Hosts: Special Guest, Jodi Murphy and Joe Bert, CFP®, AIF®

Good morning everybody and welcome to On the Money with the Certified Financial Group here on News 96.5 WDBO.  We are here with Joe Burt and Jodie Murphy, taking your phone calls at 844-220-0965.  Good morning, Joe.
Good morning, Tom.

How are you today?

I’m doing great, how are you?

Trying to enjoy the heat before the rain comes, apparently, this afternoon.

It was a beautiful morning.

Yes, it was very nice.  So hopefully everybody is out on their back deck with their radio on, and we’re going to get them to that retirement finish line safe and sound.  How are we doing that, Joe?

Well, we have a special treat here this morning.  Jodie Murphy, estate planning attorney, is here with me and we’re going to answer your questions — or she will answer your questions about estate planning.  All those things we talked about weekly on the program — folks call in about wills and, what is a trust, what’s a living trust, what’s an irrevocable trust, what’s a healthcare surrogate, what’s this durable power of attorney I’ve been hearing so much about? All those things Jodie deals with day in and day out.  She’s also a specialist in the area of elder care —

That I am.

— and a specialist in VA benefits.  And I’ve learned a lot about VA benefits, how a lot of those VA benefits are being left on the table simply because people aren’t aware of them.  Particularly when — usually the old man, right — is up in years and needs help and care, and doesn’t know those benefits are there and the benefits that the caregiver can have to help care for the old man so to speak.

That’s correct, so lots of things that we can talk about —

That does sound awful, the old man.  But that’s the reality.

It could also be an old woman —

I’m the old man. <Inaudible>

It could be any veteran who served our United States forces and now needs care themselves, or even a surviving spouse of a veteran.  There’s lots of benefits available.  So, we’re here to talk about all that and then the usual stuff that we talked about on a Saturday morning about things to help you plan for your retirement.  Because, as you get closer to those years in which the checkbook stops, you have to start making some decisions.  And unfortunately, as we say they don’t teach you this stuff in school.  So, we go through life trying some of this, trying some of that, going to seminars, reading money magazines, talking to our stock broker or our coworker, and wake up at the age of 55 with a <Inaudible> of financial accidents.  So, we’re here to be the body shop to your financial accidents, fix those up this morning <Inaudible>

I’ve been working on it.

I was going to say, <Inaudible> coming in with some — I mean, you knew Jodie was going to be in, so you had to bring in the good ones.

Well, I was in New York early this week, so I’ve got my A game going here.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Anyway, so we’re going to answer your questions that you might have about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, long-term healthcare, IRAs, annuities, life insurance, reverse mortgages, all that and more.  So, if you have any questions about estate planning, about those wills, trusts, irrevocable trusts, what’s the difference between the irrevocable trust and a living trust, why do I need a healthcare surrogate, why do I need the durable — why do I even need a will? Right?

All great questions <Inaudible>

I’ve got all my stuff in joint accounts, I don’t need a will anymore, right?

Yup, yup, oh sure.

We’re here to take your calls and the good news for you is the line is absolutely wide open.  So, you can be first in line by simply picking up the phone and dialing these magic numbers.

844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  Wait, there’s more.  We have the text machine up and running as well.  If you’d just like to be one of those young Millennials and text questions in, we’ve got the ability to do that for you.  21232.  <Inaudible> that we get you <Inaudible> keep it to 160 characters because that’s all we can see on our screen.  Again, the text number, 21232.  Well, since we have Jodie in today, let’s just ask her a bunch of questions, right Joe?

Let’s do it.  Come on.

I’m ready.

Alright, Jodie.  I’ll start off this one.  This one always usually gets a phone call with me.  What’s the most common question you’re getting in the past few weeks.

Oh goodness, well there’s tons of questions that I get, but the most common one that I get is how do I protect my loved ones in case something happens to me.  I think especially recently with all the tragedy that we’ve seen around the world, we’re coming up with the anniversary of the Pulse shooting, people are now starting to think about how do I protect myself? How do I protect my loved ones.  And it’s never too early to start.  Start young.  I always recommend that even if you have a young adult child who has turned 18, it’s an appropriate time to start with estate planning.  Make sure you have those disability documents in place.  Make sure you have a way to transfer assets at death. a need there’s a number of different ways to do that.  As Joe mentioned some of them earlier, you can have a will, you can have a trust, you can use beneficiary designations, so sitting down with an elder law or estate planning attorney is a great way to find out what all of those options are.

So, you just brought up the anniversary of the Pulse, which is this week.  And all those young adults, probably many of them had never even thought about estate planning.  Why is it important for somebody age 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 years old — that’s <Inaudible> a kid.  You’re just starting your life, even consider thinking about estate planning.

Well Joe, I think you are aware that we represented several of the families of the victims and one of the most difficult things for us to help them navigate was the legal system.  All of these young adults were facing medical crises for the people who survived and then of course probate for those who did not, and if you do not have a healthcare surrogate in place there is absolutely no one who is authorized to make a medical decision for you once you turn 18.

Okay, so let’s just draw a picture here.


I’m 20 years old.  I was shot.  I’m now in the hospital.  What happens?

It depends.  If you’re able to communicate and talk to the doctors, you can consent to your own medical treatment —

I’m in a coma.

If you’re in a coma —

I’m just laying there on the gurney.

Then the law does not say who can make a medical decision for you.  So, in reality the doctors will try their best to work with family members.  But what if those family members are not here locally? What if you have a mom and dad who are divorced and who disagree on what medical treatment should be received.  What if you’re married and your spouse does not agree with what your parents want? If you do not have in writing who you want making a medical decision, it becomes a mess for lack of better words.  And then the doctors don’t know whose direction to follow and will require that a court ordered guardian be assigned and to get a guardian assigned is a very long, lengthy, expensive process.

In the meantime, I’m on the gurney bleeding.

Hopefully not.  Hopefully the doctors have done their —


— lifesaving —


— emergency procedures.  But that —

But there’s decisions that have to be made.


Regarding your medical care that, unless somebody’s been appointed and you can’t make them —


Then the doctors really have no choice.


They have to back away and hopefully —

Until the court gets involved.

— the legal system gets involved.  So this is critical.

And as you followed with Terry Schiavo, that was a case here in Florida.  It took 10 years going back and forth until ultimately it was the Florida supreme court in 2004 that made that decision.  It wasn’t a family member or a loved one.  So, it’s really, really important that everybody who has turned 18 takes the time to put in writing who they want to make a medical decision for them.  And not just who can make a decision, who are they authorizing to talk to the doctors, review confidential medical records.  If you don’t authorize them on a HIPAA release, by law, the doctors cannot share medical information with a parent, a sibling, a spouse.

And some folks, unfortunately, think that this is very, very expensive to have done.  And that form is very basic.

It is.

There’s not a lot of time and expense, but it’s something that’s very important and should be done by an attorney.  Why is it important that it should be done by attorney? Why can’t I go online and just fill out the form?

Well, because the law in Florida is always changing.  So, with the healthcare laws, specifically healthcare surrogate laws, we had a change in our Florida statutes last year with the durable power of attorney financial forms.  The last change was in 2011, and online forms are not always current, up to date, or include all of the provisions that need to be included.  Every state law is different.  So, if you get a form that might be valid in California, it may not contain all of the provisions that Florida law requires.

And I would presume that if I came to you and I had this work done and then the law changes, I am in your system and you would automatically let me know that work we did for you a couple years ago, the law has changed and we need to update it so I’m always current.

Absolutely.  That’s crucial —

<Inaudible> yeah.

— I would recommend every three to five years that you review any documents you’ve already executed.

There you go.  Alright, we’ve got a call here.

Yeah, we do but <Inaudible> give out the phone number for anybody who wants to ask Jodie a question or Joe a question, 844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  And let’s get started with our first caller today and talk to Robert.  He’s got a trust question.  Robert, you’re on with the Certified Financial Group on WDBO.  Good morning.

Good morning, Robert.

Good morning, how you doing this morning?

Good.  Thanks for calling.  How can we help you?

Hi, Robert.

I want to understand the ins and outs of a trust.  If you have money and you want to put it away for your family and you put it in a trust, how does that exactly work? Can they take it out of the trust if they choose to do so <Inaudible>, is it locked in, what’s the benefits and the pros and cons of having a trust for your family?

Well Robert, that is a great question and the answer is all going to depend on what kind of trust you have.  So, there’s two main types of trust.  The first one is a revocable trust.  The second one is an irrevocable trust.  They are very different.  A revocable trust, I always explain, is like a basket.  During your lifetime you put assets into your basket.  The basket has a set of written instructions that says who manages the basket, who can use the things in the basket, what happens if somebody becomes incapacitated, and ultimately at the death of the grantor, what happens to that stuff in the basket.  So, with a revocable trust, it is treated as if it was still your asset.  You can take money in, you can take money out, you can use it, you can change it, you can do whatever you want as long as you are capable.  An irrevocable trust is the exact opposite.  Once you set it up and fund it, it cannot be changed.  Irrevocable trusts are used to protect assets.  There is an element of creditor protection in case you’re in a lawsuit, or if you need to shelter assets to apply for government benefits like Medicaid or Veteran’s benefits.  But again, once you put the money in, it’s almost like you’ve made a gift.  You cannot get it back out yourself.  There might be somebody else who has access, but it’s a basket with iron bars wrapped all around it.  So again, it really depends on what type of trust you’re using as, again, once you have a trust and once you’ve put money into it, the number one benefit of that is anything in your basket, whether it’s wrapped with iron bars or not, will avoid probate.  So, it’s a great way to gather your assets and make sure that you’re not getting a court or judge involved at your death.  Because those things avoid probate.

Another name for the revocable trust — excuse me Robert — is the living trust.

That’s correct.

Now, most people know about revocable versus irrevocable.  So, revocable is living.


And while you’re living, you can make the changes because it is revocable.  Once you’re gone, then that revocable often turns into an irrevocable trust.

It can.

If you have a living trust, if you’re being sued, can they take any assets from that trust?

Yes they can.  So, the rule of thumb is if you can get to your assets, so can creditors.  So, if it is just simply a living trust, revocable trust, you’re the trustee, you have the ability to go in and access your money, then so can creditors.  It also counts as your asset for those government benefits like Medicaid or VA.  An irrevocable trust cannot be accessed by creditors.  So, if you are sued and you have an irrevocable trust, it cannot get to that, but neither can you.

I understand, I understand.  Thank you, you answered all my questions.

Okay, well thank you for calling Robert.

Robert, thanks for the call.

Alright Robert, thanks so much.  If you want Robert’s line, it’s 844-220-0965, 844-220-0965.  You’re going to want to get in line because we have a lot of time still left on the show today, but we have to pause and get the three big things you need to know.  But first, Jodie, what’s the number to reach you at during the week?

If you’d like to call and set up a consultation — and those consultations are always complimentary — you can call my office at 407-865-9553.

And as always, Joe, what’s the number to reach the Certified Financial Group?

407-869-9800.  Or better yet, go online at  In fact, you can click on estate planning, see the lovely smiling Jodie Murphy and her partner, Michelle Murtlin, and learn a little bit more about their firm.  And you can reach them through that website as well.  It’s

We are planning tomorrow —

Today —

With Joe Burt and Jodie Murphy on News 96.5 WDBO.  And welcome back.  This is the second segment of On the Money with the Certified Financial Group here on News 96.5 WDBO’s Ask the Experts weekend.  Joe Burt and Jodie Murphy are here taking your phone calls at 844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  Lots of great information coming up for you, but coming in up in five minutes we’ll have the latest news, weather, and traffic with Dave Wall in the news 96.5 studio, get the latest look at the road ways and when will it start raining this afternoon.  <Inaudible> severe weather center <Inaudible> all coming up in five minutes here on WDBO.  Let’s get back to the conversation with our phone callers here.  Again, the number to dial in, 844-220-0965.  Mike in Apopka, you’re up next.  Mike, you’re on with the Certified Financial Group on WDBO.

Morning Mike.

Thank you, good morning.  My wife and I are 67.  We have a son that’s 29.  About 10 years ago we set up a separate living trust for each of us that encompassed, included, all of the joint property that we own.  It did not encompass the portfolio that we’ve accumulated together and some stocks that she inherited from her mother.  We have a 29 year old son.  We’re thinking that maybe we should set up a family trust, bring all of this under one umbrella.  Would there be an advantage in doing that?

Mike, that is a fantastic question and again, it all depends on what your assets are.  So, 10 years ago when you and your wife set up those separate trusts, the tax laws were very different.  They changed, obviously.  So, what we’re seeing a lot of are what was previously called an AB trust where a husband would have a trust, a wife would have a trust.  When the first spouse died, they could put the maximum amount that could pass tax free into a separate trust.  And the whole idea of these AB trusts was to double what could pass tax free at death.  Well, because tax laws have changed so much, right now the current federal tax law says that you can pass $5.45M per person, and that is indexed for inflation, and if you’re married you get to have a carryover to your spouse.  So, ultimately under today’s law, you and your wife can pass $10.9M tax free.  So, we’re not seeing these AB trusts being used as much for the tax planning.  Now your question of whether it would be best to consolidate into one family trust is going to depend on are you under that tax limit?  If you are —

Yes we are.

Then there’s a huge benefit to consolidating and that’s the amount of work that has to be done at the death of the first person will be greatly reduced.  So, if you have a family trust, when the first person dies, nothing needs to happen.  There’s no court filing, there’s no paperwork, everything continues on.  And then when the second spouse dies, your trust can be set up to seamlessly transfer things to your son or your beneficiaries without any court involvement.  So, I do recommend that my clients take a look at what they have in place currently, look at your assets, and decide whether it would be worth doing the work now to consolidate to make it easier at death.  It also would make it easier if you and your wife become incapacitated because now somebody can step in and manage everything that you have instead of trying to do things piecemeal.  And I think I heard you say there are some assets that you never put in the trust, some stocks and bonds and things like that.

That’s correct.

The purpose of a trust is, now, not just for the tax advantages, but to avoid probate.  And if you’ve never put those stocks or bonds in the trust, you might still have to go through probate with those assets at death.  So, the <Inaudible> to look at what you have, maybe consolidate into one family trust.  If your wife wants to keep her inheritance separate, she could possibly have a separate trust just for the inheritance, but all family assets can go into one trust and it will make things easier down the road.

Okay.  Wonderful.  You’ve been very helpful, thank you.

Mike, you’re more than welcome to call and schedule a consultation with me.  I’d be happy to review what you have.  Again, the consultation is complimentary, and if you’d like to set one up, you can call our office at 407-865-9553.

Number one more time.


Alright, just like that, if you want Jodie Murphy to answer your question on the radio today, the number to dial her up is 844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  We are planning tomorrow —

Today —

With the Certified Financial Group on WDBO.  And welcome back, it’s the third segment of On the Money with the Certified Financial Group; Joe Burt, Jodie Murphy live here in the studio answering your phone calls at 844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  Just so the new audience has joined us during the latest news, weather, and traffic wants to refresh everybody, what can they call you about today, Joe?

<Inaudible> I’m here to answer any questions what might be on your mind regarding your personal finances, the decisions you have to make regarding the 401k and IRA, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, long-term healthcare, reverse mortgages, annuities, all that and more.  That’s what I deal with day in and day out at the Certified Financial Group.  As I like to say, on Monday through Friday we do it for a fee, but on Saturday morning I’m here for free.  And the good news is, I also have with me today estate planning attorney Jodie Murphy, who’s worked with our firm for years, working with our clients, and she’s here to answer questions that you might have about those estate planning documents you’ve heard so much about like a will and what’s a trust, and durable power of attorney, and healthcare surrogate, and a HIPAA release form, and all those things and why they’re important, why they need to get done, and why they need to be done while you’re still capable of doing them because I can tell you I have seen tragedies walk into my office like people that had not done the estate planning and dealing with a nightmare.  The court system trying to get assets passed on, and then the family disputes that it creates, and the hardship it creates, the heartbreak it creates.  And families that just fall apart.  So, while you’re of sound mind and while you’re listening to this show, the good news for you is the lines are absolutely wide open.  So, if you have any questions about estate planning or financial planning, we are here to take them and all you have to do is pick up the phone and dial these magic numbers.

844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  We had a caller before the news here, and this was for you, Jodie.


Her mother was recently widowed — and she did stay on the line.  Vivian, if you’re listening, please call back — mother recently widows and wanted to know what was the easiest way to get one of her children on the deed to her house.

So, a lot of people think oh, I’ll just gift part of my house.  I’ll put them on the quitclaim deed, I’ll pull a deed off the Internet, and <Inaudible> record it.  Well yes, that will put a child on the deed.  But, there could be lots of problems with that.  Number one, you have now just created a penalty if you need to apply for Medicaid benefits For <Inaudible> key benefits.

If you make a gift during the five years leading up to applying for benefits, you will receive a penalty.  So you want to make sure that we’re not doing something that could actually have more harm in the future.  Also there could be doxing <?> and taxes that are due if there’s a mortgage on the property.  So doing a gift through a <Inaudible>, not always recommended.  There is a very specific type of deed called an enhanced life estate deed, also known as a ladybird deed.  That will allow you to retain ownership in the house, you can continue to live there for the rest of your life.  You can sell the house, pledge the house, mortgage the house, but at your best it will transfer to a listed beneficiary.  That beneficiary does not have an ownership interest until you die.  So it doesn’t trigger that gift or transfer penalty or taxes.  So if you’re just looking to pass a house at death to a child or to a loved one without going through probate, an enhanced life estate deed would beautiful good option.

There you go.

Piece of cake, just like that.

Just like that.

If you have a question for Jodie <Inaudible> 844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  Let’s get back to our phone lines here, we’ve got a couple of callers calling in.  Let’s go to Bill in Merrit Island first, Bill.  You’re on with the Certified Financial Group on WDBO.

Good morning Bill.

Good morning Bill.

Good morning.  I have a revocable <?> trust and I had heard that with that, when you <Inaudible> — you know how when you say property if you’re married, you get 500,000 tax-free or 240 single?

You’re talking about <Inaudible>

Does that preclude that?

Yes.  So if it’s homestead property and it’s a revocable trust that is properly written to own homestead property, it’s treated just as if you owned it.  So you still get the tax exemption, you still get everything that you would have as a married couple.  But you need to make sure that your trust has those provisions in it.  And usually you’re looking for a paragraph that’s titled right to reside.  That’s specifically addressed as your ability to own homestead property in the trust.

Okay, thank you very much.

You’re welcome.

Alright, thank you so much for the call, Bill.  If you want Bill’s line, it’s 844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  Robert in Orlando has a real estate question.  Robert, go ahead.  You’re on with the Certified Financial Group on WDBO.

Hi, first of all I want to say you guys are doing a great thing here, I really appreciate what you guys are doing for us.

Oh, thank you Robert.

<Inaudible>, how can we help you?

You guys really answer a lot of questions.  I’m just now starting to get into real estate.  Well I have a question for you: If I’m buying real estate, if I want to just buy a regular house, fix it up and rent it out as a regular person, or if I want to rent to section eight, how difficult is it getting section eight, and is it possible to get out of section eight once you have a house that’s in section eight?

Well, section eight is the low income housing, as I’m sure you’re aware maybe our listeners are not.


I don’t know what it takes to get out of it.  I think it’s a difficult thing to do because you’ve got that commitment from the government, you’ve gotten a break to be able to do that property.  And to unwind it might be a little bit more complicated.  It’s beyond my pay grade to answer that question for you in detail.  You’ve got some — one thing we can address for you and I know a lot of our listeners like to dabble in real estate.  And we talked about should I do it on my own, should I set up separate LLCs, which is something that you may want to consider.  What’s the benefit of what this gentleman wants to do.  Buy real estate, fix it up, how might you recommend he would do this legally, Jodie?

And that’s exactly what I was going to jump in and suggest is if you’re looking at this as an investment and you’re not going to be living in the house.  You’re either renting it or you’re flipping it, having an LLC will protect your own personal assets in the event that you are sued.  We hear all of the time Florida is one of the most litigious states.  So if you have a tenant that comes in and slips and falls and sues the owner, if you personally are the owner, you’ve now exposed all of your assets to that lawsuit.  Of course, having good insurance is always your first line of defense.  But if you’ve now set up an LLC, think of an LLC like a bubble.  If the only thing inside of that bubble is one property and one bank account for that property, if the lawsuit exceeds the amount of insurance that you have, you’ve now segregated your own personal assets.  So you’ve created a lot of asset protection by having an LLC.  That does have to be registered with the state, you do have to maintain it like a business and pay your annual filing fees.  But it’s a very easy process to do that.

Now what if you’re really going — after this you have 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 houses?  Do you need 10 LLCs?

I do recommend that.  Because again, asset protection.  You don’t want to commingle 10 houses in one bubble.  Now you’re exposing all of your investments.  There is a vehicle in Delaware called the Delaware Series LLC.  It has not been tested by a Florida court, but we do have some clients that choose to use it.  And it services as an umbrella.  So you have the parent umbrella, and that umbrella is what’s responsible for the insurance, the taxes, the maintenance.  Paying the annual filing fee to the state Delaware.  But then underneath the umbrella, you can have 10 different buckets.

It’s like a holding company.

<Inaudible> LLC — exactly.

A holding company does all of the administrative stuff and all of the subsidiaries, if you will, are all of the individual houses that you might have out there.

Correct.  So again, several clients do use that if they have multiple real estate investments, but it has not been tested by a Florida court.  There are about eight different states that have tested and have said that yes, you do maintain asset protection in that structure, but dollar is not one of them yet.

So it’s called a —

Delaware Series LLC.

There you go, alright.

Thank you much.

You’re welcome, thanks for the call, good luck to you.

You’re very welcome.

Alright Robert.  If you want Robert’s line, it’s 844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  We have a couple of text questions in at 21232, so let’s get to those.  First one, I believe is for Jodie here.  Hi, explain <?> that buying an annuity is a good plan for a senior citizen as an investing tool.  Ah, that’d be for you, Joe.

Well an annuity can be.  An annuity is nothing more than a contract between you and an insurance company to hold your money for a period of time and somewhere down the road to either give you that money back as a lump sum, or to turn it into a stream of income.  And annuities take all different shapes, sizes.  There’s good ones, there’s bad ones, there’s a lot of them in between.  We generally recommend that you stay away from those annuities that are offered through these free lunch and dinner seminars because they’re loaded with fixed fees and expenses and they’re very, very difficult to get out of.  We used some annuities in certain cases and a CD alternative.  Today, you can get five year annuity, about 3.5% guarantee for that five year period on a tax-deferred basis.  But it’s not for everybody, it could and should be perhaps part of a portfolio, but it isn’t an end all and be all.  So an annuity is nothing more than an investment option.  Now, we’ve used annuities —


Even I’ve used annuities in the VA side.

VA and Medicaid.  It can be a great tool to use with the rest of your portfolio if you need to convert an asset that would otherwise be deemed available for Medicaid or VA to an exempt asset.  So you can take money that’s sitting in the bank and invest it in very specific types of annuities with the hopes of qualifying for then Medicaid or VA.  It has to be done as part of an overall strategy.  You should not go out and just start buying an annuity, thinking it will give you VA benefits because most of the annuities out there do not work for VA or Medicaid purposes.  But there are several that are specifically designed for that purpose.

This is critical, because I’ve seen — unfortunately, some unscrupulous things going on in the insurance industry where annuities salesmen would come along and say well just put all of your stuff in here, and boy, you’ll be able to qualify for Medicare and all of these benefits because they won’t see <?> it’ll be in does annuity.  You’re right Jodie, it has to be a specific kind of annuity designed specifically for that, and that’s where you’re the expert.  So annuities can be good and they can also be a problem if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Alright, we’ll get back to the tax machine in just a moment.  First, let’s get back to our phone callers here.  Talk to Tom in Orlando.  Tom, you’re on with the Certified Financial Group on WDBO.

Good morning Tom.

Good morning, got a question.  A <Inaudible> single parent has a joint account <Inaudible> children.  Upon the death of that parent, <Inaudible> issue of that person — the child on the account withdrawing money and closing out the account?

It depends on how the account is set up.  So if it is a joint account with the child being an owner on the account, then no there’s no issue because when one owner dies, the other joint owner still owns the asset.  Whether, we have seen through some of our probate cases that there are ways of setting up accounts where a child is listed only as an authorized user, not as an owner.  The child thinks they’re an owner, they think it’s a joint account, but in reality it’s not.  So it’s important to go back to your bank or financial institution and find out exactly how that account is set up and if the child is indeed an owner on the account.

Okay, thanks so much.

You’re welcome.

Alright, just like that.  Thanks so much for the phone call, Tom.  Tom’s line is 844-220-0965.  Mary in Orlando has a little question for you, Jodie.  Mary, go ahead, you’re on with the Certified Financial Group on WDBO.

Thank you, hello Jodie.

Hi Mary, how are you?

Good, thank you.  We have one child and my question if everything is titled correctly, the IRAs <?>, the brokerage account, TOD to him, and we also have a ladybird trust, do we still need a will?

I do recommend everybody have a will because you don’t have a crystal ball.  We never know what kind of assets we will have at death.  Maybe your death will result in a lawsuit, and now your estate has a claim for medical malpractice or negligence.  And the proceeds or the settlement from the lawsuits go into the estate.  The will then will control the assets of the estate.  Also if you have your child listed as a beneficiary on all of your assets, your bank accounts, your IRAs, things like that, what happens if your child does not survive you?  Where do those assets go?  So having a will can serve as your back-up.  We hope that you don’t need it, and that it’s just there in the what-if situation.  But it is important to have those contingency plans in place.

While we’re on the subject of a will, many times I have seen people misunderstanding what a will is.  They think I’ve done a will, I’m going to <Inaudible> probate.  It’s going to — we’ll really you <Inaudible>

I get that all of the time.

Yes.  I’ve done my will, I’ve done me estate planning, I’m going to avoid probate.  When really a will is nothing more than your instructions to probate court <?>.

That’s correct.  <Inaudible> your one-way ticket to see a judge.  The judge then looks at your will and issues an order naming an executor and allowing assets to be transferred.  Probate is the legal process of transferring title on assets if those assets cannot transfer otherwise.  So again, if there’s a joint owner that survives or a listed a beneficiary that survives, those assets do not go to probate.

So things that go through probate, <Inaudible> the only thing is you go through probate, are those things that are in your name alone.


Alright, so if you have jointly owned property as you said earlier, it automatically passes to survivor.  If you’re a single individual, as we set up investment accounts for our clients, we set them up as what’s called TOD or transfer on death.


That avoids probate.

As long as that person survives you.

That’s correct.

And of course, the IRAs and annuities, and life insurance policies, that beneficiary designation.  And one of the things that we’ve seen a lot is people want to name their trust as the IRA beneficiary.  What’s the pros and cons of that?

So naming a trust can be a great way to make sure that your wishes are honored no matter what, especially is a child doesn’t survive or you have minors involved, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, charities.  So you certainly could name a trust as a beneficiary on any type of asset.  But you want to make sure if it’s a retirement asset, that the trust is set up to be a conduit trust.  Meaning we can look through the trust, determine who the ultimate beneficiaries are, and allow them to stretch out the distributions from that plan over their lifetime.  If it is not set up as a conduit trust, the ultimate beneficiaries will have five years to liquidate the IRA, which would mean taxes and possibly penalties within that five-year period.

That’s why it’s very, very important when that trust is done, that it’s done in the proper way because the beneficiaries will lose the opportunity to use the stretch.  So <Inaudible>, this is why you don’t want to do this online stuff.


Because if you think you’ve done it right and all of the sudden you found out you’ve just created a huge tax mess because trust hasn’t been written right to accomodate being an beneficiary of an IRA.

Right, and if your trust is not written right, then sometimes it’s better just to list your children or the individuals as beneficiaries.

She is Jodie Murphy, an estate planning attorney.  And he is Joe Berg, certified financial planner with the Certified Financial Group giving out a wealth of information for free here on the radio today.  And last segment is coming up in just a moment.  It’s your last chance to get your question answered.  844-220-0965.  844-220-0965.  We are planning tomorrow —


With the Certified Financial Group on WDBO.

9:56, four minutes to 10:00 here at News 965 WDBO, it is the final segment.  Your last chance to get your question answered with the Certified Financial Group.  Joe Berg, Jodie Murphy live in studio.  So let’s get back to our phone lines.  Ted in Orlando has got a question for Joe.  Ted, go ahead.  You’re on WDBO.

Good morning Ted.

Yeah, hi.  Thank you for taking my call.  I have a question, I have a 401k and I’m matching to a max <?> in the 401k through the employer.  My wife currently, she doesn’t work so we are maxing the Roth of 11,000 for her as well.  The only question I have is can I open an IRA and put another 18,000 <Inaudible> for my wife?

You’ve got your math a little mixed up.  The maximum that you can put into an IRA is $5,500 at the age of 50, okay?

Alright, so I’m doing mine 55 <?> and hers 55, are we doing 11,000?

Okay, good.  And your question is — go ahead.

Now can I — my question is can I do an additional 18,000 in an traditional IRA for her?

No — you’re thinking of what you’re able to put into a 401k or 403b, no you can’t.  You can <Inaudible>

So pretty much the only I can do for her is the 5,500, that’s it?

That’s correct.  Now you said you’re maxing out your 401k, you’re putting in the 18,000 into the 401k?


Very, very good.

Well I’m putting a little bit less than 18 because the employer is — can I do 18 plus the employer or <Inaudible>

Oh yeah, yeah.  <Inaudible> you’re under the age of 50?

No, I’m 40 right now.

Yeah, so you’re under the age of 50.  You can put $18,000 of your own money, regardless of what the employer does or does not put in.  That’s what you ought to be striving for, yes.

Okay, so then anything extra then I should just do like a brokerage account or tax <?> brokerages, I can’t save anymore?

Well, there’s no other tax way to go.  You can do a perhaps a deductible IRA for each of you without knowing your tax situation.  Or perhaps the Roth.  But yes, you can do that.  Or a non-deductible IRA is always available to you.  Once again <Inaudible> you wife can’t put in the 18,000 because she’s limited to just an IRA contribution.


I appreciate the call.

Thanks, Ted.

Alright Ted, thank you so much for dialing us up.  We’re all out of time.  We have one quick question for Jodie on the texting line: What is the name of the deed you transfer upon death for a house?  You weren’t clear on that, he said.

That is called either an enhanced life estate deed, or a ladybird deed.

Gotcha.  Alright, Joe.

We’ve got a workshop coming up July the 11th.  Gary Abely, CPA, CFP is going to be talking about healthcare options in retirement.  Everything you wanted to know about Medicare, what do I need to do, why all of those A, B, C, D, E, F plans, what do I do?  Part A, Part B, what’s deductible, what’s not?  Part W?  Gary is going to handle that.  Go to our website, that’s  Click on workshops, it’s going to be Tuesday, July the 11th attorney offices in Altemonte Springs, 6:00pm to 8:00pm.  You can <Inaudible> some light refreshments and you walk away with some really good information.  So once again, our website., click on workshops and you can make reservations right there.  There’s no Part W, that was a Joe-ner <?>.

Alright, that’s going to do it, boy did that go by fast.  A lot of information, great information, great call.  Great texts.  You know what, let’s go ahead and do it again next Saturday at 9:00am.

We’ll do it, shall we?

Alright, Florida Homes and Gardens is next here on News 965 WDBO, Ask the Experts weekend.  But first, the latest news, weather, and traffic from Dave Wahl from the News 965 newsroom.

Dictation made on 6/14/2017 2:42 PM EDT.

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