When you start trying to help clients with asset protection planning, you’ll find it is easy to get a client’s attention with the subject matter, but it is sometimes difficult to move them forward with appropriate planning to protect their wealth (the one exception to the rule being physicians).
One way to move clients forward is to use the C.A.L.M. (Comprehensive Asset Liability Management) sales platform. Delivering a C.A.L.M. Level 1 memo is very motivating and gives an “action plan” to the client so they can move forward with confidence.
While C.A.L.M. memos are great, many times you’ll be trying to motivate a client without one. Then the question becomes how?
I’ve always found when doing seminars for clients or when talking with them on the phone or in-person, the best way to motivate them is to tell stories they can relate to.
Have you ever heard the comment that the only clients who buy long-term care insurance are the ones who have had a family member who needed it and didn’t have it? Why is that? Because they have had a real life experience that motivated them. You can do the same thing with asset protection planning by telling real world practical stories that your clients can relate to.
I usually laugh a bit before telling my stories because I always say that “I’ve got some good stories for you.” In fact, the stories are terrible ones, but they are good to “motivate” and that’s what we are trying to do, e.g. motivate our clients to do what we know they should do which is to protect their assets.
If your clients have teenage children, chances are at some point the client and spouse will go out of town and their children will be left at home (the 15-17 year olds). Imagine telling your teenage child on Friday morning that you are going out that evening to see an out-of-town football game or play, and that you won’t be back until sometime after midnight.
What’s going to happen Friday afternoon at school? The teenage child will pass around a note to all of his/her friends telling them that the party tonight is at his/her house because the parents are out of town. The note also says that the party is not “BYOB” because their parents have plenty of alcohol in the house for the teenagers to drink!
Friday 5:00 p.m. comes, and parents leave. Who is walking in the back door? Fifty teenagers looking to drink your alcohol and have a good time. What happens when midnight rolls around and everyone is told that the parents will be home shortly? The now severely drunk teenagers pile into their cars to drive home.
What happens next? Four of the teenagers who got into their car drove down the road and hit a tree. What kind of injuries do they sustain? The typical outcome is death, but that’s not what happens. Let’s assume they all become quadriplegics.
The first question you need to ask yourself is who is liable? The teenage driver? Sure. But that driver and his parents are poor and have no auto insurance. What about the homeowner where the party was held and whose alcohol was consumed? Absolutely. The homeowner is going to be sued, and the personal injury attorney is going to go after everything the homeowner owns, including their personal residence.
If your clients think they are protected because they purchased a $1,000,000 umbrella liability policy on their home, how helpful do you think that will be when they are sued for $10,000,000-plus in the above example?
Example 2—Clients who drink and drive
While we all know it is not right to drink and drive, many people do it. This probably rings true for many people with wealth who like to go to dinner and have a bottle of wine. With blood-alcohol legal limits going down each year, it does not take much to be seen as legally drunk in the eyes of the law.
What if a client had thee glasses of wine at dinner and while driving home accidentally dropped the cell phone in the middle of a conversation? What if the client tries to pick up the cell phone and inadvertently crosses the center line and hits an oncoming car? The damages and lawsuit will be large, but the problem will be compounded because when blood is taken from the client he/she has a blood alcohol content of .08 (legally drunk).
While the drinking had nothing to do with the crash, the client is now a bad actor and the jury verdict will be even higher. ALL of the client’s personal assets are now at risk.
Example 3 — Boats, Automobiles, Snowmobiles, Planes, and other toys
I’ve never met a boater or snow mobile rider who didn’t drink. Heck, boating is an excuse to get together with friends to drink. Where do people snowmobile? For the most part snowmobiling revolves around driving from bar to bar to bar. To do otherwise would be boring.
There are many paralyzing crashes involving boats, wave runners, snowmobiles etc. I actually had a family friend whose son had a friend over to snowmobile on his property and the friend was killed in a snowmobile accident. The friend was worth over 20 million dollars and did have $2,000,000 worth of home owners insurance, However, he had to come out of pocket in the amount of $2,000,000 to settle the case for $4,000,000. He was not asset protected.
I guarantee that telling appropriate stories to your clients will motivate them to take a serious look at asset protection planning. Your goal is to get the client’s attention so you can motivate them to move forward and do the right thing (protect their assets). I’ve motivated many clients and non-clients to become asset protected by telling stories in-person, in my Doctor’s Wealth Preservation Guide and at seminars. It works.
Once a client is motivated, you should introduce the C.A.L.M. Level 1 memo where a client can get a clear road map for how to fix their “global” asset protection problems (to learn about global AP planning, please click here.
Roccy DeFrancesco, J.D., CWPP™, CAPP™, CMP™
Are you a CWPP™, CAPP™ or MMB™? To learn more about the CWPP™, CAPP™, or MMB™ certification courses and how to take your consulting to the “next level” go to http://www.thewpi.org/.
Story Number 1—The Teenage Child (my personal favorite)