Asset protection for Bernie (III of ??), and how insurance fits in.

October 11, 2012, by

TE BLOG. Fire in building window. 10.2012.iStock_000016624939XSmall[1].jpg
Wednesday afternoon rolls around and Lars arrives at the meeting at lawyer Duncan's office, with client Bernie who is seeking asset protection for his real estate empire. Lars gets to the little round table first, so he can position himself to look out the window. He learned long ago, in college, that he feels and works better with a leafy view. He felt so stifled in that one brightly lit interior room, with fellow students and an instructor who could all interpret literature better than he.

Lars hands out a financial statement for Bernie that Duncan has asked him to bring. Duncan says they'll begin by talking about insurance. This seems a little abstract and boring to Lars, who had thought they would play a sort of board game with Bernie's assets. Duncan: "Who's your insurance agent, Bernie?" "Well, I've got several. I started with one guy but found I could do better by having my office gal check around each time we had a new project. She's gone now. I mean she didn't die, I just didn't need her any more, when I was through building."

Duncan doesn't seem to like this answer. In silence while the lawyer is formulating his next question, Lars takes a draw on the Starbucks dark roast he has brought.

Duncan: "Do you have umbrella coverage?" Bernie: "I think so - I've got my daughter helping me a little, sorting through the insurance and bringing it up to date." Barely perceptible grimace on Duncan.

"OK Bernie, let's leave it at three things for today, on the subject of insurance: We need to get confident of your insurance past and present. You should have umbrella coverage; it's cheap. And third and most important, you need, we need a good agent to pull all the information together and give us thoughts on it, soon and then once a year going forward. I figured out years ago that it's not efficient for me to try to be an insurance expert - that's what your agent is for, should be for. I know a couple of good ones who understand the real estate business. I'll hook you up with one of them."

This all seems very sound to Lars. Maybe a little self-evident but not really - good advice often seems that way after it's laid out plainly.