Kelly will be co-hosting a complimentary estate and retirement planning seminar with Joe Roseman, who will be talking about retirement, at the University City Library.
Sign up today!
*Determine if a TRUST is right for YOU
*Avoid the most common mistakes retirees make with their estate plan
*Reduce future costs and taxes for your FAMILY
*Understand how to avoid letting the NURSING HOME take your house
*Discover powerful retirement and estate strategies you never knew existed
RSVP using this link:
I am not an insurance salesperson. However, I often give my estate planning clients one common piece of advice – get life insurance if you can. This is typically easier for my younger clients, but for my older clients, the importance of having life insurance is greater.
Here’s the reason for my advice: First, life insurance passes outside of the probate estate (for a refresher on what is included in your “probate estate,” see this blog post). This means that your loved one will receive a check without an estate being opened or finalized. Often, my probate clients who have lost loved ones have already received their life insurance check before they ever even come into my office to see me to probate a will or settle an estate.
This can result in a tremendous burden being lifted. While your loved one is still obviously grieving the loss, your loved one does not have to be concerned with paying funeral expenses, medical bills, or even a mortgage payment, for example. This is especially true if you do not have joint bank accounts. If an estate has to be opened and settled for your loved one to receive their inheritance, they will not get that money for at least six months (and sometimes even one year). Also, spouses are required by law to pay the funeral expenses and medical expenses of the deceased spouse. These bills can sometimes wipe out savings. Additionally, if you pass away with debt, some savings accounts and other assets are included in your probate estate. Your loved one may not inherit anything if your estate assets are needed to pay your final debts.
Many people opt to forego life insurance in exchange for passing on retirement accounts like 401Ks and IRAs. While this is certainly an option, your loved one may not have near instant access to pay your final expenses. Depending on whether your surviving spouse is your heir or your children (or someone else), there may be restrictions on the use of the funds. Importantly, and the second reason why I recommend life insurance, is that life insurance is passed on tax free while your beneficiary will be responsible for paying taxes on withdrawals taken from retirement accounts.
Furthermore, if you are a business owner, and especially if you are in business with a spouse, life insurance can ensure the survival of your business.
Finally, I have started recommending life insurance policies that contain long-term care riders. If there is ever a need for you to enter a long-term care facility, you can use those funds for that. I have a couple of clients who are in moderate-to-nice assisted living facilities who have told me that they would not be able to live there had they not purchased long-term care insurance years ago. People are living longer, and medical care is getting more expensive.
The purpose for purchasing these products is not necessarily to pass on a large inheritance to your loved one. In my opinion, these products alleviate stress and potential burden on your family members (whether that means at death or in the event you can no longer care for yourself). Do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to be referred to an insurance professional to find out more information. I am not being paid to promote life insurance, but I feel strongly about these products, and I believe that it is an important part of the estate planning process.
In our third installment of Meet Our Team Members, we are interviewing Kelly Jesson.
Q: Have you always wanted to be a lawyer?
Kelly: I've wanted to be a lawyer since freshman year of college, when I took some government and politics classes. The type of lawyer I’ve wanted to be has changed over the years, though.
Q: What is the best part of your job?
Kelly: Helping people with something they cannot do themselves, and helping people have comfort.
Q: What is the worst part?
Kelly: Long hours associated with running your own business.
Q: What does your family think about your job?
Kelly: I think they’re proud!
Q: What do you think are the most important qualities of a good lawyer?
Kelly: Be a good listener, ask lots of questions, and be able to see more than one side to every situation.
Q: What is one misconception that the general public has about lawyers?
Kelly: They all make a ton of money. (laughs)
Q: What are your future plans? Where do you see the firm heading in the next few years?
Kelly: We hope to upgrade our office space in the next year or two. Long-term, we want to continue growing to a team of 15 or so, but we never want to be a huge, uptown law firm.
Q: What is your favorite meal?
Kelly: I love Indian food!
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
Kelly: I like to dance, antique shop, attend festivals, visit wineries and breweries, and go the beach or mountains. I wish I could do more serious traveling. I think a trip to Spain or Italy is in the near future.
Q: Tell us about your dancing.
Kelly: I’ve taken dance classes since I was 4, and after college I even became a part-time dance teacher. I took a break during law school and for a few years after, but I have recently begun dancing again!
Q: How do you and Ed manage the work/home balance? It’s challenging to run a business with your spouse and keep balance. Any advice for people who want to do the same?
Kelly: I hate the phrase “work life balance.” There’s no such thing. There’s no 50/50. I read that “every business is a family business” and it stuck with me. Even if I wasn’t in business with Ed, the business would be a family business because if you put 110% into something, you’re not going to leave it at the office when you come home at night. We just need to make sure we’re making time for ourselves, and we’ve been doing better about that lately. Since hiring Danielle, I’ve been able to leave the office at 6 pm and go to the gym. I’ve been able to only work a few hours on the weekend and enjoy my time with Ed.
Q: What are some things that you like about Charlotte?
Kelly: I like Charlotte because it feels like a small town, and it still has friendly Southern charm, but it has the amenities of a major city. My least favorite part is the airport. Did you know that it is the 10th busiest airport in the country? How is there only one terminal? And no long runway for those huge international airplanes? I almost saw people get trampled trying to load buses to get to the parking lots one Sunday night.
Q: What’s your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?
Kelly: This is a tough one. I have a few. Maharani, Jaipur, 300 East, Tupelo Honey, Yafo, Bonterra, and Heirloom.
Q: What’s a pet peeve of yours?
Kelly: I guess the airport? (laughs) I also don’t like poor grammar in text messages and on social media.
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