Title: “Money Management Implications For Those Who Meet Later In Life”
Guests: Lisa Cukier – Burns & Levinson and Aviva Sapers – Sapers & Wallack
Interviewer: Jonathan Freedman – MAGE LLC
Click here to read the transcript
Welcome back to Radio Entrepreneurs. I’m Jonathan Friedman and our next guest joining us are Aviva Sapers Sapers and Wallack and Lisa Cukier of Burns and Levinson. Great to have you on the show this morning. Great to be a Jonathon. Thank you. So you both have really interesting businesses and you help people at all stages of life. And one of the things we’re going to talk about today is what happens when people meet later in life and implications for money management. So you want to, you want to kick us off, give us a scenario or provide us with a little bit of context, Either one of you. Okay.
Thanks, sir. You know, I’ll tell you it’s a difficult issue for a lot of families, because there are long held expectations of the way that wealth is going to pass through the generations. And when somebody is later in life, perhaps they’re divorced and they’ve been divorced for some time or recently, or they are widowed. And a family is expecting that there may not be another person in their elders life. And I should say elder doesn’t we’re living longer and longer. So it could be at any age, people meet people in their nineties frequently. But what it does is it could actually up and long held expectations of the way that wealth is distributed by inheritance.
Lisa (1m 24s):
Because when you get married to somebody, there are marital laws that entitle a spouse to elect against the will and take a, share a marital share. There are support obligations, not everybody uses a prenuptial agreement. There’s a lot of times concerns by the younger generations that perhaps the patriarch or matriarch of the family is being influenced by somebody by a young, romantic interest. So these issues come up in connection with a later in life romance and it causes family upset, especially children from prior marriages and prior relationships, adult children, because they have expectation and anticipation, and they’re concerned that it’s going to be uprooted.
Jonathan (2m 13s):
So I, I think to your point that we hear of these cases in the news whereby you know, an elderly gentlemen marries a very young second, third, fourth, fifth wife and their children suddenly are cut out of the inheritance or at least the late inheritance, just put it into context. That’s what we’re doing. Maybe that’s an extreme example, but to think about it in the context of having two adult children who may think that they’re titled or the way the will reads 50, 50 a sharing of beneficiaries, and then there’s a new spouse in the mix. So that’s really the context that we’re talking about, which changes the dynamic. And, and so if he, if, I guess, give us your take and I’m sure you see situations of this very often, and it it’s, it’s in some respects, it’s a great problem to have, right?
Jonathan (2m 57s):
Because people are finding happiness and yeah, it can bring a family strife on some level, no question.
Aviva (3m 3s):
I mean, my dad, who’s 93. When my mom passed away three years ago, he ended up meeting a woman 10 years younger, who was, I felt age appropriate at that stage. You know, she was 90, she was 80 and, and it’s takes a huge burden off my shoulders. Cause I know he’s got someone being with him and spending time and, and, and giving him some and some companionship and whatever else at this stage. But you know, it does re you always raise the question. Well, is it, are they going to get married? Is it going to affect our inheritance, et cetera, et cetera. And one of the things that we’ve done in our industry, a lot in those kinds of situations is we have said your insurance is the big equalizer. If someone’s worried about taking care of their new love interest or whomever, and they’ve already done planning and therefore some of that’s set in stone, but they want to take care of them.
Aviva (3m 52s):
Life insurance is a great way to make sure that that person gets something when they pass on, especially if it’s a younger something, someone or other in their life. And or if there are from different marriages or different families, there are ways to make sure you are taking care of people. You haven’t already worked with Lisa to create trusts and other entities to take care of by buying an insurance policy, to make sure that when you’re gone, the death benefit, the proceeds go to that, that new family or the new, the folks who hadn’t been taken care of. So we find that people don’t always think about it, but they feel like it’s all or nothing. And from a child’s perspective, it’s like I’m getting cut up or I don’t want to become too close to this person.
Aviva (4m 33s):
I’m going to kind of push them out because they’re going to want grabs on our inheritance or something like that. And when you have something like insurance it’s yeah, it costs some money to buy insurance, but it’s a great way to, to just make sure everybody gets a little something.
Jonathan (4m 48s):
And to your point, I would imagine that that insurance is a little more costly as you know, people are a little older, but in terms of what it potentially saves you in the long run and the potential to mitigate state issues, it’s probably a pretty good investment.
Aviva (5m 2s):
Sure. I mean, it is more costly when you’re a little bit, if you have an inheritance that people are rarely that worried about obtaining you probably have enough to have some money go around to buy some insurance.
Lisa (5m 12s):
It is an equalizer. And one of the nice things about that kind of strategy, whether it’s trust, planning, insurance, planning, annuity planning, is that the person who’s doing the planning can actually carve out certain assets for different people. So let’s say her new husband can get a certain carve out of assets and her children from a prior relationship have a carve out of certain assets. It presents a situation that I encounter a lot with my gray divorces when I’m handling gray divorce is a very often, you know, the spouse that I’m representing has a soon to be ex-spouse who’s concerned is that assets that have been acquired and grown and accumulated during the marriage are going end up in the hands of a new spouse.
Lisa (5m 60s):
And ultimately in the new spouse’s families hands, you know, going through a different bloodline and out of the hands of the children of the marriage, of the primary marriage. So by using insurance strategies and annuity strategies and, and trust strategies, there’s a way to carve out a different benefits for different generations, different family members and let everybody know the things are going to be okay.
Aviva (6m 29s):
And, and it’s interesting because you mentioned annuities, which is another insurance related vehicle that if you want to take care of the new love interest, you can put money aside so that they will get an income for the rest of yours and their life. We call it joint survivor. So that that person is taken care of. If they’re now in your life and important to you and you don’t want to leave them nothing, but you want to make sure, especially if you’re in the eighties, nineties age bracket, you want to make sure there’s still some income and you can use an annuity, moves masses by, and it’s called a single premium immediate annuity. It’ll pay that person for the rest of their life. And therefore, you know, they’re being taken care of. The other thing that we often talk about is long-term care insurance.
Aviva (7m 12s):
As we get into the older age brackets, where if there’s an illness and let’s say, you know, you had a new parental figure in your life who if they get sick, you may or may not want to take care of them, but you may want them to be taken care of. And as a result, if there’s some longterm care insurance in place for you, the parent, or the new love interest, you, it, it helps mitigate the potential dip into their inheritance. Once again, to, to use it up, to take care of somebody who just recently joined the family, if you will. And, and it’s a, it’s another tool from an insurance perspective that, that helps with that. One of the
Lisa (7m 49s):
Nice things about the long-term care insurance too, is that it’s not only for nursing home care. There are couples who use it for home care so that the couple can remain at home together throughout the duration of their life and just have several hours or even more than just several hours. They can have significant home care. Sometimes there’s a need to supplement it a little bit privately, but it’s one way to keep people at home. So long-term care. Insurance is not only for nursing home care, right? One
Jonathan (8m 20s):
Of the things that strikes me in this conversation that is perhaps different than traditional estate planning, is that you do have probably well, possibly in a lot of scenarios, this situation where, you know, the children don’t necessarily have that connection to that new spouse or the same feelings that parent may have. Do you often find in these situations that children are more involved in the estate planning process or involved in the process on some level? I mean, I imagine it makes it third authority for, for you be it because of the emotion attached to it versus, you know, it’s emotional enough to it with your own parents, let alone somebody who you really don’t have that connection with. It’s
Lisa (8m 60s):
It’s thorny for conflict reasons, but Viva, did you want to address that question?
Aviva (9m 4s):
Well, I was just going to say in the conversations, you still have to assuming that they’re not so old, that they’ve already started on their own mental decline. You, you want to have conversations with the initial G one, if you will generation one, to be sure, you know, what their real intent is. They may say my kids have enough. I’ve done plenty for them all along the way I bought this one at home, I gave that one a deposit. We get a car vacation and whatever. They may feel that the kids are taken care of. So you want to start usually with them. And then yeah, kids do get involved and they do oftentimes trying to find out what’s going on. And they, it all depends also on whether they like the person that came in or don’t like the person and how long they’ve been brought into the picture.
Aviva (9m 47s):
And so sometimes sitting down, it’s almost family mediation work more than anything else, but if they know there’s a plan, sometimes they don’t even know it could be that they’re going to inherit the whole thing and their parents doing nothing. They just have never communicated because a lot of people still don’t talk about the financial stuff. And I’m sure Lisa, you see this all the time. It becomes more of a therapy session.
Lisa (10m 8s):
Yeah. Yeah, it does. You know, it, children don’t have the right to know what their parents are doing. Parents don’t have an obligation to tell children. Sometimes the adult children feel entitled to know what’s going on. Sometimes it’s the adult children who bring their parents to me for estate planning or for discussion of this sort of thing. But as a lawyer, I can only represent the individual. You know, my client, my client must be the individual signing documents. I can’t prepare documents for somebody else to sign. So it creates a little bit of a thorny conflict issue. But ultimately where there is family concern, there need not be so much disclosure.
Lisa (10m 51s):
That’s going to make people feel uncomfortable. You don’t want to have G one, the older generation feeling uncomfortable or feeling pressed and forced to disclose asset values or anything. That’s very private and confidential, but it does make sense for G one to write a letter, just letting everybody know I’ve looked after all of you. I have just done my estate planning. I’m looking after and making sure that everybody’s well provided for do not worry, you know, or, or to give some indication. You know, I, I attended Heckerling, which is the, the big conference in Florida this year. It was virtual, but I, I attended this year and listened to some very interesting techniques for how to let family know.
Lisa (11m 35s):
So if there’s a concern that family might contest the estate, for example, on theory that the elder relative was lacking capacity. Then in addition to writing a letter, there are some tools that can be used by lawyers that will prevent and ward off a fight so that you don’t end up with a will contest. Cause part of what I do is a state litigation and these difficult issues can turn into a state litigation. If the planning that you’re talking about Aviva is not done by the older generation early on. Yeah,
Aviva (12m 11s):
I would, I would say you’re right. There’s a lot of times where the second generation has approached me saying, I don’t know if my parents have done any planning and they have a fair amount of assets. Who would you recommend? Or how do I broach the subject and how do I get that whole thing started? Because once again, family businesses, we’ve been doing this for, for years with family businesses, where one kids in the business, the rest aren’t, and they want to leave everyone ownership of the business, which is a recipe for disaster. And once again, we use insurance as a tool there, but just having the conversation and asking there are ways to ask your parents, have you done any planning? Can we be helpful here? You can say, I’m concerned with your new relationship.
Aviva (12m 53s):
I want to make sure that you accomplish what you hope to accomplish and that some of that stuff is set in stone and that you’re not being influenced one way or the other. You don’t have to be a, a kid who accepts X expects at all and is going to get it. You can just be a facilitating child who cares about their parents and their parents wellbeing, knowing whether your parents are taken care of or your, your father, mother has something in place to make sure that if something happened to them, they have a plan. It’s not always about a money grab. You know, sometimes it’s just about being a caring kid. You’re starting to see your parents start to fail a little and doing what you can to help make sure that stuff is put in place for them.
Jonathan (13m 37s):
Literally. Sorry, sorry. Go ahead, Lisa.
Lisa (13m 40s):
I was gonna say that one way to broach that very difficult, but very critical conversation is not to talk about the assets that are gonna be left, but to talk about durable power of attorney planning, have you discussed with your, you know, with your partner, with your, your new spouse, you know, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, whether, you know, who’s going to make decisions in the event that you start to lack capacity. So that kind of, that kind of conversation is a good way to lead into it. Another way to lead in is to say, if something happens to you, who do I contact? Where do I find your documents? So these, as opposed to saying what’s in your will and what’s for me, you know, it’s just, it’s a, it’s a leader, but Jonathan go right ahead.
Jonathan (14m 26s):
I was going to say like anything in life communication and, and, and having those conversations well in advance of the actual episode, so to speak is, is always advised. And these are clearly potentially thorny issues that can be mitigated by having that dialogue well in advance and bringing professionals such as yourselves to the table and putting structures in place to try and mitigate when the inevitable events do happen, we all age demise at some point, and just having a plan and having it well documented and well thought out are the critical elements. So it’s been a pleasure, really having both of you on always to discuss these topics that probably many people encounter and nobody really, you know, nobody wants to deal with it, right, because it’s not fun, but all, all that much more necessary as anybody that’s gone through and always says to me, and hopefully this doesn’t get a ring on my doorbell better to keep the money in the family that they give it to the government.
Jonathan (15m 19s):
So I had to figure out how to keep your family protected. And your loved ones protected is really the name of the game. Our guests have been a Veeva Saper CEO of sabers and Wallach and Lisa kooky partner at burns and Levinson I’ve. Even if people want to get in touch with you and talk further about the issue, what’s the best way for them to reach you.
Aviva (15m 34s):
They can give me a call at (617) 715-0125, or email me at AC Sapers at sabers hyphen wallet. That’s where the key.com C K. Okay, wonderful.
Jonathan (15m 47s):
And Lisa, if people want to get in touch with you and talk further, what’s the best way.
Lisa (15m 52s):
Thanks. Thanks. I can be reached by phone at (617) 966-9582. And I can be reached by firstname.lastname@example.org. And that’s spelled B U R N S L E v.com.
Jonathan (16m 16s):
Wonderful advice. Wonderful guidance. Great to have you both on together and we’ll be right back with another segment on Radio Entrepreneurs.
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