Protecting & Leaving a Legacy with Mark Fry

July 14, 2022

In this episode of the “The Runway Decade Podcast”, hosts Bill Bush and Pete Bush, advisors at Horizon Financial Group talk with guest Mark Fry, Trust Estate and Business Law Attorney with Phelps Dunbar. Mark shares how he got into the trusts and estates world as an attorney and discusses things that he is experiencing in his 50s.

Episode Highlights

  • 01:47 – Mark shares his background.
  • 04:21 – Mark’s practice is about helping people, and keeping their assets to the fullest extent possible within their family in their lives.
  • 06:29 – Seeing that advice not just be accepted in a positive way, but being sought is something that has been enjoyable to Mark in this decade.
  • 08:08 – Mark says, his children seem to have found professions that suit their personalities, and it's something that naturally suits what they're already good at.
  • 11:52 - It's unique and dynamic the way life hits us in this particular decade, states Pete
  • 14:44 – Bill enquires from Mark about how big was his 50th birthday, and how did he celebrate that?
  • 17:08 – Bill asks Mark about the things he sees from folks in that runway that he experienced? Did he find that there hasn't been a lot of planning or a deeper plan?
  • 19:30 – People in their 50s should take the responsibility of making decisions as to how things will go down when they're gone, whether it's next week or if they live to be 100.
  • 23:30 – Pete asks, what is the average length of time when one goes into a situation?
  • 26:35 – Mark states that 90% of the people take the time not just to protect what they have for themselves, but for those that they love and leave behind. It is mostly about education. It's hard for somebody to do what they don't know can be done.
  • 29:19 – The other thing that happens in the 50s is we start thinking about retirement. So, start envisioning what retirement will look like after 4 years?
  • 31:55 – Mark mentions, during the pandemic, he discovered numerous podcasts that were dealing with medical issues, age reversal issues, and longevity issues.
  • 34:21 – Sometimes just sharing a particular podcast with a client can be life changing.
  • 36:25 – Mark says, travel is absolutely important to him, and having the ability to do that now and later in life is extremely important because that enhances our education, broadens our perspective on the world, and our appreciation for this journey.
  • 39:05 – Bill asks Mark some rapid-fire questions.
  • 41:20 – Mark shares about his one best vacation.
  • 43:37 – Bill asks Mark about his best purchase.
  • 46:00 – Mark shares about his best trip.

Three Key Points

  1. Mark shares - when he was in law school, the trust in estate was hardly a part of the education process, the law of successions, and the law distributing assets when somebody dies. There was a course but in terms of the tax issues, trusts and the use of strategies to help people keep what they had and asset protection there was nothing that he encountered until out of law school. So, when he learned that it could be planned around and it was essentially a voluntary task, he became interested to become competent in that area and helped people keep what they have.
  2. The people in their 50s need to make sure that they provide a structure, a well thought out approach to handing off business interests, their assets, and their IRAs all that they have worked hard for. They want to think about structuring the way that their children and grandchildren are going to deal with this come into it. The pandemic really spawned a lot of the notions that where structure might be better than absolute chaos. When people have assets that are more complex in nature, they're begging for chaos to ensue if they don't have some type of a plan, and when we have children and there's no plan, the children are going to infer a lot of things from their parents that might not be true once their parents are gone.
  3. If one is fortunate enough to have a retirement plan, retirement account; if one is fortunate enough to own their home outright, if one is fortunate enough to have money in the bank, and they don't take the time to say as a responsible steward of what they have. He is going to design a simple memorialization for them if they will. Doesn't have to be anything fancy. This is how he wants to be in charge of that process, and this is how he want things to go. It doesn't have to be a complicated matter.

Tweetable Quotes

  • “As an accidental tourist, got into the trust and estates world as an attorney, not anything that I studied even in law school.” – Mark Fry
  • “When anybody in law school, there's a lot of different directions you can go in and kind of start figuring it out there.” – Bill Bush
  • “I managed to get through three years of law school without being introduced to that.”- Mark Fry
  • “At 50, I could clearly see that my children are on a very good path.” - Mark Fry
  • “Dad wanted me to be in charge he always says that I'm the oldest as it should be. And nothing's written down, Nothing's designed.” - Mark Fry
  • “Have something in place so that you don't leave behind chaos as your legacy.” - Mark Fry
  • “One of the more notable estates I was ever involved in handling was a modest estate.”- Mark Fry
  • “If there's not a plan, we'll see people's belongings that couldn't bring $10,000 into the state sale.” - Mark Fry
  • “I would not recommend that anybody just leave the transmission of their estates, however modest, into the default rules of the state.” - Mark Fry
  • “If there's a will to update, it’s at least 8 to 12 years on average.” - Mark Fry
  • “The people who come to the realization that if this is perceived as an investment and not an expense, it's easier to do it.” - Mark Fry
  • “When I had children, I felt like I became better at what I do.” - Mark Fry
  • “This journey being so fast, it's so fleeting you have to embrace what's out there.” - Mark Fry

Resources Mentioned

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