ST. PAUL, Minn. (May 19, 2017) – Estate planning advisor Ray McCoy hears the stories regularly about what a lack of estate planning can do to family members.

“It’s not uncommon in private meetings or in our seminars that members share stories about a painful experience trying to administer a parent's estate,” said McCoy, the estate planning advisor for Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union.

“What they find is that their parents either didn’t understand the plans they had in place or didn’t have one at all and the result is often family discord,” he said.

Because of that, “members participating in our seminars are serious and motivated to get their estate planning right. They’re committed to making sure their estate plans will accomplish their goals and not lead to a family feud,” he said.

‘ESTATE PLANNING 101’ HELPS PARTICIPANTS
The credit union’s estate-planning “season” generally runs from November through April when McCoy holds sessions for members in the Twin Cities and in greater Minnesota communities with Affinity Plus branches.

Following the conclusion of the seminar season, McCoy reviews popular questions and themes raised by members who attended seminars. That review helps McCoy identify topics for the next round of seminars. In 2016-2017, he said he definitely recognized a need to continue to offer opportunities for members to secure basic information about estate planning.

“We could title our seminars ‘Estate Planning 101’ because nearly everyone needs basic information about estate planning,” McCoy said, noting seminar topics include the importance of health care directives; power of attorney forms; transfer deeds; beneficiary designations; the difference between a will and a trust; and more.

HEALTHCARE COSTS CONCERN PARTICIPANTS
McCoy said another pressing theme was – and will continue to be – how members can best structure their assets to protect themselves from being depleted by the rapidly rising cost of long-term care.

“Members are struggling with the competing desire to leave a legacy and simultaneously manage the cost of nursing-home-level care without burdening their children and relatives,” he said.

Overall, McCoy said he believes Affinity Plus members statewide are grateful for the credit union’s willingness to offer free educational seminars and personal consultations. Members expressed appreciation for the opportunity to learn about estate planning in an atmosphere free of sales pressure and presented in a clearly understandable format.

“Offering seminars as conversations and not lectures is crucial to our success,” McCoy said, noting he always remembers his mother’s sage advice. “She said, ‘I'm not impressed with lawyer speak. If it’s not understandable to me, I can't use it’. I always keep that advice front and center when I work with members.”

McCoy said no group seminars are planned through the summer, but will resume in November. Until then, Affinity Plus members can work directly with him for free as part of their membership. For more information, contact McCoy at rmccoy@affinityplus.org or call (651) 312-9878.