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Today’s topic is one that can be a bit of a hot button, but it’s something that needs to be discussed: long-term care. In this episode, Matthew and Micah sit down to chat about how you can really help your clients when it comes to making the right long-term care decisions well before it becomes necessary, as well as how to mitigate the risks of retirement and guide clients through the maze of long-term care planning and insurance.

Listen in as the guys unpack this subject and weigh in on how to help your clients make the right decision for their needs. You’ll learn the difference between long-term care insurance and long-term care planning, how Matthew and Micah handle this serious topic, and how you can deliver massive value in this area.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • The common disagreement on long-term care.
  • How to begin the conversation on LTC and keep it light.
  • The difference between long-term care insurance and long-term care planning.
  • What to do when a client needs long-term care.
  • Options of what can be presented to clients.
  • How to manage expectations on premiums.
  • Why failing to plan can put your client’s family in a terrible position—and how to avoid that.
  • How you can be better prepared to assist clients in their time of need.
  • What to review for your clients to save them from future issues.

Ideas Worth Sharing:

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. - Mike Tyson Click To Tweet
98% of people who come in have no idea what to do for long-term care, but they feel they need to do something—but they have no idea what that’s going to be. - @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet
If clients aren’t willing to share their documents, we can’t do our job as financial planners. - @ThePerfectRIA Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode:

EP. 76 TRANSCRIPT

This is The Perfect RIA, in case you didn’t know. Bringing you all the strategies to help your business grow. Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Are you hanging on the edge of your seat? Sit back and listen in while you feel the beat. Another myth bites the dust…

Micah Shilanski:  Welcome back to The Perfect RIA podcast. I’m your cohost Micah Shilanski and with me as usual is the legendary Matthew Jarvis. Jarvis, how’s it going, sir?

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, I’m doing good, but it looks like you’re getting ready to go on a flight in your airplane.

Micah Shilanski:  I am. I got a little too tired of having podcast sessions and video calls inside of my conference room and I was like, “That’s it. I’m out.” I generally travel a lot and that, of course, has been restricted, so I’m actually sitting in the car in front of my airplane right now. I figure we will do this and then we’ll go hit the skies and go do some glacier flying. It should be fun.

Matthew Jarvis:   That is very exciting. Very exciting. Well, interesting transition since you’re going to find a plane, which is a somewhat dangerous hobby though, it certainly will not end you in long-term care. Typically, a plane crash just sort of just end.

Micah Shilanski:  Hey, hey, I tell my wife this is a very safe activity, by the way, and she does listen to this. You’re not helping me out there, Matt.

Matthew Jarvis:   Oh, shoot. I don’t have a plan. I crashed my dirt bike and my bicycle. This is why Micah is a much, much safer guy, but we want to talk today about a real area, an incredible area to deliver massive value to clients. Which, by the way, if you’ve been listening to this podcast for more than one episode, you know that every episode is about delivering massive value, but we want to focus specifically today on delivering massive value on the topic of long-term care, long-term care planning, long-term care insurance, everything around that arena as it relates to clients and their risks in retirement.

Micah Shilanski:  This is really hard, right? Because this is a bit of a hot button cause you have some people out there that says you have to have long-term care insurance. You have some people that say long-term care insurance is stupid. You got a mix that’s going to be out there. But really this is a… I find this before really going through this with clients, when clients come to me, this is a decision they really have not made. We have some that are like, “Dude, I am getting long-term care insurance because my mother was in a nursing home for 30 years and I want that.” All right, so there’s 2% of people. 98% of everyone else that comes in has no idea what to do for long-term care, but they feel they need to do something, but they have no idea what that’s going to be.

Matthew Jarvis:   Totally. I 100% agree they need to do something. Of course, they’re getting bombarded with these bizarre statistics about the average person spends $107 million in retirement on long-term care insurance or whatever these made up numbers are. Yeah, people feel a real need to do something. As comprehensive financial planners, regardless, by the way, of where your compensation comes from, we need to be looking at all these avenues. Risk management is always a key avenue. Micah, let’s jump into a couple of ways that we discussed this with clients and then some of the techniques and some of the strategies that we’re implementing with clients.

Micah Shilanski:  Let’s do it. I always like to start off with a client, making sure we get on the same page with what our outcome needs to be, right? This is really important when we get into risk management. When I talk about risk management with clients, I would say. “We’re going to talk about risk management.” By the way, it’s my fancy way of saying for insurance, right? Life, health, disability, long-term care, property, casually we’re going to talk about all of those things. I make sure the clients really know what risk management means. Then when we get on the topic of long-term care, Jarvis, I always tell my clients, “Look, I require every single one of my clients to have a long-term care plan.” That is not long-term care insurance, right? That is a long-term care plan.

Micah Shilanski:  When something happens to you… By the way, I require estate planning as well, right? When something happens to you, what’s the plan? How is your spouse going to survive? What are your kids going to do? All of these things go into that conversation and we have it right on the heels of our estate planning conversation. As soon as we wrap up estate planning, our next meeting we generally do risk management, and we go through these other decisions.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. I have a very similar conversation. I think it’s important in these conversations with clients to try to interject some brevity, some kind of like… I won’t say comic relief. That’s a little too much, right? We’re not making knock knock jokes on there, but I try to lighten the mood because it’s such a dark, heavy thing. One of the things I always interject if we’re dealing with a husband and wife, I’ll turn to the husband and I’ll say, “Joe, I’m really sorry. Men, as you probably know, don’t typically live as long as women. By the way, if I have to take sides, I’m going to take Sue’s because she’s going to be a client longer than you are. I just want you to know right up front. I just need to disclose as a good business owner that I’m going to take Sue’s side these discussions.”

Matthew Jarvis:   I have a big stupid grin and we all kind of laugh, and it sort of gives us permission to go down this topic without it getting really serious and dark.

Micah Shilanski:  Right. Yeah, and hat’s not the place you want to go, right? You want to keep it to a positive place as much as we can in this topic, but you want to set realistic expectations. I think right now there’s a few unrealistic expectations that sometimes clients will come in with. Number one I would throw out there is with the husband and wife, right? The husband is going to say, “Well, if something happens, we’re just going to take care of each other,” and the husband is 250 pounds and the wife is 150 pounds. All right? Let me get this straight. Your wife at 150 pounds is going to pick you up out of bed and get you dressed and get you to the toilet? This is the way this is going to work? I don’t see this happening.

Micah Shilanski:  We also have to put some realistic expectations on this as we’re walking them through this planning process.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah, we really do. Again, you’ve got to try to put some lightness. Micah, like your joke, right? Or not necessarily a joke, a comment, right? It’s like kind of creating some awareness. I’ll do this, by the way, a lot of time with prospects and we’ll play some stereotypes here if we have a husband and a wife and the husband handles all the finances and the wife doesn’t or if the roles are reversed, right? But this is kind of stereotypically how it works. I’ll say, “Hey, Joe, what happens if heaven forbid you get some dementia and you’re not able to take care of your finances? Does Sue know the passwords to the bank accounts?” “No, no, she doesn’t.” “Does she know how the investments are set up?” “No, she really doesn’t.”

Matthew Jarvis:   “Okay, so what’s your plan B here? Again, heaven forbid, you weren’t able to do this yourself, who takes over?” For clients, we say, “Hey, that’s by the way, us because we see this all the time, right? We see where one person’s health starts to decline physically or mentally and we’re here to step in and we’re here to say, “Hey, we’re noticing changes and here’s the steps that need to be taken.”

Micah Shilanski:  Jarvis, when a client goes through this plan and they have a long-term care need that’s going to be there, right? How are they going to fill that need that’s going to be there? Do you recommend long-term care insurance? Do you have your hybrid products? Do you put a separate pool of money at the side? What do you do if a client’s going to need long-term care?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. I think every client, not just I think, every client has a potential long-term care need, right? Everybody. Everybody’s at risk of getting dementia or stroke or any number of things. What I first do is walk through with clients to establish that need. I say, “Do you have really any idea how much long-term care costs in our area?” Because it varies so much area by area. Usually they’ll throw out a number. Sometimes the number’s way off. “Oh, it costs $2,000 or it cost $40,000” I would say, “Oh, that’s interesting. Well, according to studies in our area, it’s about $10,000 a month. Let’s just use that number as a figure. Average person spends a year to two years in long-term care, so that’s, geez, a hundred to $200,000. How would we cover that?”

Matthew Jarvis:   We started there from an asset standpoint and they said, “Boy, Matthew, that’s really a lot of money,” but then I always like to back it out to an income level. I say, “Well, if it’s $10,000 a month and right now you have $7,000, a month of income, really we just have a $3,000 gap.” Because I’ll say, “Joe and Sue, do you think you’ll be taking vacations down to Florida if you’re in a nursing home?” They laugh and they say, “No, probably not.” “Do you think you’ll own two cars if you’re in a nursing home?” “No, probably not.” “Okay, so a lot of your expenses will transition over.”

Micah Shilanski:  How do you do that? I’m going to pick on this a little bit if you don’t mind because I think this is an area that we get a lot of questions from advisors. Let’s take Joe and Sue and Joe is going to… That’s all clients do. I always pick on the guy because statistically something’s going to happen to you anyways, right? Don’t take offense to it. Something happens to Joe. He goes in a nursing home. He has $10,000 a month. Well, Sue’s costs aren’t zero. Sue still has costs, monthly expenses. How do we budget for that because I think they’re be burning through their money pretty quick?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yep. That’s a good point. A line we always want to use is, hey, we don’t want the sick spouse to wipe out or to bankrupt the healthy spouse, right? We want to protect both people. My favorite strategy there, and this doesn’t always work, but my favorite strategy is when they have home equity and I can look and say, “Mr. and Mrs. Client, you have $700,000 of home equity. If one of you were to need care and the other one wanted to stay in the home, we could start tapping on that home equity to pay for Joe’s care so, Sue, that you could stay in the house. In the meantime…”

Matthew Jarvis:   By the way, when I’m describing this, this is an audio so you can’t see, let me tell you, my hands are kind of up and I’m saying, “We can look around,” and I’m looking around my office, “at your house and say, “This is our long-term care policy. Hopefully we never need it. If we don’t, we can leave it to our kids or our charity or whomever. If we do, we can tap on some of that equity.” Now, Micah, their first question after that is always, “Well, Matthew, are you talking about a reverse mortgage?” I say, “You know what? There’s a lot of different strategies for accessing your home equity,” and that’s something we would touch on when that scenario came about.

Micah Shilanski:  Okay. Do they ever press you more than to know what you’re talking about?

Matthew Jarvis:   Some clients will, especially if they’ve had family experience with reverse mortgages. I’ll say, “Hey, we could draw a home equity line out to tap that. We could do a reverse mortgage to tap that,” but I want them to get kind of their mind around, hey, we’ve got a million dollars of equity out of their house. Now, if they have no equity in their house, which is not going to be kind of an ideal fit for me, but if there are no equity, we’re going to have to say, “All right, how would we come up with that? How are we going to protect Sue’s income while, Joe, you’re needing $10,000 a month in long-term care?

Micah Shilanski:  Do you ever recommend long-term care insurance to fill that gap?

Matthew Jarvis:   I do sometimes, but not very often. The hybrid policies aren’t widely available in the State of Washington, thanks to the infinite wisdom of the state insurance commissioner.

Micah Shilanski:  Freaking communists.

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah. Yeah. Good planning there. Thank you, Mike Kreidler. Anyway, on that happy note, so we don’t have a whole lot of options in the State of Washington. I know I’m going to get a hundred emails from advisors telling me about options that are available. We look at them pretty often. I will on rare occasions. It would just really depend on their financial situation. Most of my clients are in a financially solid enough situation that we can sell fund.

Micah Shilanski:  I like to evaluate insurance with clients because I like to make sure that… This is what I tell them, “I want you to make an informed decision on what your options are,” right? We kind of have three different ways that we can slice this pie. One is you can self-fund your long-term care need. Number two, we could go buy insurance, or number three, we could do a combination of the other two, right? Because it’s not an all or none solution that’s there. I think so often clients think about that. I like to present them with those three different options when I’m going through the planning process, and I’ll show them the cost for long-term care because I want them to know that because it’s their decision to make, right? It’s our decision to guide.

Micah Shilanski:  I really like informing them with these numbers, especially later on where their kids are like, “Why didn’t you buy long-term care insurance? Well, I don’t know. Micah never showed it to me. Right? He just said my house is going to pay for it.” I don’t like that scenario. We go through what those different options are. We even talk about hybrid policies with the client, and I let the client decide. Now, the biggest thing that I have a biggest gripe on with long-term care policies, and again, my market is in the feds and with the federal long-term care plan with John Hancock, they have consistently increased that price over time. Now, it was severely underpriced.

Matthew Jarvis:   Dramatically.

Micah Shilanski:  Yeah. It was really underpriced when it first came out, so the writing was on the wall, but I’m telling all of my clients, “Look, if we buy a long-term care insurance, you’re not agreeing to the premium today. You’re agreeing to pay that premium going up about six to 7% a year every year for the next 30 years. Because if we cancel when you’re 85, that was a worthless policy.” I’m really expressing to my clients that longevity in the decision in which we’re making today, whether it’s a self-funding decision, whether it’s an insurance funding decision. This is a 35 year decision. We got to be committed to that. I really like exploring those different options with clients. Most of the time they do decide not to buy a traditional long-term care plan.

Micah Shilanski:  I will have some that’ll do the hybrid plan because they’ll ask us a lot, has some better options out there than Washington does. We will explore those, especially if there’s a life insurance need component that’s going to go on. Other than that, we’re kind of the same thing. Most of our clients want to self-fund in some capacity.

Matthew Jarvis:   A couple of I want to pull out, Micah, in what you just talked about. One is that managing expectations on the premiums. We talked recently about buckets and guardrails and lots of things. This is a discussion that I imagine you’re having with clients every time you talk about risk management, which is, “Hey, your long-term care premiums are somewhat like your health insurance premiums. What have your health insurance premiums done the last few years?” “Oh geez, they go up every year.” Long-term care is probably the same way, right? This is not a fixed life insurance policy, but that’s something I’m going to remind them about every time that I see them is, hey, this is a variable thing.

Matthew Jarvis:   Now, Micah, I liked that you pointed out that you quote long-term care premiums to all your clients and this is a soap box item that you and I have. A lot of advisors get hung up on this fee only thing almost to the point where they can’t talk about anything that’s insurance related.

Micah Shilanski:  Right.

Matthew Jarvis:   We last year did a value add that will post for the Backstage Pass members that gave all of our clients a long-term care quote. Now, it was a round a number of quote because we didn’t do medical on them, but it was just age band and dollar amount and it just said, “Hey, just so you know, here’s kind of what long-term care premiums would run in your situation. Don’t I say recommend them in your situation, but if you’d like to look into it more, we could.” We had one or two clients that did look into it further and went through underwriting. We outsourced. But we wanted to make everybody aware of it because, Micah, to your point, let’s say that client gets dementia, right? We had a client.

Matthew Jarvis:   He spent 10 years in not just a dementia facility, but in like physically restrained dementia facility. He got this violent form of Alzheimer’s, had to go to the state mental hospital for 10 years. Really horrific, horrific thing. At that time, the Medicaid planning was quite a bit different, so we were able to do some things to protect his spouse. But now those rules are different. You don’t want the children to come back or the spouse to come back and say, “Hey, why didn’t you ever talk to me about long-term care? You never even told me how much it would cost. You’re holding yourself out as a certified financial planner and we didn’t talk about this.”

Micah Shilanski:  We just make it super easy. Again, my experience with the federal employees, we always use fedsltc.gov because all of that information is public. You just put in their age and boom, it kicks out the policy. I mean, it’s stupid easy. Excuse me, not the policy, it kicks out the quote, but it’s really easy as a starting place to look to see what this insurance is going to cost and what are the things that they should do. We talked about a couple of different options, right? They could do a hybrid. They could do a traditional long-term care. They could do self-funding, that’s going to be there. Then sometimes we’re going to have the clients who will talk about this in the estate planning as well.

Micah Shilanski:  They’ll say, “Micah, I’m not going to go into a nursing home. I’m not going to do that. If it comes out stage, I’m going to jump in the plane. I’m just going to run into the mountain.” Right? We’ll have these conversations with clients and they’re like half joking, half serious, but this goes back to managing expectations and kind of drawing that back in, right? I would say a lot of people say that, right? They’ll say they’ll take their own life. They’re not going to put their family through that, but these stats don’t show that, right? Theory versus reality. Theory is people say, “Well, I’ll take care of this myself.” Reality is even if they want to, which more than likely they won’t at the time, but even if they wanted to, well, they’re not going to be in a capacity to do that.

Micah Shilanski:  I would say I’ve had a couple of other planners that have stopped planning once this client says they’re going to take care of it themselves. That’s not a plan, right. You have to go beyond that.

Matthew Jarvis:   I think really similar to that, Micah, is when they say, “Well, my kids know my wishes.” One, your kids probably don’t know your wishes, but two, I paint this scenario out. It’s tough to not get too dark into this. I say, “Hey, you’re down the road. Let’s hope it’s decades from now.” I always say, “Long-term is going to decades from now and you’ve got dementia and you’re in really bad shape. The doctor tells your kids, “Hey, if we don’t give your mom this antibiotic, she will die.” Therefore, what your child is hearing is, “If I don’t give mom this medicine, I’m killing my mom.” Your children, are they going to do that? Probably not. By the way, shame on you if you put your children in that situation where they’re having to make a life and death decision.

Micah Shilanski:  Shame on you.

Matthew Jarvis:   Your estate document better spell that out to the nth degree. Your DNR better spell that out to the nth degree. Do not put your kids in that situation ever.

Micah Shilanski:  We spent a lot of time on the advanced healthcare directive for that exact reason right there. How dare you put your kids in that position, especially if you got multiple kids, right? Now you’re going to create a permanent family divide because one says, “Mom wanted to be let go,” and the other one says, “No, she didn’t,” right? It’s a little bit ambiguity and only one child has to make this decision. All my gosh, talk about permanently splitting your family. You need to take that responsibility and you as the advisor need to be expressing that to your clients. I don’t tell them how to fill this out, right? I don’t tell them what they need to put on this document, but it will say you need to make these decisions.

Micah Shilanski:  Telling your kids can make this, hat’s not an acceptable decision on our book. You got to spell these things out.

Matthew Jarvis:   Having a state documents, right, having a directive to physician, having a power of attorney, those are table stakes, but they’re not nearly enough. Most attorneys I found unfortunately will not put very good directives because the law is very limited on what you can put in those.

Micah Shilanski:  Right.

Matthew Jarvis:   The law is limited on what’s enforceable. You can really put anything you want in your estate documents. You can put, “Hey, I want a spaceship to pick me up on Thursday.” It doesn’t make it legally enforceable, but you could put it in there, “Hey, listen, here’s medications I want, here’s ones I don’t.” The best guide I’ve ever seen for that is the veterans administration actually has kind of a directive to physician, which I don’t recommend using because there’s some legal issues about it in different states, but it has very specifically. If I’m in pain, this is what I want. If I have this…

Matthew Jarvis:   Very step-by-step, very black and white, and that’s something we’ve given to clients, again, not as a legal document because we’re not practicing law, but as a guide for the discussion. When we did long-term care planning last year with all of our clients, we had everybody look at that and complete that for their family.

Micah Shilanski:  Now, Jarvis, how do you know that they completed it?

Matthew Jarvis:   On that one, I don’t. I have all my client’s estate documents, their powers of attorney, their directives to physicians, but this one, I don’t know. I had a little bit of head trash around how personal that was. Probably next year when we do it again, I’ll ask for copies of it.

Micah Shilanski:  When we give these things out, we do request copies that come back. I mean, all the estate planning documents are absolutely required, right? Will, healthcare directive, a durable power of attorney, a trust, any LLCs, anything like that we want to have a copy of them. A couple of reasons, one, we read them. No, I’m not an attorney, we’re not giving legal advice, but you’d be amazed at the conflicting information that we see inside of there where attorneys were drafting things like, “Did you really mean to put it this way?” It’s another set of eyes that we can bring up with the attorney. The other thing that I love having about them, Jarvis, is this has happened multiple times.

Micah Shilanski:  A client has traveled, got in a car accident, and the spouse calls me and was like, “I’m at the hospital. This is going on. They won’t let me see my spouse. I can’t make these decisions.” I’m like, “All right, what’s their fax number,” and I can fax them the advanced healthcare directive, which gives them full power in order to be there, right? Us having these helps the client. I share this with my clients because when they’re in that time of need, they won’t know where these documents are or be in a place to run home and get them. Hey, the ambulance is coming because my husband fell down and hit his head on an entertainment center and had a stroke, right? “Let me run to the safe and open that up and get them to advance healthcare directive and DNR.” They don’t have it, right? We have copies of all of those.

Matthew Jarvis:   We use that same example or a similar example with clients all the time. I could say, “Hey, what if you’re traveling or what if you get sick and your kids can’t remember the code to the safe deposit box or the bank is closed for the weekend or the coronavirus is going on and you can’t get to your safe deposit box,” whatever it is. We say, “Hey, we have those all digitally, we can send them to you anywhere in the world so that you’re ready when things happen.”

Micah Shilanski:  On a note with that, we do the same thing with client’s travel documents as well. If they want to give us a copy of their passports, if they want to give us the like the last four of their credit card and copies of credit card information when they’re going on a big trip in case something happens to them, we can get it to them. That’s a solid value add. Again, you should have your client’s driver’s license anyways. We ask for their passports. We’ve actually had a client lose their passport overseas and we were able to get them that copy of it so that they could deal with the embassies in order to get back to the States. Huge value add. What did it take? Absolutely nothing, right? Merely asking for it just to be able to provide a little bit extra help for them.

Matthew Jarvis:   You want to always have one of those stories available when you ask for estate documents, right? Kind of a reason why, but then keep the other ones in your pocket. If you give them 10 stories, they’re going to say, “Wait, why does he protest so much?” But if you give them one, say, “Hey, a lot of clients really appreciate that we have a backup copy. If they lost theirs or heaven forbid your house caught on fire or your kids couldn’t find it, then we’ve got that.” If I have a client push back a little bit more saying, “Do I really need to get it to you?” I say, “I had a client a couple of years ago, their son altered the trust documents. Only because we had a backup copy did anybody know that that happened.”

Matthew Jarvis:   Same with everything we do, right? Here’s what we need. Here’s why we need it, right? Here’s the benefit, not the feature.

Micah Shilanski:  This is a requirement, by the way. There’s no client we work with that will not give us their estate planning documents. I would graduate them in a heartbeat because if they’re not willing to share that, if they’re not willing to get these documents, we can’t do our job as financial planners.

Matthew Jarvis:   That’s right. That’s right. Micah, I want to highlight a couple of things on estate documents you mentioned briefly, but I want to make sure the audience picked up on that. While we’re not attorneys and we don’t practice, we don’t claim to be nothing like that, we also reviewed the documents in pretty great detail looking for, like you said, inconsistencies. Most estate documents are just made in a mail merge document. I can’t tell you the number of state documents I’ve seen that have random people’s names in it. I’ll call the client and I’ll say, “Hey, you never mentioned Sally Jones,” and they say, “I have no idea who Sally Jones is.” “Well, she’s the beneficiary to half of your estate.” “Well, what do you mean?”

Matthew Jarvis:   You could tell that it had just been not updated in the estate documents. Sure, could you contest that will after the client dies? Yeah, but that’s going to be an absolute nightmare. We want to review those things. We want to make sure that beneficiaries line up, that things are spelled correctly. All of that’s got to be. That’s part of your job of delivering massive value.

Micah Shilanski:  Signatures, dates, and initials, right?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yes, notaries.

Micah Shilanski:  Notary dates. When does their notary seal expire? We’ve seen multiple documents get signed after a notary seal has expired that’s there, right? Is that valid or is that not valid? I don’t know, but we’re going to fix it, right? I don’t want to have that discussion in a courtroom. We’re going to get these things. These are solid little value adds that you can do for your clients.

Matthew Jarvis:   Micah, on the same note, what do you tell clients or how do you have the discussion when a client says, “Hey, I found CheapWills.com or do it yourself Suze Orman wills,” what do you recommend versus a real… I guess what do you recommend in general and how do you handle that discussion?

Micah Shilanski:  Sure. It depends on the circumstances, right?

Matthew Jarvis:   Sure.

Micah Shilanski:  I call it if it’s an I love you will, “Sweetie, I love you. If I die, you get everything. If not, everything goes to a charity.” If someone wants to do LegalZoom.com, I don’t really have a big issue with that. It’s pretty simple. I don’t like the Orman package that’s there. I just looked at it and for me it just doesn’t work. If they’re going to do their own, it’s LegalZoom. I actually like their setup that’s there. If it’s any more complicated than that, literally any more complicated than that, absolutely no on LegalZoom. I would prefer an attorney. I’m not ragging on any of the online software sits there. It’s like TurboTax.

Micah Shilanski:  The clients answer the question the way they read the question, not the way the question was written by an attorney. Sometimes we need that individual attorney’s interpretation in order to get a real estate plan done. I don’t like box trusts. I’ve never read a box trust that I’ve read that I was happy with that came out of these companies that had a lot of planning issues inside of it. I’m a little bit more biased towards that. I like the individual side. What about you, Jarvis?

Matthew Jarvis:   Yeah, very similar. I always explain to a client, I say, “Having a cheap will is better than having no will,” right? In almost every case. But my experience, estate documents are a pay now or pay later proposition. You can save a little bit of money up front and then when you’re in a time of crisis, you can figure out that it didn’t quite work the way you thought it was going to and you can hire attorneys to figure that out, or you can pay a little bit more now, see a good attorney, one that we recommend, get it all taken care of, so that when the time of crisis comes, we know with certainty that this thing is as smooth as it’s possibly going to be. I like that kind of pay now or pay later analogy.

Micah Shilanski:  I like that. I think it’s really important, especially there’s a lot of difference between wills and trusts from a cost standpoint and really going through that with clients that’s there. This podcast is all about action items. Let’s make a transition real fast, Jarvis, and let’s get into these action items that advisors need to be implementing. Of course, the first action item as we talked about long-term care is obviously jumping on iTunes and giving us a five star review, right? Clearly that is the most important thing for long-term care planning with your clients.

Matthew Jarvis:   That’s right. That’s right. Of course, that number two would be if you’re a Backstage Pass member, log in because we have in the Backstage Pass a long-term care value add that I did with clients last year that walked through these different scenarios. It’s something you can easily adapt if you’re not a member of the Backstage Pass, become one, but either way, every advisor at least I would say every other year at the far end should be walking through risk management, specifically long-term care with clients saying, “If this happens, here’s what we’ll do. If you need $10,000 of long-term care, here’s how we’re going to cover it. We’re just going to write a check.

Matthew Jarvis:   If you need a $500,000 in long-term care, here’s what we’re going to do, maybe you can cut a check, maybe we need long-term care insurance, whatever the case is going to be.” You need to walk through that with every client on a regular basis.

Micah Shilanski:  Amen. You need to review and track their state planning documents, right? Set another action item for you. So make sure you have those advanced healthcare directives, those durable powers of attorney. if the client has moved, bring it up to them saying, “Hey, you signed this in Arizona. You moved to Florida. You might want to check and make sure everything is still valid and get it updated.” For me, regardless of what the attorney says, I always want to see an advanced healthcare directive in that state in which they’re residents because we’re seeing so many issues with hospitals not accepting durable powers of attorney because they’re not used to them. They don’t see them.

Micah Shilanski:  I want to see the state statutory form because it’s the easiest to use, but make sure you have all those documents on a client. Solid value add to go review those.

Matthew Jarvis:   One more I would throw out there, this is a really easy one but very impactful and this is ask all of your clients what the number one cause of emergency room visits are. It’s not the COVID crisis. Slips and falls. Of all ages, the number one reason people go to emergency room is slips and falls. I tell clients, especially my clients over the age of 50, but really all of them, I say, “Take just one month long-term care cost. Let’s call it $10,000 a month in our area. Take $10,000 and spend that on reducing the fall hazards in your house. Put extra guardrails up. Take the towel rack in the bathroom and bolt it into the stud, so if you slip and fall, grab that.

Matthew Jarvis:   Put anti-slip. Put more lighting in. Put door handles instead of door knobs. But spend one month longterm care expense on making your house less likely to be a slip and fall hazard.”

Micah Shilanski:  You can even bring in experts to help review that from an agent place community, right? That they can see those little things, those little trip hazards that we’re used to in our house, we don’t actually see. I think that’s a great value add. Well, this podcast, of course, is about action items, so make sure you’re going back, review those action items, take action on them so that you can be delivering massive value to your clients. Until next time, happy planning.

Matthew Jarvis:   Happy planning.

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