Letters from the President
Estate Planning and Trust Council of Long Beach
Dear Members and Guests of the EPTCLB,
I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer with family and friends. I’m thrilled to introduce our kick-off speaker for the year, Mr. Paul Velasco. Paul is a former board member and an esteemed attorney. I’ve known Paul for over 10 years and he’s a superb professional, articulate, funny, community volunteer, and I hear he’s a decent golfer.
Paul is the principal of Velasco Law Group and he’s been practicing law for over 18 years. He focuses his practice exclusively on estate planning, probate, and trust litigation. He is certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Certified Specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law. Paul will be presenting on the “Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes that Often Lead to Litigation or Other Court Required Actions and How to Avoid Them.”
Please join us on September 5th at noon at The Grand to hear Paul speak on a topic offering insight for all of us.
I’m thrilled to be your new President for 2019/2020 and I’m grateful for the support from our talented board members. The board’s priority is to secure savvy and engaging speakers throughout the year presenting topics that address multi-disciplinary issues and are eligible for MCLE and CFP CEU’s. Please reach out to one of us regarding your ideas for speaker topics.
2019/2020 Board Members:
Machelle Thompson, President Ali Green, Director
Lauren Osborne, President Elect Wade Perry, Director
Marcelle Epley, Treasurer Ginette Skelton, Director
Andrew Scammon, Past President Sindee Smolowitz, Director
Greg Burnight, Director Leslie Wiberg, Director
Laura Claveran, Director Mary Sramek, Administrative Director
I’m looking forward to seeing all of you on September 5th!
Machelle Thompson, PT, CMC
Dear Members and Guests,
Mind The Gap! (I'll explain shortly.)
I look forward to seeing you on Thursday at our final meeting of the 2018-2019 season. Say it with me now "This meeting is off-site, at the Long Beach Yacht Club." Parking is free, just flip around at the end of Appian Way, go past the member's gate, and park in any of the spaces that DO NOT HAVE A RED CURB.
I know you will be very pleased with this month's speaker, Wanda Allen, presenting on follow-up strategies. She has coached dozens of successful entrepreneurs in the Long Beach area and hundreds, if not thousands, more from around the country. That includes at least two past presidents of the Estate Planning and Trust Counsel. She lives in Oxford MS and we very fortunate to have her coming to speak to us. I want to make sure you are in the right frame of mind: This presentation, like last months, is master level, not introductory. Leave your biases and bring your challenges and dedication. No tricks, just be prepared to hear YOUR story as Wanda picks apart some of the hurdles to perfect follow-up. I personally know several of the most successful attorneys, financial planners, bankers and Realtors from Phoenix to San Diego to LA that have worked with Wanda, and we all sing her praises. While Wanda concentrates on follow-up, the work she does also lifts every facet of business and brings order and calm out of disorder and distraction.
Be sure to arrive early, I will order a free copy of Wanda's book, "Follow up Sales Strategies" to the first fifty people completing the information form handed out at the door. I know some people shudder at the word "sales" but let go of that. This is not about tricking people into a poor decision, but about providing the highest level of professionalism and service to our clients, and customers, even to family and friends. If you or your staff have let a client or potential client, "slip through the cracks" this is perfect. And that's why I say "mind the gap."
Also, our next meeting, the social in July, will be chaired by our new President, Machelle Thompson, founder of Keen Home Care. Machelle is bright, focused, dedicated & kind, and I know she will lift the Council to new heights.
Finally, I'll bring the meeting to order a few minutes early (12:25) to facilitate vote on the slate of new board members.
All the best,
Last week I was at a large gathering of estate and succession planners in Orange County and once again the topic of how to get clients to take our advice came up. We had a very open and lengthy discussion about the economy, and the role it plays in our client's decisions. Because planning takes place in the logical side of the brain, but implementation with the emotional side, no amount of logic will sway someone with emotional baggage that fears “upsetting the apple cart.” We heard you, and we will go hard on the topic of getting our clients to execute on their plan with two nationally known speakers in May and June. And we will gain insights that will make us more effective in all walks of life.
Thank you to everyone who completed the survey about our speakers from Farmers and Merchants Trust Company. They received very high ratings with over three-quarters of respondents saying that they would like to see them speak to the council again. I agree and even referred them to the South Bay and Inland Empire council's. While the tales from the trenches was memorable, the accounting and investment aspects were full of insights.
Reminder: Get 10% off membership fee for next year for every corporate member that you sponsor. If you sponsor 10 corporate members you will get next year for free!
We think we hit another home run scheduling Kim Onisko to speak this Thursday. Kim will speak to a topic at the heart of estate and trust planning, Avoiding the common traps when dealing with a family-owned business. Family family-owned businesses administered by fiduciaries are often the subject of litigation by beneficiaries that believe they are not receiving their fair share of the profit or value of the business. A fiduciary must maximize income for income beneficiaries and be cognizant of retaining value for residual beneficiaries. This presentation reviews distinct steps that a fiduciary can take to protect themselves from the claim of improper management. A must see for those of us who have, or expect to have, client's with a family owned business.
See you Thursday, and may your March be filled with the luck of the Irish!