(Part 2) There is a huge difference between inheritance, estate, and succession planning -- not knowing the ins and outs of inheritance could really cost you, your family, or your business in the long run.
We welcome inheritance expert Michael Zwick of Inherit More to give us the run down.
Questions? Comments? Continue the discussion by requesting access to our exclusive WVF Facebook Group.
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Today on Wisconsin veterans forward, we continue our dialogue. This is part two of our chat with our friend, Michael SW , who is the president and founder of inherit Moore . He's an inheritance planner, which is not the same as estate planning or succession planning. It's, it's a different avenue, but, but something that, that you all need to be aware of as individuals, as family members, as business owners, it's a really intriguing industry that I didn't know anything about before talking to him. But you already know that cuz you listen to part one. So I might as well just dive right in. Well , let's do it. You are listening to Wisconsin veterans forward. Wisconsin's premier audio resource for veterans, military families, veteran owned and veteran friendly businesses. Wisconsin veterans forward is brought to you by the Wisconsin veterans chamber of firstname.lastname@example.org . Have you ever had a client that was that like the goal that, that you could just tell that they like they wanted the Mercedes and they wanted to drain the bank account? I'm sure you probably can't talk about it.Speaker 2:
Um, we never really had, we never had so much, so much like that as, as we've had some people who are , um, just in a really bad situation and, and all they can think about is money. Uh , and our , you know , our , our, so my first company, which is still around assets international, we with that coming is we find money. And then we go find the owners, which is the reverse process. Um, now never , we once had a case where we were working on , uh , we had found some money for that belonged to a woman that the state was holding for her. And we, while we were recovering at the , her daughter calls me and it was eight, about eight o'clock in the morning, calls me and says, yeah, my mom died a few hours ago. I'm like, oh, I'm , I'm really sorry to hear that. And she said, well , I still be able to get this money. I mean, literally when you say the , you know , you hear the whole saying the body wasn't cold, literally the body wasn't cold <laugh> . Um, and I just, you know, I, I was kind of floored and I just said, you know, yes, you'll be able to, but why don't , why don't you focus? And she asked the question, why don't you really kind of focus on what you need to do right now in terms of getting ready, you know, dealing with your mother's death , the money's not going anywhere are you'll still get it. We also work for you, but let's just, you know , um, and I got the phone and why one of my , I was relating this to one of my employees and, and she was appalled and I said, I'm not angry or appalled. I said, I feel sad like that, that's this person's first reaction that, you know, that either they need so much money or that's just how they process. I mean, everybody processes the loss of a loved one differently. Um, and you know, I , I'm not going to judge someone based on how they're , how they handle things like that.Speaker 1:
You said something that really peaked my interest. You said, finding money, can you can like with your, your other businesses, like the reverse inheritance investigation, are you, are you saying that, like you look for maybe people who have gone through , uh , an estate or a will process and maybe in the past and something was missed and you're finding accounts and, and reconnecting people with that, or what does that mean?Speaker 2:
So there is a ton of money sitting in government treasuries all across the country . Uh , state treasurers are sitting on what's called unclaimed property, which is , uh , assets that are , that are sitting around for , for a certain period of time. Then the holders of those assets turn over to the state. But we also deal with other stuff such as , um, cases in probate where someone dies and say, just give an example. Person does says I leave $50,000 for my nephew, Johnny, and nobody can find Johnny. So we'll look for Johnny and say, Hey, Johnny, anchor news, we found money for you. Um, so it's not always stuff that some of it is stuff that slips through the cracks of the probate. Sometimes it's the, the owner's still alive . Sometimes the money can belong to major corporations or nonprofits that they just don't know about , uh , that just slip the cracks. Uh , so we, what we do is we get these, we get lists of money of all these D from all the different government agencies as we can. And then we try to find the owners and get them their money . Um , soSpeaker 1:
<laugh> , how does that conversation go? Cause if somebody called me and was like, hi , you don't know me, but I just found an account with your name on it. That has $50,000 in it. And all you have to do to claim it is like I would be hanging up. So howSpeaker 2:
Do we so mid sentence we have long we've long said that our biggest competition is not other company is skepticism. Uh , and we recognize that that is a natural reaction, which is why early on in our companies , uh, um, you know, inf fate, for lack of better term, we, we spent some time and frankly money , uh , to make sure that we were presenting a very credible presentation to people. So we send out a contract to someone. We , you know, we make sure they know we are licensed and bond and private investigation agency. We have a , a plus rating with a better business bureau. Um, we , um, well usually for something the contract's coming on , our stationary, we welcome, you know , uh , it's we have a reprint from a Washington post article that mentioned us , uh, pretty favorably. Uh , and so we make sure that they see that we have a real company now. Yes, we still got people skeptical. Uh , we , we joked our office . There was one time we found actually money for someone in Nigeria and, andSpeaker 1:
You're thinking of Nigerian prince,Speaker 2:
And we were laughing this guy, when we call the guy, he's probably gonna go great . Another one is American saying, I've got a fortune waiting for him . <laugh>Speaker 1:
One of those American princes and exactly .Speaker 2:
So, yeah, so it it's something that we definitely have to contend with on a regular basis. Um, but we, you know, we do everything we can to show them that we're a legitimate company.Speaker 1:
So a lot of our viewers and listeners are business owners or entrepreneurs. Uh, do you find that when the deceased is, or was a business owner , uh , that, that complicates things as far as inheritance , uh, is concerned, are there additional considerations, are there things that a business owner , uh , it , it would be advantageous for them to do in their succession planning? Or is , is there a different avenue or is it kind of all the same?Speaker 2:
So a , a business owner when should always have, even if it's a one person operation should have a variety of succession plan documents , uh , first is saying, who gets the company , uh, if not, then it's gonna pass to whoever inherits the rest of, of that person's estate. Um, and sometimes you, you know, especially if it's , it's a small business, the owner might say, I , I don't want, I want this particular son or daughter to inherit the business separate from the rest of my assets. Um, so that can be in the will . It could be in the articles of incorporation or other corporate documents. Um, you know, I , I , but I think it's also important for business owner to have , uh , a, what we call my business, the kind of , uh , break loss in case of emergency, where we have a document that my partner and my VP who is , uh , you know, privy to a lot of , not everything, but a lot of the stuff in our business. Um, what we should know in case somebody, you know, for one reason or another doesn't show up for work is never shown up for work. Again , uh, we used to call the getting hit by a bus thing, but it could just be also , um, you know, someone we win lottery goes , see you later , suckers I'm outta here. Mm-hmm <affirmative> . Um, and cuz my partner and I, and our VP all fill very distinct roles that don't, don't always have much overlap. So for example, my partner handles he's the COO and handles kind of the , the finances and, and stuff like that. So I handle certain other things. So we make sure we have this, we have this document in our, in our cloud that gives all the information with passwords and all that other stuff , um, that, you know, make, and if you're thinking you into it, it's pretty, pretty secure if anyone's getting at any bad , bad motives there. But , uh , no, so we that's, I would recommend, I know I have a friend who was a business owner , uh , who unfortunately just passed away one day, just suddenly from a heart attack. And , uh, some friend and his wife had zero clue about anything in the business. And he, it was a small sh it was a small operation, but it still took some friends, especially with accounting background, some serious amount of time to get into everything and untangle everything and figure out just, just to keep the doors open. Mm . Um , and the lights on was, was such a burden on, on , on people. And so it's , uh, you know , I , I think it's really incumbent, even if you're a one person operation to have that document and at least have one other person know where that document is that that says here's how to, here's how to , here's, how to keep things running. If I'm ever gone.Speaker 1:
Do you anticipate there being a change in some of what you do with the kinda advent of decentralized finance, cryptocurrencies NFTs? We had a guest talking about NFTs last week. Have you run into that yet? Uh , you know, maybe the family doesn't know that the deceased had like five Bitcoin is , is acquiring that a little bit different , uh , or haven't you run into that yet?Speaker 2:
Um, haven't run into it yet, but , um, so I'm not too well versed in Bitcoin, but I know last year I attended a, a virtual estate planning , uh , webinar on Bitcoin. Hmm . And the big takeaway I got from that is keep hold of that key or make sure some , make sure someone has that key. Yeah . Cause if you don't have it, it's gone forever. Right . Um, so I think it's one of those things that it's, it's not really an issue for us because the family has, has the information, they have the key, they don't need us. And if they don't have the key, there's nothing we can do. Um , interesting. So, yes, I mean, obviously we would, if there's a, if the, if some of like , for some , our cases, the person has passed away years ago , um, and some cases the person had just recently passed away. If we, if they left the computer behind, then we can get into the computer and kind of poke around and see what information we find, cuz we're always wanted to see like what assets might be out there. Uh, so we'll look for information on that and if we find it great , um , but I don't think it, it really , uh, is established like , yes, it could make things complicated in the future if people are putting a lot of their money into it. Um , also a lot of our, our states are dealing with our people who tend to already be in their seventies or eighties and that's a stereotype, but I think Bitcoin is much, is much more of a young man, a young man or woman's game at this point still. Right .Speaker 1:
Still. Yeah. Not for long though. I think it's, you know, yeah . It's becoming more, more popular. What did , uh , what did we not touch on? You know, we , we're giving kind of a broad overview and I think people now understand that, you know, inheritance and inheritance investigation is really important post someone becoming not alive anymore. <laugh> um , and it can be very, very helpful. Um, especially if you're in a grieving process and it can simplify all of that. What , what did we leave out? What's what's are there any additional kind of tidbits of information that people should know about what you do?Speaker 2:
Um, I think it's, it's not , not only with us, but you know, we're talking this earlier about hiring someone to do what, what you can't do is that , uh , we live in, in era of specialization and, you know, you have to decide for yourself how much you wanna take on there . There are so many other service providers in probate, which for those not familiar probates the process for , um, distributing someone's assets after they passed away. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And , uh, first of all, first and foremost, there's the attorney. Uh , some people figure they'll save themselves, you know, however much money doing , uh , doing probate themselves, rather higher an attorney. I , um, if they can do it great. Uh , some , someSpeaker 1:
Not advisable generally. UhSpeaker 2:
It's it's , it really depends on how, how complicated the estate is and how much time someone has to do it because probate, most people aren't because most people are not executors more than once or twice in their lives. It's the matter of how much do you wanna invest in, in the learning curve? Sure . When you're only gonna do this once, whereas probate attorneys , some handle thousands and thousands of estates , so they can get things done a lot faster on secondSpeaker 1:
Place and, and your time is valuable and, you know, right .Speaker 2:
And , um, and the same thing goes for, as you mentioned, accountants, you know, you might , you know, there might be issues you don't think about, like, for example, if the deceased had income in his or his LA his or her last year of life, you have, if you're the executor you're responsible to, to file a tax return for , for them , uh , the fact that they're no longer on to pay for it. So if someone earned a hundred thousand dollars in a year and then died during the year, you as the executor have to file a tax return, if you UN file that yourself find , but you might need to get a CPA. Same thing goes for, if you have assets that you've, you know, items you might find with , like , for example, the, the Pokemon cards or the beanie babies. Sure. Um , you might just say, oh, my , my neighbor offered me, you know, a few hundred bucks for them. Do you , are you sure that that's the best price? Or do you wanna consult with someone who specializes in selling those things? Um , there are , we live in a , in era of special specialization mm-hmm mm-hmm <affirmative> and , uh, as if the internet has taught us anything, it's that there's somebody who shares a, a passion or an interest in pretty much everything. Right . Um, uh , so, you know, I always say like, you know, take your time. The other thing I would also say , um, is if you don't know if the, where the will is, if you think there's a will and you don't know where it is search for it, don't just say, well, I haven't seen it. So therefore there must not be one, right. Uh , search for it high and low. I , you know, I wouldn't say you have to necessarily tear apart walls, but I'd say, you know, look a little harder than just , uh, you know, in the drawers of the desk, the person used, you know, you might wanna take , if there's a family Bible, open it up. Some people put papers in there. Some people put stuff on the back of paintings or whatever. So , um, you know, you want , because it's better to get that will sooner rather than later. Cause if you find that later, it could totally disrupt the entire process. Uh , you could be , you know, could totally change who's inheriting.Speaker 1:
And if you are the person with the will tell your family where you keep it, I think it might save everybody a lot of hard heartache . <laugh>Speaker 2:
Exactly. Uh, yeah, definitely. Um, you know , have multiple copies mm-hmm <affirmative> um, and let them know if, if not giving it to them and at least 'em know where to find it when, when the time is DEC when time comes.Speaker 1:
Absolutely. Well , uh, appreciate all of your insights today is really interesting stuff and really , uh , you know, relevant for all of us, cuz everyone's gonna die and everyone is gonna know somebody who passes away. Probably everybody, at some point in their life will have to be an executor. And a lot of our business owners should be thinking about succession planning and, and, you know, including those assets in their post life plans. Um, so yeah, really important stuff. How can people get in touch with you?Speaker 2:
Uh, so you can find this on our website, inherits more.com . Uh , my email is wick and inherit more.com . You can find me on LinkedIn. I'm pretty active on there. Uh , so, and if , especially, if you're connected with Adam, then actually be pretty easy to find and uh, you know, feel free to reach out to me, send me connection requests and do whatever it can to help you up there. I see the , the most can I get it right ? Yep . That's right.Speaker 1:
Excellent. Well, good stuff. I'll ask you to hang on the line for just a minute. I'll I'll , I'll catch you after the show here, but there you have it folks very important, very relevant stuff. It is money month after all we're talking about money this month, next month is tech month. So right now money and, and what could be a more important consideration for your money than you or others post life plans. And I can't, I , you know, obviously do your own research and, you know, make decisions that are , uh, that are obviously best for you personally, having a specialist, you know, someone like Michael and his team who do this all the time, not only, yes, you maximize the benefit and you also alleviate maybe some conflict between you and other parties who think that you're on the receiving end of this set or the other. Um, but also it's exceptionally stressful to go through this process and having , uh , having someone help you through the process can solve all of those things or can at least mitigate some of that stress. So something to consider check out in here , more.com . Like I said, he's, he's a buddy of mine. That's great information. Appreciate everybody tuning in , uh , you know, the spiel , same time, same place next week. See you then. Thank you for listening to Wisconsin veterans forward brought to you by the Wisconsin veterans chamber of commerce. Please visit email@example.com . Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast, leave a rating and review in whatever platform you're listening through.