that. Those circle we went were all the way back there. My Way, I see it's a lie take a long circuit as route, but I find my way back to bencive. No. So the next question I get right, and this is from and I realized that a lot of what you just said will be the same, but I'll get from say, the forty, fifty, sixty year old right the the little bit later in their life. Well, they get two things. Number One, well, yeah, I probably should, but I'll do that someday and and I just haven't gotten around to it or I you know, want to. Yeah, I did that. I think back in one thousand nine hundred and ninety three and I'm like, what would you know? Where the documents are? Does a pres a person who is your power attorney still alive? And and we have that conversation. But what would you what would you say to them, other than, you know, all the stuff you just said about the twenty something still applies, right. Yeah, but what would what might you say to somebody that's in that type of position into Summis just the type of that type of position is like a kind of categorically like what's what's about them? And they did some planning, but they but they're they haven't really updated it. They don't know what the situation is right now. Is that the idea? Yeah, you've kind of you kind of. I see two situations. One is oh, Geeh, probably should do that. I never have and they're fifty, sixty seven years old. The other is I did that some yeah, time. Yeah, and you know, and of course usually the people in the first category that haven't done anything and haven't really thought about that or or anything. I call those the some day I'll they're going to retire. On some day I'll they're going to be with a lot of other people. On some day I'll yeah, and it's some day I'll develop a financial plan. Some day I'll get a will and bower returney to someday I'll and suddenly they're on some someday. I'll yeah, the retired there and liked pwice. They're like, wow, how did they get here? I thought I had more time. Yes, that's right, that's okay, got it. So yes, so it's interesting. I'll actually start first with the second thing that you mentioned. Okay, having having a plan that you did a long time ago and you're not really sure what's in it and you don't you have an updated it. Ever, you just kind of put it on a shelf somewhere or just now, like everything is. I do almost everything digital, even though you you know, when people work with me, they get paper, because you have to. There has to be a hard up, but you store wherever you store yourself and you haven't really looked at it. I won't go so far as to say that's as bad as not having anything whatsoever, but it's not that far off, because when you think about how much life can change in just a year, people come and go, society changes, the whole world can change overnight. Right, like planning is something that, when you do the first time, it should be really is it it? Every few years, right, two to three years. Actually. There's one of the things that I do. I charge flat fees for people to work with me and then they get what we build into that model, the ongoing relationship, which guarantees each client, at least every three years, an update to any and all documents that require updated. I'm probably I'M gonna time out here because you just said something that I don't think I have ever heard from definitely not an independent legal advisor lawyer. You said the words I work...

...on a flat fee and that includes and a whole long like every three years. That's significant. I just want to say that that that doesn't I don't hear that very often, especially in the legal profession. So it's a it's a new it's a new model that I think is increasingly being taken up by attorneys who are on the younger side, and it will we've seen. Obviously, isn't it? What it is, what it does is, and I think what frustrates a lot of people, and I worked IT firms like this, by the way, where there's there's no transparency in the building process and all the plan you just get laid wait a minute, we just had real cakes. We had a fifteen minute in you to the fifteen minis to respond to an email for me, and we had a phone call and you can put and suddenly there's like a several thousand dollar bill in the mail, like what the Hell happens? Is it all justified and are there no standards? Like where do it? You know, so you know it's the kind of the same thing that people go through. I think there's just like how only going to wait? When you're getting medical care in the US. It's like, well, what the hell, what is this bill? What is it you're wearing? This come from? I didn't I just pay this with although this is from a different person that was involved somewhere else. Right, yea, the way, I guess, like enough lawyers practice law like that for so long, we'll just say we're just going to run up, you know, we either you're going to we're going to work off a retainer or when we're going to do this hourly, or we're just going to give you a surprise and mail at the end of the month and you're probably not going to like it like that. was just kind of how things ran for a really long time and I think there's a much greater demand for transparency and pricing and, in particular, there's a desire for, you know, for flat fees, because you know I'm going to tell you everything that I'm going to do for you and however long it takes me or anyone that I'm working with to get all of that work done, the amount you pay you will know in advance and you will pay nothing more than that amount unless at some point during the process we just add work to what was we what we originally agreed to do, and then we can figure out what to add to the overall products. And people really like that and they respond to that and maintenance in terms of keeping a plan up. Today. That's what I think like. People just don't have a historically they haven't had a particularly good experience going through this whole process right. So, Ah God, I'm so glad I got that stupid cracked on like now I don't have them worried about this anymore. Is going to put it up there on the shell. And and if you honestly, if that's the ADDIC, that's the experience that you have, then who would want to like talk to the lawyer again, to have to you know, be another bill, another bill, to have to Redo this stuff, you know, go through thinking about this stuff again, like wants to do that? So so this way then become it's a way of encouraging people to do the right thing, like you should do the right thing because it's built put into the price that I'm charging up prime. So right. So that's there's a there's a number of lawyers I know around the country who are starting to go more towards this model of planet and I think that they're finding success in doing that. Yeah, I just wanted the point that I know interrupted. You're so good. Sorry, I probably completely messed up your train of fun. No, so, but that's it. So that's the reason. You know, that's what I would say to the the person who has already done some plant is, you know, it's time to if you're not going back to that same lawyer who did the planet. And if you haven't taught, you haven't even felt compellable talk to them for, you know, an extended period of time, then maybe it's a good idea to look. You obviously don't have much of a relationship with them, so maybe it's okay to look for another lawyer. And and I would encourage people like that to really like how a lawyer look over all of their stuff and really comb through it to see with them. You know, is this right? Does this accurately reflect your wishes? Is there anything that's missing here? Are there any documents that I should have as part of this comprehensive plan that are just not there? I bet there are, because that's what the that in my experience, when I'm looking at plans that are already done, I have a desired to almost start from scratch a lot. It's fine. Yeah, sometimes that's the best option. Yeah, it's the best option. Let's just start fresh and you're going to have a whole new relationship with your lawyer with me, just to say then you did with the guy who just gave you some documents and you were done with it and you never, you will, really wanted to think much about it anymore. So there's that. And you know, either you can have a situation where a lawyer is updating those documents you already have and therefore charging you a little bit last, or you can start from scratch right, but then look for somebody with a flat face and you know exactly entrete pay it. So so there's so, there's there's that. But that's what I would say to the folks who already have plans for the folks who never did plan. You know, especially as you reach the later stage of life, either somewhere in the vicinity of the middle or even beyond the middle, you know obviously that it's a you know, there's a there's I can...

...say to the twenty year old. Hey, tomorrow is not promised, but odds are that unless, you know, there's an accident or something terrible happens, then that twenty year old is going to survive for a while. They don't have to worry about, you know, medical things too much. Whatever the you know, the situation is there as to mean that there are just as generally healthy person, you know, and nothing significant. These are going to say that way and they're going to live to see their s and their s and yeah, but if you're already there right and you're having medical procedures that weren't done before and you like your body doesn't feel as good as it used to, and and also, by the way, unlike the twenty something, you've got even accumulated a good amount of assets, both in terms of financial assets and in terms of family assets, for which you are all in your responsible for all of them, then the the you know, there's a even more compelling, admit, I'd say even a way more compelling reason to get to work as soon as possible and put a plan in place and start to think about these things. That's just in the sense of making sure that everything is taken care of. You have some control. The government is not going to decide where your money goes. Because, by the way, let me say this, if you are in the state of Illinois, and every single state is like this, they're just different levels at which this kicks in. But if you don't have to, you don't plan in particularly, we don't have a trust. If you have a will but not a trust, and you have in your a stage, which is just kind of a legal concept for all of the stuff that you own that has an economic value, attached to it. If you in the state of Illinois, and it's probably pretty similar in most places other than California, which has, like people with significantly more wealth than in a lot of the rest of the country. If you have an estate worth a hundredzero dollars in the state of Illinois at the time that you die, that is state will have to be probated, whether or not you have a will. The only way around that actually with the main way around that. And then there's a couple of exceptions that I I dig into. People dig into with people when we Kinton, when we can solve with each other. But the main way is to establish your trust, and that is how the only way really like if you're out, you have asids up over a hundred thousand dollars in Illinois, to avoid probate. And why do you want to avoid probate? That process? This is a process by whereby, by the way, the states right exactly exactly this. It's where the state right says what's going to happen to your property and it's the state, meaning a judge, specifically in probate court, who has to write order saying this goes to this person. This person has a legal right to this. This person has, and you literally have to go through all the stuff that's in your estate and they can. Decisions have to be made and orders have to be written by the court about all of that stuff, so that it is like legally inviting documents, sending this change of property right. So the person that's supposed to go to it's the coral and all of that is public. And guess what? All of it involves lawyers and, as we said before, lawyers are expensive. So what you end up doing is cutting out a piece of what you could have passed on financially. I a good percentage of that. Some, I mean depending on how much it is. I mean it could be like six through ten, ten percent, even more than that. Sometimes. Now, if you have like you know that that's that could be significant assets for all the money. Yeah, so't went by the way. What I do, my economic model, is just to charge probably significantly less than what most people would end up pain if they just went through the pro to a process. Right, you can pay a few thousand dollars to work with me and it just like how much they face. Like I'm most most of my clients are between the ranges of like two and tenzero dollars in terms of like the the the money that they spend on work that I do with them, and whether it's two thousand or it's Tenzero, it's ultimately has to do with the complexity of the planning that needs to be done, the complexity the of the family situation and all that kind of stuff. In by the way, that specifically for building trusts, like because it trust are really complex documents. There's something like your own personal financial and health constitution, like you can think about it. Yeah, it's your governing document, right, right, your executive, legislative and judicial and I by the way, I've had people say, oh my goodness, I don't want to spend. You mean I have to spend like twozero or Tenzero, and they have. They have like five million dollars the trying to protect and I'm like, guys, you're going to protect like all of this for two thousand dollars or five thousand or ten or whatever it is. I mean to when you do them, if you think it through and you do the math, and that's a lot of what antial planning is all about, right, is sometimes...

...we get emotional and we can't see the forest for the trees a jar. Can't read it to a label. You get emotional about your own personal situation, but if you have somebody that's a third party that can step in and kind of okay, wait a second, let's let's do the math on that's for you test a second right, and and and you just walk through its step by step. This is the same reason why, I'm sure, like, like, I don't do my own financial plan right. It's not a good idea. A doctor doesn't treat this, treat their family members, doesn't treat themselves. It's it's just not a good idea. But I but I I'm always amazed at what people think is only goodness, that's too much money, when you look at the other side of it and you see how much they're protecting, yea, and how much they stand to lose or to pay to of all player. I don't know too many people that just love to give money to the government. Not You worry, you're going to give it in your and that's you. What you run into is court fees. What you run into, for sure, our attorney fees and and if you have a lot of assets, if your your assets are in the seven figures, you need to start worrying about an estate tax right which, by the way, there is a federal estate tax and there's an a state level. The state tax, course, yes, and different. You know, how they work together depends on where you are. But the but the state estate tax is a far lower threshold for application than the federal estate tax. And the Federal Estate Tax is actually now under discussion because of the current political the political composition of Washington right now, which is, you know, obviously majorities of both houses of Congress and the person in the White House right now are not happy with the right, the historically high level right a threshold for the federal estate tax to kick in. So there's something that's under discussion for a reduction like to a lower threshold, and that would obviously start to affect a lot of people because, yeah, I mean like, even if you didn't have an estate tax problem, you're still going to end up paying thousands of dollars in court fees and attorney fees and all kinds of stuff like that, not to mention, by the way, the average probate process goes six to twelve months in the state of Illinois. Right. So that's by the way, since to twelve months. You're waiting on the people who need your assets, who need like the continuity, who don't. Aren't really keen about the idea of having all of your stuff, air it out in public and become a part of permanent public record, all your financial life and everything like that. All your family fights. That there already. You put people in a position where, by the way, like can't fights to and can break out right between family things can get ugly when money's on the table. The semi arline talks a lot about that too, and keeping the family relationship intact. Yep, and people won't necessarily think about that very often, but you can ruin lifetime relationships over. I know she tells the story of one that shoes very familiar with, where it was over about Twentyzero. Man, I I like to say I don't like to say this, but I do like to say this. This phrase is money makes monsters sometimes. Yeah, and like especially if you know, if you got people in your family who are suddenly maybe they're like you're talking about a windfall, however small mean. Maybe it's Twentyzero, maybe it's less than that, maybe it's a lot more, but maybe a lot of people. Putting people in a situation where they've never had that kind of windfall before, and I think it has the tendency that you know, it certainly has a potential to make people crazy and you know, over the worst thing to get crazy about, you know. So what what great lanning and foresight is good for is heading that situation off and pass again. It's like that idea that I was talking about before of you pay the litigator to make your problem their problem. This is an example of you're paying me to not have a problem in the first place. I can't guarantee how people are going to act towards each other in your family, obviously down the road, and who knows what the Hell is going to happen, but I but the best what I can guarantee you is that I'm putting you, and lawyers would do the kind of work that I do, put you in the best position to succeed right down the road and do and have that avoidance of the kind of destructive conflict that Terris family's apart. Sometimes money makes monsters. So so that yeah, that's so. That's the that's the that's the other side of it a lot of reasons. You know, there's there's and it really comes down to cost. You know, do you want to pay to work with somebody like me a fraction of what you would ultimately pay to a lawyer...

...and potentially even to the government if you had high enough, high enough asset value collectively, you would pay a fraction of that just to like you can hang out and will you know, we'll talk and we'll think about will ask the questions and you'll feel good, like about the whole process when you're done with it. I think that's a pretty good use, a way better use of here court. Here's a bunch of money here, attorney, I don't really like and don't really care about. Here's a bunch of money here, federal, the man or state government. Here's a bunch of money and we it's six to twelve months and say and we six to twelve months. I got to everything's on hold for a while and everybody struggling a little bit because of that. You know, like there's all of that is totally avoidable. Yeah, you know. And when you know all when you know all of that, you know, when you know what what could happen, because you actually took the time to think about it, you'll feel real good about doing this work. When it's not. You might feel real good about it from the start. You know, you're like, I'm so glad I'm now doing this because I feel like I am giving a gifts. You know, I'm doing the right thing and I'm actually giving the gifts to the people that I care about the most by by by taking it, making sure that the likes it's least likely as possible for all the problems they could arise to us. Yeah, well, I tell you what, Alexa, this has been the all that you try and keep my podcast. You know, like fifteen men's twenty minutes. I think we wile longer than that, but it's because this is a really no one's super important topic. Number two, you, obviously you are very knowledgeable and passionate, which is a great combination to have, and I want people to understand and know how to get in touch with you so real quick tell them exactly how to get in touch with you and of course, if you reach out to me, I will be able to get in touch with Alex as well, and vice versa. But I how, how's the best way to get in touch with you. The the most direct and quickest response is through email. That would be a K for Alexander Knetzki AK AT ALEX LC dot co Ce so, and that's also my website. Alex LLLC DOT CO is the website. I encourage people to check that out. I put I made it myself, put a lot of work into it. There's like really great pictures on it. So go check that out. Of nothing else. You'll enjoy the pictures, you'll enjoy the art and and and the you can also just reach out directly by phone. My my work phone, which will ring on my personal cell phone, is three one two, eight eight four nine zero three four. More time. Eight eight, three one two. Okay, eight eight four zero three four. I really need to put that in Jingle. Done. I like I think you know if we get like the Empire Jingle or something like that, you know will get that going. Three one two, eight eight four nine zero three four. I love it. I love it at all I can remember that. Was it no good? Maybe go hid. So that's how you get in touch with the Alex you can obviously everybody knows that. Listen to this podcast on a regular basis. You can get in touch with me by texting the word life to twenty Onezero. You'll get all sorts of really cool links, including the link to my calendar where you can book something at your convenience, and again, that's absolutely free. Or go out to Guardian Rock wealthcom and fill out the contact US information and that we are right back with you within twenty four hours or even quicker sometimes. So, Alex, has been awesome having you on. We're going to have to do this again and maybe pick maybe a specific topic and drill down a little bit deeper or something like that, because it has been fun. I can tell you. I've I've worked with Alex in the past and now in this sort of new role that he's in. It's fantastic what he's doing, a little bit different, new way of legal advice. And again, just as a reminder, nothing on this podcast is to be considered personal, financial or legal advice. For that you need to contact us directly and we love to talk to you. All Right, Alex, will talk more later on. I'm very excited to come back whenever you would you be so inclined to ask me, and maybe then the next time you can maybe been by the next time I'm going to have a really cool text message contact thing like you have set up, because that is I'm so jealous that that I really like. I need that in my life, you know. I want people to be able to text the word and then all kinds of magic happens. That's that's great. I'm a connector. I can get you that. I can like him, take care of that for you. Ready. I'm ready, and then the next time I'll be able to give people my word exact to it. Yeah, I love money...

...really is a big part of our lives, and John Browning can help you and your family learn how to keep money in the proper perspective. It's important, but it's only a tool that can help you build the life that you want. If you like John Emil, you a free copy of his book build a life, not a portfolio. Go to John's website, Guardian Rock wealthcom, and click the contact to US link and send your request. John Will Mell a copy of his book right to your door absolutely free. Thanks for listening to building your life podcast with John Browning. Be Sure to subscribe to this podcast so each new episode will be sent to you automagically when it's released have a terrific day. Nothing in this podcast should be construed as personal investment advice and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investing is not appropriate for everyone. There is a risk of loss associated with investing in the markets. No representation or implication is being made that using any methodology or system will generate profits or insure freedom from losses. Please remember that investing carries risk. Guardian Rock Wealth LLC and it's affiliates are fiduciary investment advisors. Please consult with US or another experienced qualified investment advisor before making any investment decisions and or trying to implement any of the strategies and tactics we may discuss in any of our publications or podcasts.

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