Tag Archives: Estate Plan

Back to Basics Fun Educational Review – Part Six – Estate Planning … No Fear of the Fancy Terminology!

Welcome back to Part Six of our “Back to Basics” series .. we hope you’ve enjoyed the First Five which started with all about “The Emergency Fund” in Part 1Part 2 being “Protection Planning” and Part 3 discussing All about Debt Planning or “The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Debt”, Part 4 Retirement PlanningPart Five, Back to Basics Education Planning and now “Estate Planning!”

As a reminder this is a high level Financial Planning Education like overview, starting with the basics of and we will continue into advanced topics in order of Planning Importance.  

So who needs Estate Planning?

In a word, everyone should have an Estate Plan and Estate Documents.

As your family complexity increases, the need for Estate Planning documents rises. Young families just starting out with no dependents that may be moving to another state in the very near future can have a brief hall pass as each state has its own unique rules, but the clock is ticking.

Couples with a dependent, you need an Estate plan!

Even with simple family situations, as we get older, statistically we get closer to utilizing these documents, thereby increasing our need.

Any further complexities, as an example multiple assets, multiple dependents, some type of unique family situation, you absolutely must have a good Estate Plan and Estate Planning documents.

Why do we need estate plan documents?

Without them you are leaving your wishes recklessly in the hands of the public domain via the court system for a prolonged timeframe and an unfamiliar person, (a judge), to try and guesstimate what your wishes would have been, using the general rules of the state you reside! Not good.

OK enough lecturing on who needs them and why, let’s take the complexity out of Estate Planning and make it very easy for you to prepare and complete the documents.

Rather than go into the complexities of all of the documents, keeping with our “Back to Basics” theme, we are going to go into what you need to think about to easily complete all of your Estate Documents. Don’t worry about the fancy legal and financial terms, if you can answer the following few questions, your Estate Documents can be easily completed …

So here we go!

If something happens to one of the couple, the general rule is the other is the primary default, hence the following terminology for decisions.

If something happens to both you and your spouse at the same time, Who will be in charge of administrating your estate and who is the backup person? This is called your executor.

If something happens to both you and your spouse, who will take care of your minor children? This is called guardian.

Assuming you and your spouse once again are gone, who will take care of the financial stuff for your minor children? This is called your Trustee and you’ll need at least one back up.

At what age do you want you’re now grown children, once again assuming you and your spouse are gone, to distribute financial assets? This is the terminal clauses of your trust, a very common age is 1/3 at age 25, 30 and 35 but parameters can vary widely. Trusts cannot be perpetual and therefore must eventually end.

Lastly, a very unlikely scenario, but one that should be answered, if everyone in your immediate family… you, your spouse, and minor children should perish, think of where you would like your assets to be distributed i.e. beneficiaries.

Other Documents

There are a few simple peripheral documents such as Power of Attorney (POA) and healthcare power of attorney that will need decisions, but we find if you have answered the above questions you likely already have a person that fits each of these roles.

One planning tip: Try and match the personality of your person to the role, i.e. the caring family person may be best fit for guardian, a good financial person trustee, a close relative with a very pragmatic attitude and calm and nature, your executor… as this is the most emotional role and comes first.

That’s it, each of those answers fit into a fancy legal term and your legal professional will know exactly how to formulate the appropriate language for your specific state. With the aforementioned answers your Estate Planning documents can be easily created.

Over the years we found many people fearful of the complexity of the documents, when in reality the majority of the problems are simply answering the questions above.

You are now armed with how to easily complete your Estate Documents, why you need them, how to be ready and how to easily complete!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.



Why You May Want to Accept that Seemingly Lowball Offer for that Small Royalty Interest You Have Acquired Some Time Ago …

While we all envy the person on television like Jud Clampett that receives some great news on a royalty interest, (or misses a rabbit only to hit oil) …in real life frequently this can be more trouble than gift.

Living in Texas a state that produces oil and natural gas royalty rights are very popular and frequently handed down from one generation to the next.

Continued Disposition Problems

We are continuing to run into an ever increasing number of need to dispose of seemingly small mineral right properties that maybe had an offer at one time or another that actually cost more to dispose of them the offer.

Photo by Albert Hyseni on Unsplash

Please don’t run out and dump that long ago relative’s income producing oil or gas property that has been in the family for years producing a nice monthly check … but the hundred dollar or seemingly worthless offer for that very small parcel of land that has a very small mineral right may be a good offer not only from a small tax reporting over the years that you may have to do but also from an organization standpoint in your estate.

While there are exceptions and of course when oil prices were in the mid 100s there were extreme cases of payments, it is very likely if you are receiving a very nominal amount of money from your mineral interest over the past decade that that mineral interest likely has very little value and maybe more of a burden to you from a tax standpoint and especially to your heirs from an estate cleaning standpoint than it’s worth.

No Need to Be Reckless – Do some Research

This is once again not an endorsement to go recklessly sell the mass form of income property but rather a recommendation to maybe think twice and do a little research when receiving a seemingly low offer by a professional mineral person who wants to consolidate his portfolio and take that interest off of your hands!

Have a Great “Cleaner Estate” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.



How does someone with a $300 million net worth NOT have a Will?

Recently, a famous musician, especially popular in my generation, passed away suddenly at the very young age of 57. While very fond of his music, his planning was disappointing.

Not only will he be missed, but his lack of a basic planning tool, may lead to many terrible outcomes.

No Will ?

It is estimated the Prince’s net worth is near $300 million. Certainly he had been advised to create an Estate Plan with the appropriate documents to help ensure a fluid transition, should he pass.

For whatever reason, by Prince not having a Will, his estate may have some of the following challenges.

  • Unknown spirit of wishes – The courts will decide who gets what, rarely a desirable outcome.
  • Massive extra expenses – While the courts decide who gets what, the extra avoidable expenses are certain to mount.
  • Delay – It would not be surprising to us for it to take a decade (yes, 10 years or more) to completely settle the estate.
  • Friends/relatives come running- Just as a lottery winner finds she has many new friends and unknown relative, $300 million will certainly draw attention and confusion.
  • Taxes- Prince’s estate will be subject to multiple levels of taxes, not all would have been avoided, but without any planning, the federal government stands to receive much more than otherwise would have been necessary.

It will be interesting to find out why Prince chose not to have any plans….heck, we may never know. No matter, while his music has left a legacy, his mistake certainly can teach us all an easy lesson!

Have a Great Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.




The Power of Attorney …

As summer travel season nears we thought a quick reminder to make sure you have all of your Estate documents (Wills, Trusts …) in order, and especially one document we find extremely useful.

The Power of AttorneyLivingTrustEstatePic

This document frequent comes in two forms, both very powerful.

  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Health care Power of Attorney

Both documents provide the named person to act like you in case you are not available. Both documents are extremely powerful … be sure you have the correct person named. Both documents can be an invaluable part of your Estate plan … be sure we have a copy too, for easy access. Last but not least, both documents are relatively simple, and usually only a couple of pages in length.

Have a Great Monday!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225


Q 4 2014 J.K. Financial, Inc. Newsletter Announcement … “Black Ice” Investing and Estate Planning

The final touches have been completed for our final Newsletter of 2014, Q 4. It can be found here on our newsletter tab of this site and here on our newsletter tab on our main company site (slightly fancier viewing options) as well as a few past years.

Black Ice Investing and Estate Planning Theme

Much like a musician never knows what song is going to be popular, we are frequently surprised on our subject matter popularity as well. Hopefully this will be a top the charts newsletter!14Q4_JKFin_Newsletter

We are VERY proud of our “Black Ice” investing parity article and have a teaser overview in the coming Cover letter for Quarterly Reports as well as a full eventual reprint her. We feel it is that important!

Estate Planning has dominated our conversations over the last several quarters, with both personal loss and many related.  We dug deep for a very broad description of the tools for a good Estate Plan.

We understand the novelty of a paper newsletter, but think it so old, might be new again. A paper copy is headed your way  ….  ENJOY ! …  John and The Gang at J.K. Financial, Inc.

Have a Great Monday!

John A. Kvale CFA , CFP
8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225



Question of the Week, Including a Personal Story…. “How Frequently Should I Review My Will?”

Our question of the week, this week, comes from our field of dream clients again (that’s you guys), but is also part of our regular repertoire of questions we ask when meeting new clients. This weeks answer comes with a slight twist due to possible tax law changes.

From our question one can infer we recommend everyone have a Will. Even if your situation is relatively simple, a lack of Will directives can extend the process in time and increase financial costs.  As an example, my Uncle passed away about 13 years ago and was single with no children. Unfortunately his Will could not be found. While his estate was not complicated, the lack of organization and direct beneficiaries strung the settling of his estate process out to almost 2 years, and greatly increased the expenses.

We recommend a review of your Will at least every 5 years or earlier if your situation changes. By dusting off that Will and reviewing the major players (Executor, Trustee, Guardian, Power Of Attorney) you may find someone in the document you have lost contact with, or whom a better person may fit today. Take action and call your Attorney to have these folks updated, it is an easy process and well worth your time in the long run. 

Here is the Twist:

There are possible major Estate law changes on the horizon which we will constantly be notifying you of over the next several quarters. Given this fact dramatic estate planning changes may be ill-advised at this time. Please do not take this as a reason to procrastinate necessary updates, but there are significant tax laws sun setting at the end of this year. 

We are not attorneys or attempting to practice law so see your attorney for that, but do dust off that Will if it has not seen light in over 5 years, you might be surprised at what you find!

Next week, we have a CFA related event that brings Donald in town for a whirl wind tour and a meeting of self-professed expert forecasts for the year 2012 (we will bring you the commentary.)  Office upgrades continue as this week brings a new high-tech trading platform and a Tamarac system,  which we will explain soon.

Have a Super Day and A Great Weekend, and don’t worry Zigg is doing fine!