Lamar Odom's Medical Debacle Offers Lessons on Estate Planning

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Former basketball star Lamar Odom's health may be turning a corner following a recent episode that rendered him comatose, but there are still important lessons for financial advisers about the importance of regularly monitoring and updating clients' estate planning documents.

Mr. Odom, a 35-year-old athlete and two-time National Basketball Association champion during his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers, was found unresponsive after collapsing in a Nevada brothel last week and was duly hospitalized in Las Vegas.

However, it emerged that Mr. Odom's estranged spouse, reality television star Khloé Kardashian, had legal authority to make medical decisions on his behalf. The couple wed in 2009 and signed divorce papers in July, but they haven't been finalized due to a backlog in the Los Angeles court. This means Mr. Odom and Ms. Kardashian are still legally married.

Advisers point out that, although Mr. Odom's situation seems to be improving, his estate-planning blunder is one that could have been easily avoided by having proactively updated important documents once he knew of his impending divorce.

“A divorce is one of those situations where you top-to-bottom are making sure you're looking at everything — decision-making, who's a beneficiary on different accounts, what kind of joint ownership situations are there. All those things have to be addressed and revisited,” said Thomas West, financial adviser at Signature Estate & Investment Advisors.

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Certified Trust and Estate Planner (CTEP™)

ctep-2Certified Trust and Estate Planner (CTEP™) is one of the most recognized Estate Planning and Trust Planning certifications in the world. This certification comprehensively deals with all the aspects of Estate Planning like Intergenerational Wealth Transfer, Wealth Preservation, Trust Planning, Succession Planning Estate and Gift Taxation.

The Chartered Trust and Estate Planner (CTEP) Program is an International Certification Course focused on Estate and Trust Planning in Philippine context which forms a very important subset of Personal Finance, Financial Planning, Wealth Planning or Wealth Management. The program allows the participants to develop skills in wealth transfer, succession planning, family wealth preservation advisory skills.

The program is ideal for Entrepreneurs, Family managed business owners, Financial Advisors, FinancialConsultants, Wealth Managers and Financial Planners to develop cutting edge knowledge in Estate Planning, Trust Planning, Succession Planning, Private Banking, Family Office, and Financial Advisory.

If you are financial professional, the CTEP program will help you to better position as the advisor to affluent individuals who havethese needs and who can assist with your client's total wealth management.

Practitioners who complete this program will gain the best of both worlds: estate planning ideas plus asset repositioning implementation. By having the Chartered Trust and Estate Planner (CTEP) Designation, you will learn ways to unlock this wealth by providing invaluable advisory services.

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Benefits of the CTEP™ Credentials and Designations

  • Increase Your Earnings – CTEP™ Designation Holders earn 25% more than their non-certified colleaguesaccording to the 2013/2014 Compensation Guide by American Academy Financial Management.
  • Advance Your Career – CTEP™ Certification is documented evidence of expertise and experience, representing a high level of skill, knowledge and professionalism.
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