ST. LOUIS, MO
Summer 2008 Issue 24
Estate Planning solutions
Over the next 15 years, experts estimate that $12 trillion in inheritance ...people
bonding, employee benefits, financial services and personal insurance. • One of the leading independent insurance
Welsch, Flatness & Lutz, Inc. partners with our clients to provide the confidence and security they need to realize
will change hands from one generation to the next.
firms in the St. Louis region, we are experts in niche industries including construction, manufacturing, financial
their visions. • We design and manage integrated programs of commercial insurance, risk management, surety
This massive transfer of wealth began in the early 1990s and continues as
an older generation of penny-savers passes assets onto their heirs, some of them
“baby boomers” who are struggling to build a lifesavings. Thanks to longer life President’s Message
spans, many people also have adult grandchildren to consider in their wills. Damage estimates are still coming in, but this summer’s flooding along the
Mississippi River is expected to surpass the Great Flood of 1993 in many parts of
With so many people to split assets among, an estate plan is more important than the Midwest.
ever to avoid feuds and misunderstandings.
In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, more than 400 businesses and 3,000 homes were under
One option to consider is distributing parts of an estate prior to death. This water. Across the Midwest, 38,000 people have been displaced from their homes.
institutions, healthcare and hospitality/leisure.
strategy reduces the size of the estate and subsequent estate taxes, plus it gives the
elder a chance to witness the benefits of the gift. Currently, you can make tax-free Damage to crops from flooding and wet weather in the Mississippi Valley, one of
gifts of up to $12,000 a year per individual. the world’s largest regions for food and grain export, has already topped $8 billion.
An estimated five million acres across the Midwest will not produce a crop this year
Money isn’t the only issue to consider in your estate plan, though. Be sure to due to floods and wet weather
establish legal and medical power of attorney with trusted individuals, and make
medical care wishes known through a living will. Clearly communicating your Flooding isn’t the only natural disaster to affect our country this spring and
wishes regarding organ donation and funeral or burial services also will help loved summer. Tornadoes cut a swath from Texas to Virginia. Hundreds of wildfires are
ones make those decisions when the time comes. burning in California, and the North Atlantic hurricane season is just getting
underway, with predictions for more than the average number of named storms.
Four-legged friends and family treasures are among other issues to consider in
All of these disasters bring to mind the need for businesses and homeowners to
estate planning. You can assure lifelong care for pets by creating a pet trust, a legal
review their disaster preparedness.
document that sets aside funds and designates a guardian to provide ongoing pet
care. You can help heirs avoid disputes by designating who will receive which Most insurance policies don’t cover flood and earthquake damage, so property
family treasures such as photographs, collections and childhood toys. owners in high-risk areas should consider additional coverage. Also, the cost of a
disaster can extend far beyond physical damage to buildings. In fact, businesses not
Once an estate plan has been established, it’s important to discuss it with heirs. As directly affected by a disaster can incur loss of income if a key customer, supplier or
uncomfortable as this talk might be, heirs need to be aware of your wishes to utility is damaged.
prevent confusion, anger or disagreements. Understanding the plan in advance
helps heirs come to terms with decisions without the added burden of grief. Every disaster recovery plan should include a thorough review of insurance policies.
Do you have business interruption insurance, extra expense coverage to help you
you rely on...
A well-communicated estate plan can help ensure that family members will be buy a generator or rent space in the event of a disaster, sufficient coverage on
informed, adjusted and content with the decisions made. buildings, contents and any additional property? Are recent improvements or
additions reflected in your policy?
Your broker can help walk you through your insurance
coverage and shine a light on any gaps in coverage.
We’re always here to help.
Dennis D. Flatness
Welsch, Flatness & Lutz, Inc.
Dennis D. Flatness
Earthquake Coverage Car Insurance Party Time
If you thought earthquake insurance was only for residents of California, Shopping for a new car? Liquor Liability & Party Protection
you may have changed your mind when the ground shook in the Midwest The cost of insuring your
Summer is the season for company
in April. Many homeowners are now wondering whether they need new car is just as important
picnics, annual festivals and other
earthquake insurance. as the features and
outdoor celebrations. No matter
estimated miles per gallon.
how great your party planning
Standard homeowners coverage does not include earthquake protection – it must skills, unforeseen crisis could ruin your
be added to an existing policy. Don’t expect FEMA to bail you out of a disaster Many buyers neglect to consider
celebration. That could cost your
either. FEMA has limited funding, and damage must be very widespread for their insurance costs when buying a
company its deposits, cancellation fees,
funds to become available. vehicle, but just like regular
wasted food and perishable items such as
maintenance and fuel, the cost of
In deciding whether or not to carry earthquake insurance, consider the style of insurance should be figured into the
your home. Single story homes with roof, walls and foundation tied together annual cost of owning a vehicle.
Special event insurance can provide a
handle earthquakes better than older brick structures. safety net against financial loss in the
A recent industry survey shows the most- and least-expensive cars to insure, based
event that weather, natural disasters or the
Financial considerations also are relevant. Would you have emergency funds or on factors like higher repair costs, likelihood of injuries in an accident and
death of an honoree ruins your
savings to rebuild if necessary? probability of theft.
celebration. The insurance also offers
protection if a main vendor, such as a
Keep in mind that earthquake insurance typically carries a 10 to 15 percent Top 5 Most Expensive to Insure Top 5 Least Expensive to Insure caterer, fails to show up or goes out of
deductible, so you would have to pay the first $20,000 to $30,000 of damage on 1. Dodge Ram pickup 1. Chrysler Town & Country business.
a home insured for $200,000. 2. Chevy Silverado/CK pickup 2. Ford Escape
3. Toyota Prius 3. GMC Sierra pickup Costs vary depending on the amount of
The ultimate factor – as with any insurance – is risk. Those of us along the New 4. Honda Accord 4. Chevy Impala coverage needed. You also may need
Madrid fault area, which runs along the Mississippi River, face a real risk of 5. Ford Econoline Club Wagon 5. Nissan Altima additional liability insurance. Sites that regularly hosts parties should have their
earthquake damage. own liability insurance but separate coverage is important for an event held in a
There are plenty of ways to save on car insurance if you really must have that private setting.
Homeowners must weigh the cost of coverage and deductibles against the risk of expensive-to-insure dream car. Discounts on auto insurance may be available by
a damaged home. bundling it with home or property insurance. Accepting a higher deductible also will Also consider the liability associated with serving alcohol. Thirty-three states have
bring down annual costs. Insurance needs should be reevaluated every year. laws that hold social hosts responsible for any injury or death from alcohol-related
car accidents if they served the driver alcohol.
Laws on serving alcohol, drunk-driving and liquor liability can be complicated, so
you may want to get counsel before serving alcohol at a company party.
New Staff R Marketing Agency
WINNE of the Year
Vice President/Producer Welsch, Flatness and Lutz has been named
Marketing Agency of the Year for 2007 by the
Midwest regional office of United Fire Group.
This marks the second time that Welsch,
Flatness & Lutz has received the prestigious
award, which is given annually to the agency
that has shown consistent and profitable
growth for United Fire Group. ...people