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					                                                                                                                 U.S. POSTAGE

                                                                                                                                                                  ST. LOUIS, MO
                                                                                                                                                                  PERMIT #462
                                                                                                                  PRSRT STD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Summer 2008 Issue 24

Estate Planning                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         solutions
        Over the next 15 years, experts estimate that $12 trillion in inheritance                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ...people
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         you trust.

                                                                                          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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (314) 436-2399

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dennis D. Flatness
                           solutions                                                                                                                                                                       Summer2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Issue 24

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
                                    Ken Kotiza
                                    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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                you trust.

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