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Episode 104: Keep Your Trusts Close And Your Probates Closer – Estate Planning Pt 2 of 3 w. Nathan Kavlie

Jun 28, 2021

This Episode

Interview W/ Nathan Kavlie

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Today I am talking to Nathan Kavlie, who’s an attorney, a legal educator and an entrepreneur who has started a virtual estate planning practice with his partner Notesong whom we heard from last week. We’re going to talk about probate and trust utilization and how those ideas interact.

Justin (00:03):
Hello and welcome to episode 104 of anesthesia and pain management success. I’m really pleased to be bringing you part two in a three part series about estate planning. And I have with us today, Nathan Kavlie, who’s an attorney, a legal educator and an entrepreneur who has started this virtual estate planning practice with his partner note song whom we heard from last week. Nathan, thank you very much for joining us today.
Nathan Kavlie (00:46):
It really is my pleasure. Thank you for having me. I’m
Justin (00:48):
Excited to do into today’s content, where we’re going to talk about probate and trust utilization and how those ideas interact. This is very important for physicians to be able to understand cause it’s the kind of thing where there’s a lot at stake in terms of cost in terms of the ways that you can shield yourself from cost and your estate, so that more of your assets go to your loved ones and less goes to uncle Sam or lawyers who are adjudicating the probate process. But to start us off, you are from the Midwest, grew up in North Dakota and you’re now in Minneapolis. Tell us a little bit about your background.
Nathan Kavlie (01:24):
Yeah, so I grew up in Jamestown, North Dakota. I don’t know how much notes on tactic, but you know, no, it’s not. And I were friends from high school and so it’s very flat. It’s the home of the world’s largest concrete Buffalo statue. Cause that’s one of those things that we do here in the Midwest. If there’s not really anything to, you know, sort of, it’s sort of tracked like the, the creation of the interstate highway system. And so these little towns in the Midwest were like, let’s build a huge statue of a Buffalo or up near where my great grandmother lived. It’s called the turtle mountains of North Dakota, which are really just sort of tall Hills. They built, it’s a, it’s a fiberglass statue of Tommy, the turtle, it’s a turtle drive, riding a snowmobile and it’s about 30 feet tall and there’s like a, there’s a cow near Bismarck. There’s Paul Bunyan and babe the blocks and Bemidji Minnesota there they’re all over the place. It’s I love them. I find them incredibly fascinating because it’s such a snapshot of like you know, a time period of our nation’s history and sort of the aesthetics. Yeah, my brother and
Justin (02:25):
I are actually getting ready to drive a moving truck across America as we head to the west coast. So we’re going to have to make sure, and I’ll get a list of some of these roadside attractions. You should take some cells
Nathan Kavlie (02:35):
There, there there’s some they’re all over the place, but especially like there’s Jamestown and the world’s largest concrete Buffalo statue. That’s what I always tell people. It has one testicle children find that endlessly amusing
Nathan Kavlie (02:50):
And lawyers, I guess too, I guess. So
Justin (02:54):
Tell us a little bit about how you got into the legal profession and ultimately how you launched. What I think is really like our really revolutionary idea, which is the fact that something as you know, stodgy and proper as the legal profession can be decentralized and sort of, I think I would say like democratized it’s being made more affordable and more flexible and meeting people.
Nathan Kavlie (03:13):
They are, well, we really, yeah. I mean, we really have been looking to sort of disrupt the industry. I think I think a lot of people have experiences with lawyers the same way that people have experiences with car mechanics or to be honest doctors too, where you go in and you’re just restorative made to feel stupid. It, it’s sort of like it’s, this is going to be expensive and I’m going to make you feel dumb and everybody’s like, please sign me up. And especially when you’re talking about estate planning, it’s like, you get to spend a lot of money, you get to deal with lawyers and you also get to talk about death. So it’s like the triple whammy of like, yeah, nobody ever wants to do. And so yeah, you know, I started out doing real estate law as an attorney back in 2004 and sort of bounced around and did lending for awhile.
Nathan Kavlie (04:01):
And then, and then I kind of went on my own and sort of was like, what should I do? And my best friends had me, they, they had their will done. And they, they brought it to me and they were like, can you review this and make sure it’s good, which has such a weird proposition, but I’ve done this for other people too, where you’re like, so you pay the lawyer to look at this and now you’re going to pay, well, actually I just did it as a favor, but it’s like, you, you pay the lawyer like a licensed attorney to draft this custom wheel for you. And, and you know, there’s, they each have master’s degrees. It’s like, and yet you still need another lawyer to look at it. And I don’t think that’s uncommon at all. And so it sort of just done.
Nathan Kavlie (04:39):
I was actually laying on the bed. I remember that was very vivid memory. I was like, this is ridiculous that like, it should be easy to understand, like that’s just a baseline. And if, you know, every, every profession has its lexicon, you know, sort of like shorthand of like either Latin terms or abbreviations that we sort of use when we’re talking to our colleagues to just cut to the chase, but, and every profession has this everyone. And I think the key is to sort of take the time to actually translate those and to sort of like respectful language. Cause that’s the problem that I think lawyers and doctors and car mechanics, you know, it’s like, you’re like, I don’t understand this Latin word that you said. And then the doctor’s like, there’s a thing in your tummy. And you’re like, ah, you know, Yeah, there’s a middle ground. There might be a middle ground
Nathan Kavlie (05:28):
Where you could sort of talk to me like normal person and lawyers are guilty of that too. Where, so, so financial
Justin (05:33):
Advisors are perennial offenders in this department as well, I must say.
Nathan Kavlie (05:37):
Okay. But so basically that Was the idea. It’s like, let’s make this understandable. And let’s use technology the way that legal zoom does, but we’re legal zoom. You basically are just signing up to use a computer. It’s just you putting your stuff and it just spits out a PDF and, and you don’t know, it’s like the question is like, does it cover you accurately? Or is there a problem with your documents? And the answer is a lawyer can tell you like, but there’s not a lawyer involved. It’s just a PDF machine. And so, so we use technology to sort of reduce costs and make it really convenient. And, but ultimately it comes down to, you know, notes, Sinai spending the time to really sort of translate these concepts into, you know, understandable, respectful, plain language. And I love it. It’s, it’s really fun. I mean, my mom, so my mom in North Dakota, she’s a PA, she was a piano teacher. She is now retired. She’ll tell you that. And she read her will, that we’ve wrote for her. And she came back with some questions and, and it was sort of, these were the questions at the very end of the document where it’s like this section is for lawyers and she was asking one questions and I just started like, mom, this is for lawyers, but I’ll still tell, you know, explain it to you. And so it’s it. I love it. It’s fun. Yeah.
Justin (06:48):
And it’s such important work. I got to say I’m one of the first deeply formative experiences I had as a financial advisor as a young 22 year old kinda earning his spurs out. There was, I was, I just, I will never forget. I was on a call, a conference call with the senior partner of my firm and one of our clients and one of their state attorneys. And they were going through these questions and this entrepreneur had what was divorced. So had some stepkids and had one child who was his and he, his child was not had, had a medical condition, was not expected to outlive him. And so there was this moment of the attorneys, like, so who’s the, you know, who do you want to get your stuff? If your kid dies before you basically. And there was this long pause and it was this very sober and there was this moment of vulnerability.
Justin (07:41):
And there was like, you know, David, you know, referring to my boss, like what, what, what do people usually do? Like what should I do it, it never really occurred to me until this moment that I might have to dispose of my assets in some way that if my kid dies, then they’re not going to. So that sort of made a dent in my psyche in some kind of way that like this, this work is deeply personal. It’s deeply impactful. And it’s, it’s difficult for these reasons because it’s dealing with death and dealing with these terrible potentiality. So of your kids not living longer than you.
Nathan Kavlie (08:12):
Oh yeah. It’s that, it’s like, it’s all of it. Like which way, you know, if you’re in a coma, what about feeding tubes? What about assisted breathing? It’s just like, imagine all these awful scenarios and then add lawyers into the banks. So,
Justin (08:25):
So let’s go there for a minute and say, I want to talk about probate. And so probate is a legal process before I try to explain too much of what it is. I want you to explain to our audience, what is probate and how does it function? Maybe just take us through the step-by-step what happens when you die with all of you?
Nathan Kavlie (08:43):
Yeah. So, I mean, essentially you sort of, I don’t want to put it, I mean, everybody dies, right. It’s sort of given. And so our system is set up to account for that probate is what our system does about people dying in their stuff. Right. because our system is kind of unique and not every country in the world sort of lets you decide after, you know, they call it the dead hand. Right. we don’t have to sort of, you know, we wouldn’t necessarily have to look to a will or a trust to decide who gets, what stuff it could go to your eldest son, or it could go to your eldest daughter. It could go automatically to the state or, you know, w our system is set up to sort of allow you, and this is why I think these documents are kind of amazing, frankly.
Nathan Kavlie (09:23):
I mean, I really, I described them as superhero documents. Like you get to actually like come back from the dead and like take care of your loved ones and make sure that your kid, you know, sort of does premarital counseling counseling before they get married. Or, you know, the trust is only used for like a reasonable car, no sports cars. Like you get to do a lot of meddling if you want. It’s not always a good thing just to be clear, but, but that’s our system it’s really kind of amazing. And so as a result, the system has to have a procedure to figure out what to do and that’s probate, it’s a judicial procedure. And so since it’s an actual formal judicial procedure, that’s why it’s expensive because it’s, it’s sort of like a lawsuit with no other parties necessarily. So basically you have to sort of find who the interested parties are.
Nathan Kavlie (10:11):
You serve, notice they’re lawyers, they’re, you know, filings, there’s a judge it’s, it’s long and complicated and it’s also public. That’s another thing too, you know, we used to find out, like, I don’t know if you’ve ever looked up like Marilyn Monroe as well, or who, you know, who received all of Elvis’s assets. Probate is a public judicial proceeding. And so when the will goes through probate, it is, it becomes a public document. And so we used to be able to sort of get all this, these juicy details about people when they died. But now you don’t really hear much when celebrities die because they use living trusts and living trusts are sort of a mechanism that sort of arose and came into prominence, sort of in the 1960s and seventies that allows you, if you’re careful and diligent to sort of avoid the probate process completely.
Nathan Kavlie (10:59):
I mean, probably really just, it’s a really, it serves a really important function because again, the weird quandary with the will and the living trust is stuff is the person who made these documents is gone. They can’t show up and testify. They can’t, they can’t say this is what I wanted. That’s why it’s all written down. But yet we’re like, how do we know that it was your writing? And these are your wishes and not your evil son and his, you know, word processor. And that’s what probate does it sort of formalizes that procedure, but it does come with costs. It it’s not public, or it is public. Sorry. So it’s invasive. It also is a hassle because somebody then has to coordinate with these lawyers about who’s going to do what. So, I mean, you know, that’s the thing you’ve got, you know, your dad dies and then your mom is there and she’s maybe in her eighties.
Nathan Kavlie (11:48):
And all of a sudden she has to deal with probate lawyers and all these filings. And and it’s expensive. It really truly can eat up. But, you know, they say between two and 5% of a person’s estate, it’s kind of crazy, but it has to be done. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, prince as a state. So I always go back to prince, obviously I’m from Minneapolis, so I’m from North Dakota, but I’m, I’m a Minneapolis person now, but so prince died five years ago and his state state still isn’t resolved. And obviously he had a pretty complicated family situation, but I mean, even there, he didn’t even have a basic will. And so his probate has already costly a state, I think last time, I mean, they’re fighting about all of it, but the lawyer has a charge, $6 million already like $6 million. And I mean, obviously that’s the thing, like the more money you have, the more stuff, the more assets, the more people are fighting.
Nathan Kavlie (12:39):
So it’s, it’s, it’s not, everybody’s going to pay $6 million, but it usually is three to 5%. The good news is that there’s this thing called the living trust it’s of it’s technical. I mean, there are a couple of friends, it’s an inter vivos, which is the same thing as living in Latin. I don’t speak much Latin just to be clear, all the docs, all the doctors are like, I thought he didn’t speak loud. I don’t intervene most trust. It’s also a revocable trust, so you can unwind it whenever you want. So that’s sort of the key features of this trust, but, but yeah, it’s kind of amazing. Trusts have been around since the crusades, they come from England, it sort of was when the nights would sort of, you know, and they were like, we’re going off to fight the holy war on the holy land.
Nathan Kavlie (13:24):
And who’s going to take care of all of my lands. And they went, they gave them to the monks in trust because they didn’t want to, you know, give them away. So then the monks were like, we’ll take care of it. And, and that’s how the trust developed. But so the living trust, oh yeah, sorry, this is that thing. I don’t know if it’s because I love educating people or I’ve just rambled, but I, I find this stuff so fascinating. And I, it, for me, it’s helpful to sort of think about what it comes from and like, where are these things, how they arose? So I will say, well, let me interject and I’ll just keep going. Just, just, you’re doing great, please. There’s
Justin (14:02):
One other anecdote from my early financial advisor days when I was working in ultra high net worth like very, very rich people, very complicated situations. I distinctly remember reading. There was a defining the term that a trust could exist. And it said this trust basically will exist into perpetuity until 21 years after the death of the youngest lineal descendant of the queen of England or some kind of language. Like there are law firms out there that put stuff like that in people’s estate planning documents as if someone can interpret what that means. Well,
Nathan Kavlie (14:37):
That, so just to be clear, and there’s a phrase kind of like that in our document, it’s called the rule against perpetuities. And so I taught property law last spring, and I think we spent two days just on this thing. It really is all about like, so again, the thing is, so there’s, you know, I don’t want to put it rich people in their lawyers have been screwing the government over for centuries. Right. That’s how that works. Right. The lawyers think of something, the government shuts it down. The lawyers think of something like basically it is, it really is. And it’s, it’s it, that’s how it works to this day. One of the techniques was to sort of put your stuff into trust so that you never had to pay any estate taxes because your, your your descendants never actually took ownership of the stuff.
Nathan Kavlie (15:26):
It was always sort of held in the trust. And so it’s eventually, and it does get complicated too, because then it’s like, how many generations down do you want this dead, old guy to be controlling you? And that’s what really happens, right? Cause it’s like, you know, you have to marry within the church or you have to go to this school or you have to go, you know, let her in these sports. And, you know, it’s just, it, there are people out there that really enjoy trying to control like their descendants generation after generation. And so the rule against perpetuities is sort of essentially as this way, that sort of says there has to be an end point to a trust. And it’s, it’s really complicated in law. Students hate it. So I won’t burden you guys with it because it’s, it’s really crazy.
Nathan Kavlie (16:12):
It’s like, but, and the weird thing now is that a lot of states actually rescinded the rule against perpetuities. So I think it’s South Dakota, I think in Wisconsin, you can now create a perpetual trust. Which in my way, it’s, it’s sort of that thing. Like I haven’t had like the old dude come in and be like, I want to control my great, great, great, great grandchildren. Because we just haven’t had that happen in and if he did, I would just be like, here’s the deal? Like, yeah, you you’ll get to control what car they drive, but like how many generations do you want people to hate you? Cause that’s really, what’s going to happen if you create. Yeah. I mean, cause that’s the thing, nobody, you know, your great, great grandchildren will never know you, but they’ll be like this old guy it’s controlling me in the money.
Nathan Kavlie (16:58):
Anyways, the, yeah, th here’s the thing it’s, it’s really, and that’s part of why I love it. There’s so many little nuance things. That’s probably the weirdest thing in our documents that you’ll see is the sort of rule against perpetuities language. And it’s based on 21 years after a life in being when you die. And, and so you set it to some person, so it often will be the queen of England or the us. Like I have seen George Bush when he was president. I think we just say like our 21 years after the death of my relative or something, I forget what we say, but my mom asked about that and I was like, it’s sort of like, Marjorie, do you want the long answer? The short answer. There you go.
Justin (17:38):
So tell us about the utilization of a revocable trust. Also has a living trust in the context of probate and why this is an important instrument.
Nathan Kavlie (17:48):
Yeah. So it’s so probate. So when we think about probate, I think that the next thing we should talk about is non probate assets, which if you’ve heard of, if you’ve heard people talk about probate, you’ve probably heard about non-probate assets and we’re talking the things. Everybody knows our life insurance and retirement accounts. Those are always non probate. And the reason for that is when you sign up to get a life insurance policy, you designate who the beneficiary is. So the life insurance policy already has essentially its own like distribution on death mechanism built in. And our system of jurisprudence has decided that rather than letting the will control the life insurance, the life insurance just travels of its own accord. And in fact, actually the will then does not cause there’s some case law where, you know, like people didn’t realize that and they put something in there.
Nathan Kavlie (18:39):
They don’t update their life insurance policy to like their new wife and children. And instead it’s like their ex wife that they hate. This is there’s a famous case. It’s sucked for these poor kids. Anyways, the ex wife got everything because the guy wrote in his will like everything, including my life insurance goes to my new wife and my kids, but the will does not Trump, the life insurance, it’s a non-probate asset. It goes outside of probate and the same for retirement accounts. They also have beneficiary designations. So, so there’s this, this, and one of the other things that one of the other sort of ways to create non probate assets is with a living trust. So assets and trust are non probate. That’s the, that’s the little like $5 phrase, a living trust is basically a trust that you create for yourself.
Nathan Kavlie (19:34):
It’s sort of weird because usually you create a trust, it’s it it’ll be like and a lot of our clients do this, so they’ll set up language in their documents. So it’s like if I die young I will create a trust for my young children so that they won’t inherit all this money when they turn 18, instead of all Dole out to them. And in segments over time, hopefully they’ll get smarter with money and they won’t blow it all in, you know, hookers and cocaine. So it’s like, so in that instance, you, the parent are creating the trust. Your children are the beneficiary and you’re gonna get the name trustees. These are the people that will essentially stand in your place to Dole up the money and sort of decide, you know, if your kid’s like, I want to go backpacking through Asia and maybe that makes sense.
Nathan Kavlie (20:16):
And there’s a lot of money and you’re like, yeah, go for it. And we have language that we can put in there for stuff like that. Or they’re like, I want to buy a Maserati and then they’re like, no, don’t do that. The living trust is weird because you serve all three functions. You are the person who creates the trust. You are also the beneficiary of the trust and you’re the trustee of the trust. So you serve all three roles, which is kind of a little bit of legal trickery, but the good news is, is that courts throughout the United States, like these are not experimental sort of legal mechanisms living trusts are established law throughout the entire country. There’s no concern with using them because it is a little bit weird. But so that’s the deal. You, you sort of all these roles. And so you set up a trust for yourself and then you create essentially a mechanisms of what happened after your die. So everything that you would ordinarily put into your will about like, everything goes to my spouse and then it goes to my kids and then it goes to some charities that all then goes into your trust and we still create a will for you. The will then basically just says, if I forget to move anything into my trust, do it now. So it sort of acts as like a cleanup mechanism.
Justin (21:27):
Does it still go through probate? It would,
Nathan Kavlie (21:30):
Right. Well, yeah. So the goal here, and this is that thing with the trust, it’s a, it’s an amazing mechanism and it can save you a lot of money and stuff, but it’s not like you get to just sign the line. We describe it in our, for our clients now that there’s essentially creating your S like a comprehensive estate plan really now has two phases. The first phase is when we talk about your kids and we talk about who should get your stuff. And then the second phase is when we move your assets into the trust, because it doesn’t just happen when you sign it. You actually have to, again, in that thing, like with non probate, we have to make sure that we arrange each of your assets individually. And it’s not, it’s not the end of the world, but it, it doesn’t, it just isn’t like a stroke of the pen, right?
Justin (22:12):
So when you create this trust, anything that gets titled in the name of the trust is still functionally your property. You use it for whatever you want to, but it then becomes a non probate asset.
Nathan Kavlie (22:24):
Exactly. Yeah. So the goal here, it’s sort of really unintuitive, but essentially the goal is that that for legal purposes, legal title to your asset. So like, you know, you own your home, you and your wife own your home. And so if you look on the deed, it says your name, like you’re the owners. What you’re going to do is change it to you guys as trustees of your trust and so legal title. You’ll no longer actually hold legal title, legal title is held by you as trustee of the trust. It, it really ends up being sort of like, we describe it as like a magic box, but it’s like just made out of words really, because that’s kind of how all these kinds, I mean, like lots of stuff is like that, right? But especially this, because the house doesn’t move, you still have the keys, you get to go in and sleep in it and watch TV and host dinner parties. And if you decide you want to sell it, you can sell it. But if you decide to sell it, you’ll essentially be doing that as trustee of the trust rather than as you individually.
Justin (23:21):
Yeah. So the exclusive purpose or primary purpose of this type of trust is to circumvent probate. Yeah. Yeah.
Nathan Kavlie (23:32):
It’s, it’s, that’s really its main purpose. Yeah, it’s really it is, it’s really its only purpose. Actually. It shouldn’t even say that. And the goal really is to sort of move all of your assets over because that way then if you move everything over for probate purposes, you own nothing. That’s really our goal here. And if you forget to move any of your assets into the trust, or if you sign your documents and die the next day, that’s why the will sort of acts as the backstop. But then your stuff does go through probate still. It just then dumps into the trust after.
Justin (24:03):
Got it. So if you think about the balance sheet of a physician who has a bunch of assets and maybe a few debts you’ve got maybe a house, maybe you’ve got chairs in a medical practice or some kind of business, you’ve got cash, you’ve got investments as you kind of walk down, each of those, if you get a house, the house gets titled the name of the living trust. If you’ve got cash that could also either get titled in the name of the trust, or maybe you would do like a transfer on death potentially. Yeah.
Nathan Kavlie (24:30):
I mean, this is that thing that this is the fun part of phase two is that we really sort of, you know, we sort of categorize all of your assets and just walk through them. Financial accounts are a little bit tricky and because some accounts do have a beneficiary mechanisms, so they will pay out upon your death and, and some accounts don’t. And so it really depends. And sometimes you can sort of switch your accounts over which, you know, again, this is, it gets kind of tedious to be really honest. But it’s important work and the nice thing, and this is the key to it’s that I sort of feel like it needs to start to be stressing. It’s not just about the money, like by doing it now, you know, two scenarios, right? Your parents have a lot of money and they have a lot of assets and all that stuff.
Nathan Kavlie (25:11):
And they, they do a well, which is good. Cause as we find out with prince doing a will is better than not doing well. It saves a lot of time and hassle and probate. So doing a will is definitely a good first step. But that’s where then it goes through probate and your mom has to then deal with all this stuff. If you set everything up and go through the effort to sort of arrange your assets into trust. And some people are like, oh, I should wait until I’m in the seventies. But it’s like, no, if you do it sooner rather than later, then, then as you acquire new assets, when you acquire a lake home in another state, or if you, you know, you can then immediately just move them right into your trust. And that way then when, you know, when dad dies, mom doesn’t have to go through probate.
Nathan Kavlie (25:52):
It just essentially, she just sort of all of the stuff that the trust does when one spouse dies, just happens pretty much automatically. So it’s, it, it sort of is in, it’s one of those things where it’s like, do you want it? It’s like, do you want your medicine now? Or do you want it later? Like, there’s no way to get around it. There’s gonna be some hassle. But frankly it, it works really well to do it now. And especially if you’re already thinking of estate planning, because that’s the thing that we really see with so many people. I think that it’s people think of it. It’s like senior photos and like wedding it’s like you it’s like you’re, you’re like in the game of life, do you remember the game of life? It’s like, you do it. Yeah. You do it once.
Nathan Kavlie (26:32):
Right. You only have to do your senior photos once and you only get married once and you only do your estate planning ones, but, and so everybody’s like, well, I want to do it right. And there’s so much information out there which is really great. But I think people then get really worried about the, you know, they get all of these conflicting ideas and, and so then years go by when essentially your, your family is sort of at risk depending on what could happen. So, so do it. That’s the idea. It’s just get it done. Do it soon. And
Justin (27:04):
In order to, so, you know, based on the balance sheet analogy I was using before, one of the things you might consider is to just get as many assets as possible up to and including well, everything to, to transfer on death in some way, by a beneficiary mechanism, by it being owned in a trust or one of those other sort of features. So that as little as possible, it goes through probate. Is that kinda the, the idea?
Nathan Kavlie (27:29):
Yeah, exactly. I mean then the thing is, is a lot of, there are these non-probate assets, which if you want to, you can sort of utilize most of those. Some states allow you to transfer deeds on death, but not all states do that. So, I mean, there are a lot of different mechanisms that you can use at play. The nice thing about using a living trust is that it can become essentially the clearing house. And so you point your life insurance into your trust. And that way then if you do get divorced and you get a new wife or you have some new kids, you don’t have to remember all the different assets and go back and adjust all those beneficiaries. All you do is you just you just amend and update your trust. Right?
Justin (28:06):
And I think that’s a good sort of point to close on is one of the best arguments I can think of to do the estate plan. It’s not obviously taking your medicine, the analogy like it’s, it’s, it’s helpful. Cause it’s a, it’s a good thing that sometimes it’s unpleasant, but that in itself, you know, saying like do the thing cause you should do it. Isn’t always super motivating though. The way I think about it is it’s an expression of love to the people that are going to have to deal with your mess whenever you die. And it may come on an expected timeline. It may come on an unexpected timeline and death in the family is very difficult and traumatic in the best of times. And if you put a big, messy financial situation or something, that’s not clear or not documented, or you die without a will.
Justin (28:51):
And all of a sudden, you know, you forget to change the beneficiary. And like the ex wife gets everything like those are th that’s a really terrible situation. And so if for no other reason for anybody who’s listening is thinking like, I don’t want to take my medicine. You can’t tell me otherwise like, well, I can’t, it’s true. But the thing I would, I guess, try to reason with you is if you care about the people that are going to deal with your mess, when you’re gone, this is one way to express that care, that affection to try to make things a little bit easier at a time when there’s going to be a lot of difficult.
Nathan Kavlie (29:21):
It’s absolutely. I think this whole process really is a kindness. Cause the thing is with our system, with our system of jurisprudence, there’s always a backup, right? There’s a default plan. If you don’t have a will, there’s a default plan for your kids. Right. But that’s the part. And it happens when this couple in Wisconsin, a really young couple were driving to a badgers football game or basketball game. And they were hit by a car and they, they had, I think four month old twin boys and he died pretty much instantly. And I think she lasted a couple of weeks later and then died. And they did not have a, well, it was on there. It was on their refrigerator, like do a well, cause that’s the thing of when people get kids, it, it usually is the biggest motivator get because, and the reason why, yeah, because orphans, right.
Nathan Kavlie (30:10):
It’s but I’ll say it out loud, right? It’s like, you don’t want your kid to be just cause that’s the thing it’s like, your kids will not be put out on the street. It’s four months old, right. Obviously, probably grandparents are going to, but what happens then is the grandparents fight. It’s like, do you want your kids? And you know, these are four month old kids. So they won’t remember the custody battle that is going on probably still. But you know, if you have kids that are, you know, eight or nine years old and you know, both parents die and all of a sudden grandparents and aunts and uncles are all coming out, trying to sort of, you know, and then you’re having to, your kids are going to have to meet with psychologists that the court’s going to want to know who like do it for that.
Nathan Kavlie (30:48):
Like, here’s the, it’s like, I agree. It’s like, I’ll, I’ll hit you on all levels. Right. It really truly is a kindness because you really do. It’s like an act of like a love for your, your loved ones. You’re taking care of them. You’re simplifying things. You’re putting your own house in order, but I’ll get you every which way, because it, it, it does suck. I mean, imagine like the next time you’re driving your kids around the backseat, imagine them having to deal with like court psychologists, because you didn’t ever get around your will. It’s if that’s, what, if that’s what helps I’ll go there. Right? It it’s, it’s a rare event. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen often, but it happens to people like real people that intended. And so that really is the motivation for what we do. It’s why we’ve spent so much time and effort to really try to make the process suck less. Like it’s it’s about death. Right. And we’re not gonna sort of pretend it isn’t, but, but we’re here to help you take care of your kids. It really is. I mean, it’s much cooler than what I used to do. Lending law.
Justin (31:43):
Yes. I’ll say so for anybody who is like, okay, Justin, Nathan, you’ve convinced me go to APM success.com/ 1 0 4. I’m going to put Nathan a notes on his contact info. There we’ll put a link to their company, thoughtful wills.com. If you’re interested in commencing this process with them would highly encourage you to do so. Now is the time. So Nathan, any other parting wisdom?
Nathan Kavlie (32:08):
No. I mean, it’s just, it’s, don’t let the be my phrase that I keep coming back to, especially with doctors two things I want to just say first, when it comes to doctors, you just need to get a living trust. If you were social workers, you know, and we have clients that are social workers, then we have to talk about their assets and sort of their income generation potential to see whether or not the living trust really makes sense. But for doctors, for physicians of all stripes, it just makes sense. So that’s it. This is an easy question. If you want it, you can ask me and I’ll walk through it with you. But the other part is don’t let the, don’t let the perfect thing. I got this phrase so wrong all the time. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Nathan Kavlie (32:46):
And that’s what we see over and over again with prints with a Rita Franklin. I mean, people die all the time because they thought they would get it all right. Or they think this is the other thing too. We hear from clients. It’s like they have to do their homework first. And then once they understand all of it, then they’ll call us to take care of it. And it’s like, you don’t need to that’s our job. My job is to help walk you through the process. You don’t need to know anything, just know that you’re ready and we’ll take care of you. That’s all great.
Justin (33:14):
Well, Nathan Catholic thoughtful wills.com. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you today on APM success. Thank you so much. If you liked what you heard this week, head on over to APM success.com, where you can find more content and free resources to help you build a successful career in anesthesia and pain management. If you wanted to leave a review in iTunes, that also really appreciate thanks for using some of your valuable time to join me today on APM success.

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