How Much are Your Family Jewels Worth?

interviewed Kathryn Kinev who is the owner of www.jewelcreations.com. Kathryn is a Goldsmith, Platinumsmith, Gemologist, Custom Designer, AND an appraiser. I’ve had clients inherit jewelry, including myself, and the value is some unknown number. I think some of the things I have came from my grandfather but now that both of my parents are gone, we have no way of knowing who owned it. Kathryn has so many years of experience she can look at the pieces and determine the date it was made within an approximate 10 year window. When she showed us an appraisal for just one ring, the appraisal included 4 sheets of paper to detail her research and findings. I was also impressed when she told the story about one of her award winning pieces that she designed. The 6 gems sat on her desk for 2 years as she would look at them and be with them. Then, in the middle of the night, the ...

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Who’s in control of your ILIT?

I recently wrote about the importance of reviewing your estate plan and life insurance values every 3 years. Well, also look at who is in control of the ILIT, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust, that you setup many years ago. I have a friend who wanted to review the values of his life insurance policies that are owned by an ILIT and then realized the insurance company wasn’t notified of the death of the trustee of the ILIT nor were they notified who was appointed as the new trustee. He then found out the new trustee wasn’t paying attention to mail from the insurance company and most likely threw away annual statements. Kind of awkward conversations to have. ILIT’s are great planning tools. Not as much now since estate tax laws have changed and the amount of money that can pass from one generation to the next has increased. But as they say, what goes up must come down, as in ...

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What’s Your Biggest Financial Fear?

We’re now hallway through the year. What’s your biggest financial fear? I’ve noticed a lot of people who resist talking to an advisor because they’re afraid of being judged or afraid they aren’t where they feel they should be at this point in their life, regardless of age. There may also be family history regarding the topic of money. Throw away the judgment and book an appointment. Get clear where you are today so you can take action. Fear leads to no action being taken. This initial meeting is really a job interview, from both the client perspective and the advisor perspective. If we have a fit, great. Then let’s get moving and take action. The decisions today will be adjusted over time but at least you’re taking action. What’s that saying about only a moving bike balances. Take that action and move in the direction of breathing easier about your life. If there isn’t a fit with that particular ...

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After this holiday season, who are you cutting out of your will?

I usually tell clients to read their will around the time of their birthday, every 3 years. This year, it’s January and I’m thinking “Hmmmm. Who wasn’t so nice to me this year around the holidays? Do they need to remain in my will?” All joking aside, it’s good to read your will every few years just to see if there are any additions or deletions to make. It’s also worth paying your attorney for an hour or two of their time to make sure everything is up to date with current tax laws and current state laws that pertain to estate planning that may have changed effective January 1st. For instance, I know Georgia made some change to one of the estate planning documents recently. Always check with your attorney but I discuss the advantages and disadvantages of establishing a revocable trust in addition to having your Will, Healthcare Directive, and Durable Powers of Attorney in place. In states ...

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I Take The Blame

When I called one of my best clients to wish him a Happy Birthday, on his 81st birthday I might add, he started the conversation with “I planned to call you today or tomorrow. You’re getting blamed for something here.” I responded, “I am fully responsible! Now what did I do?” He proceeded to tell me that he and his wife have been planning something and every time one of them would question their plans, the other one would just say “Mark would tell us to do this.” And they’re probably right. I would tell them to do it. We then spent the next 25 minutes looking at Google maps of Kuaii and sharing stories about traveling to Kuaii. My clients just rented the house and booked the flights for 10 days on Kuaii with their 2 sons, their 2 daughers-in-law and their 14 year old granddaughter. How awesome!!! I’ll gladly take the blame for this. I say I’ll take ...

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They’re Dead. Now What?

My oldest client passed away this week and it’s been over 5 months since my oldest aunt, my Second Mom, passed away. It’s a sad time, yet a reminder to spend time with those we love and care about. It’s also a time to take care of ourselves. The world just changed, dramatically, for their families and for me. I came into this business through a life insurance company and I remember handling my first death claim for a policy that didn’t have a current agent assigned to it. The son told me that his father had cancelled a couple of other life insurance policies within the prior 2 years and used the cash value to take the entire family on a trip. The memories of that trip meant so much more to him and his mother than them receiving a bigger death benefit that day. So, 1. Tell the people you love that you do love them. Spend time ...

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