You are listening to an excerpt from Ask the Experts on Talk 860 WWDB AM with host Steve O and weekly guest, LGBTQ legal expert Angela Giampolo.
Our main topic for this episode of the podcast, Angela tackles the difficult subject of maintaining estate planning confidentiality after death.
We also talk about why Angela used to be a Fox News analyst and her plans for a tour of vulnerable LGBTQ communities throughout the United States.
This week, on ASK The Experts.
Speaker 1 (00:01)
You’re listening to an excerpt from Ask The Experts on Talk 860 Wwdbam with host Steve O and weekly guest LGBTQ legal expert Angela Giampolo. Our main topic for this episode of the podcast, Angela tackles the difficult subject of maintaining estate planning confidentiality after death. We also talk about why Angela used to be a Fox News analyst of all things and her plans for a tour of vulnerable LGBTQ communities throughout the United States this week on Ask The Experts.
Speaker 2 (00:38)
Hey, good morning, Philadelphia. After a great win last night, your Philadelphia, 76ers. What an incredible team. And maybe since I’m modulating down here in Florida, maybe we will be playing each other in the playoffs. But congratulations to the 76ers. This is Ask The Experts show. We are with you every Tuesday from ten to eleven with experts in the field of legal, health, financial and home improvement. And we start off our show every week at 10:00 with one of the top attorneys. I think she is the top attorney in Philadelphia. Let me introduce you to attorney Angela Giampolo. And we are talking LGBTQ law and we talk about family law, state planning, real estate and employment law. Today we are talking estate planning.
Speaker 3 (01:53)
Right. Philadelphia is in the news for a lot of things lately.
Speaker 2 (01:58)
Wow. So listen, I got to tell everybody, Angela gives up her time every week to educate our listeners out there. And she’s actually a trooper because she’s not feeling well at all. Today she’s got her Kleenex. And before we start, I don’t have enough time to read the whole letter. But one of our listeners, her name is Julie. Emailed me telling me how much she enjoys your show. And she has turned on so many of her friends about it. And listen, it feels good to get compliments like that. We only have 30 minutes, less than 30 minutes of Angela. So I won’t read the whole show, but I will send a letter to Angela. First of all, I hope you get better. Second of all, your clients need you get better.
Speaker 3 (03:00)
Well, I took four covid tests, so I don’t have covid. I know that much. I think it’s all the travel back and forth at a couple of conferences. I happen to be in Philadelphia today. This is one of my Philadelphia views. I happen to actually be in Philadelphia right now. But I was flying back the other day and I was sick and I was in the middle seat. I never get the middle seat. I always ask for the aisle and I was in the middle seat. I was sick. I’m blowing my nose, hacking, coughing, and I have my mask on. Then I keep having to take my mask down to blow my nose. And everybody is hating me like death. Eyeballs staring at me like, who is this woman? Just hacking up a lung and sneezing and coughing and blowing her notes. And so the guy next to me told I was like, listen, people, I took four covid tests. I’ve gotten covid twice. I swear I don’t have covid. The guy next to me thought it was funny, but the woman to my left was not having it in any way, shape, or form.
Speaker 3 (03:59)
But we used to just get sick. This is just a normal flu. But yes, it has knocked me out.
Speaker 2 (04:07)
No, I had cold and woes about a month and a half ago.
Speaker 3 (04:11)
You had it for like six weeks.
Speaker 2 (04:13)
Yeah. This box shows up at my house and it’s Angela, one of the most beautiful gift boxes I’ve ever seen. It’s one of those things that everything in there was good. So I want to thank you again for that. Angela, you know what? I always ask you to begin your show, tell everybody about your phone. But I’m going to ask you today. I would pinch myself every time when I wake up in the morning. The people that you’re touching, that in the past maybe never really had a shot. And they have you now, as you have helped and touch so many people’s lives as an attorney. And I would feel like, thank God you’ve done this for me.
Speaker 3 (05:10)
I feel that as an attorney, I don’t think that every actually very few attorneys love what they do or agree. Statistically, the American Bar Association puts out study after study around lawyers being happy with their profession. 76% of lawyers are unhappy with their profession, so not their job. You could work at Steve O, Giampolo and Associates and hate your job because Giampolo is horrible, but you still love being a lawyer. So for 76% of attorneys to be unhappy with the profession of law is a really big deal. And it’s very sad, right? In my opinion. So the way that you describe how my clients would be feeling about working with me or about the fact that my firm exists, I think exists because that’s how I feel about being able to work with them. And I don’t say that from a marketing perspective or because I should say that. But I literally wake up grateful and feel that it’s an honor and a privilege to serve the LGBTQ community. Right? I mean, every day I meet, I just got off at 9:57. I told them I got to hop off. I’m always 1 minute they think I’m not coming, and I’m coming, I got to go.
Speaker 3 (06:31)
But here I get to work with this gay couple. They’ve been together 14 or 17 years, and they’re bringing a baby into their life. And I did their post nuptial agreement because they’re worried that a baby is going to mess up what they know to have been their marriage for the last however long. And now we’re doing their estate planning, and I have the privilege of being in their life along those massive milestones of here. We’ve been together for 14 years. And we’re going to welcome in we have a surrogate and we’re going to welcome in a baby into our life. And then I work with them around the postnup, but I’m working with them around bringing a baby into their life. And now that that’s done and the baby is going to be here May 29. And now I get to work with them on their estate planning and to have a portal into people’s lives like that, that is a privilege and an honor. And I view it as such. And I treat it as such. And I think because I view it that way and treat it that way, that it’s received that way by them or by some I mean, not everybody’s favorite lawyer.
Speaker 3 (07:39)
But to the extent that I can.
Speaker 2 (07:42)
Someday, Angela, I hope that the bar will make your area of law, LGBTQ community law, that you have to be board certified. Let me tell you why I do this all over the United States. And I find that because I have learned so much from you. I find that there are attorneys out there who just stick that up on their shingle. They have no idea, but they stick it up. That’s for marketing purposes. When there’s attorneys out there like you that know so much more than most of the attorneys out there who stick that sign out going as are part of law. And it doesn’t seem fair for what you know and what they don’t know.
Speaker 3 (08:42)
Right. From a marketing perspective, that’s always going to happen. Right. And all I can say from a positive perspective about that is if they were homophobic, they wouldn’t be doing it. So whether or not they’re knowledgeable, because they’re going to do it regardless. Right. So we know all over the country, especially post marriage equality, everybody threw up an LGBTQ page. We do LGBTQ divorce. We do LGBTQ estate planning. We do. We do. We do. Right. And all I know to be true is that at least on some level, those lawyers are accepting whether they have the right intake forms or not. Probably not. Whether they’re trans, confident in their language, probably not. Whether they would be comfortable using they/them pronouns. Probably not. But at least on some level, there is an accepting ally of that lawyer. It wouldn’t disown their child if their child came out as gay. That lawyer would likely go to a gay pride parade or something like that. Right.
Speaker 2 (09:51)
Speaker 3 (09:51)
So at least when I see that kind of marketing, I know on some fundamental level that that person is at least accepting of the community. They may be doing it for opportunistic revenue generating reasons, but they definitely wouldn’t be a flat out homophobe doing it for revenue generating reason.
Speaker 2 (10:15)
We’re going to talk about the estate plan today, Angela, and there’s so much that people need to know that they do not know. And that’s the purpose of this show. This is not like a 30 minutes commercial info, Angela’s literally educating the public and the LGBT community. So I want to start off about maintaining confidentiality in estate planning after a person’s death.
Speaker 3 (10:55)
Right, because you can share whatever you would like in life about your assets. And people know, oh, you live in that house or what have you, but in a will. A will is a public document and gets probated with the register of wills here in Philadelphia gets probated in city hall. Not every city does it go into city hall, but ours does. So if you want to be creepy, you can go into the basement of city hall and look up anybody’s will that’s ever been probated. So wills are not confidential. You can be confidential about what you put in your will. You can never tell a soul you even did a will. But the minute you die and I need to probate your will, it becomes public knowledge for all of your heirs. I have to send a notice, and the letter says, if you want a copy of the will, please call me. And I have to by law, provide them a copy of your will. So especially for the LGBTQ community. More so seven to ten years ago and 50 years ago and whatnot. But people weren’t out there’s a famous lawyer here in Philadelphia, and nobody knew he was gay until he died.
Speaker 3 (12:08)
It was like a shocking revelation in his estate planning document because he left everything to his lifelong partner. And then it became known, even in death. Some people want to maintain confidentiality sometimes, and it may be because you’re not out. It may be because you just want to maintain confidentiality. What have you. The only way to do that is with a Revocable Living Trust. So your will. Everybody needs a will. Everybody needs the last will and testament. It’s the only document that nominates your executor. But not everybody who has a will also has a Revocable Living Trust. So the will can say everything to my revocable living trust. 100% of everything I own to my RLT. Okay, so now I still probate that will. But all the will says, and if you call me and ask me for a copy of the will, which is the only thing you’re entitled to, all it says is everything to my revocable living trust. So it holds you nothing. And then I go to your revocable living trust, and then it says, 100% my lifelong gay partner. So and so. And now your confidentiality has been 100% maintained in debt.
Speaker 3 (13:21)
Otherwise, so many people don’t realize that they’re gone, but they don’t realize they thought that because they told nobody about their will and they did their will in secret with me. That in death, it also remains a secret. And that’s not the case. The only way to maintain confidentiality is to have your will be tied to a Revocable Living Trust. The will leaves everything to the trust, and then the Revocable Living Trust states exactly what you want to have happen.
Speaker 2 (13:49)
Angela, how many of your clients you put into a Revocable Living trust? You love that?
Speaker 3 (14:01)
Speaker 2 (14:02)
Okay. Yeah, I think it’s wonderful, but I’ve had attorneys tell me they don’t really like it. I was like, why would you not use it?
Speaker 3 (14:12)
Well, every state is different, so I don’t know what state those lawyers are in. Florida, California, there are states where it’s like, hands down, you need this kind of thing. It would be a CYA letter if you don’t have it. But the reasons I love it is the last will and testament I view like the Titanic. Okay. It’s always going to be there, but it’s slow moving. Just think of the Titanic. Like, you just know that it’s there. It’s big, it’s important, and you’ll always need it. But it’s super slow moving and it’ll take years to turn into. Whereas a Revocable Living Trust is like a speedboat. Okay. So you combine them together. Not everyone who has a will also has a Revocable Living trust, but if you have a Revocable Living Trust, you have to have a will. So at basic, everyone has a will in their basic estate plan, and then it’s whether or not we add an RLT.
Speaker 2 (15:24)
Angela is one of the very few people that I hope this comes out right. So cares about her clients, because if you look at her background, where she’s always started, it’s always been about caring for people. I mean, everything you’ve done, Angela, has been taking care of maybe the underdog to find an attorney that really does care. And you’re not just a dollar figure to them. Angela is just so that person. And I think about everything you’ve done in your professional life, and it’s always been about helping other people.
Speaker 3 (16:21)
Yeah. There’s a difference in the helping profession, if you will. I feel like lawyers aren’t often put into the helping profession category, like doctors and social workers and whatnot. And if we reframed our profession as more of a helping profession like that and taught that in law school that we have a license to drive a car that helps navigate this entire country, everything is based on laws and rule of law, and our license helps us drive that. And people great example the other day, two cousins, first cousins, and one lives in Ireland and the other one is here in Philadelphia and sort of the Irish part of Philadelphia and sort of the Kensington Port Richmond area and the Philadelphian early 60s construction company, and works with restaurants. So building new restaurants and bars and renovating and whatnot. So for three years he’s hanging on by his fingernails. Right. And so he has a cousin in Ireland that is more flush with cash, and they’re looking to do work together and buy homes and flip homes. And in working with them, we’re doing one estate planning, and then we’re going to do a mortgage and a promissory note and a company.
Speaker 3 (17:58)
And basically the collateral of the company will be the guy’s home. So all this work with these two people, ultimately, and they had no idea. They came to me for something completely different because it’s what they thought they needed.
Speaker 2 (18:15)
Speaker 3 (18:16)
The email was we’d like to consultation around a irrevocable trust. And I was like, that’s a very specific request. Can you tell me why you want that? And they’re like, you don’t know, maybe you can tell us why we want that and then cut to like, 24 minutes in and we’re nowhere near that. And so we have this license to drive the vehicle that drives everything that drives commerce, forming businesses, estate planning, real estate. In that one meeting, we touched on estate planning, real estate, business, law. And they had no idea that their one need hit all of those different areas of law. And then their brain, somehow an irrevocable trust was going to solve it.
Speaker 2 (19:06)
How would they know exactly?
Speaker 3 (19:09)
But if more lawyers viewed themselves as servants in that way, that we’re driving this car and people hop in and we can help them navigate, and then they get out and we’ve gotten them to their destination, and then we keep driving, and then another passenger comes in, and then we navigate them to their destination. And if more lawyers viewed it that way, instead of, to your point, as dollar signs or as, like, a transaction, oh, you need an irrevocable trust. Okay, here it is. Without exploring further and just giving them what they asked for, which would have served would actually have been a horrible thing. It would have put them back. It would have been a detriment to give them what they wanted. Right. But so many lawyers would have just been like, okay, you asked for an irrevocable trust. Here it is. $2,500. Thank you. Goodbye. Have fun with that. And Meanwhile, they need all these other things, which actually adds up to more of a fee. They will pay much more than $2,500, but it’ll actually be suited. And we all win. We all win. I actually helped them. They got what they needed.
Speaker 3 (20:20)
I actually made more money than what they originally set out for. Your point. And the other piece that I was going to say is that there’s helping humanity, and then there’s helping humans. And I’ve always been geared towards helping humanity or communities. And so human trafficking, genocide. Now the LGBTQ community. And then as a part of that community, the community is made up of humans. And those humans are my clients. But I am driven and passionate about the community on a macro level, which is then made up by the humans that I actually help on a daily basis.
Speaker 2 (20:59)
And we’ve kind of touched on this, but I really want people with all the time that you spend with your clients, folks. She is working on going into cities that no one would go into to talk about LGBT community.
Speaker 3 (21:22)
That’s where it matters. Mobile, Alabama. We don’t need to go to San Fran, where we can throw a rock and hit a gay lawyer. We need to go to Mobile, Alabama, Laramie, Wyoming. Like the cities where there aren’t out lawyers, that’s where we need to be having these conversations. And your station while it’s in large cities still as we expand into those cities, will still reverberate to your point about if one person hears it. And right now we’re only having this conversation in Philadelphia, but we will be expanding that both my firm expanding nationally and then this show expanding nationally with.
Speaker 2 (22:06)
Each I think it’s amazing where you’re going. I got to tell you, it takes to do what you’re doing. But that’s who you are though.
Speaker 3 (22:18)
In a year from now, we’ll be having a fun conversation about what that looks like.
Speaker 2 (22:23)
I know. Is it scary for you?
Speaker 3 (22:30)
No. I think being Canadian and being raised in Canada, where being LGBTQ is so not an issue. Like, maybe I’d have more fear if I had been disowned and had been mistreated since I was a child for being gay, but I never have. And so I was able to grow in and have a coming of age that included my sexual orientation and my gender identity. And so I am confident in that. And that’s not to say that someone who had a difficult upbringing would be fearful. They would be passionate and staunch to help protect those like them. So it takes all kinds. But for me, and also because 2013 through 2016, I advocated so strongly during marriage equality. I was just talking about this this morning. I was a Fox News analyst and every Fox News outlet around the country, if they wanted to talk about LGBTQ, would go through New York headquarters and ultimately get me. And I’d have Fox days where for 4 hours every 20 minutes I was on a random Fox News outlet like Wichita places I’ve never heard of, where there’s like 5000 people in the town and all of them hate me.
Speaker 3 (23:58)
But maybe there’s one gay person in that town and people would ask, you spend 4 hours a day talking to Fox listeners, why would you do that? And I’m like, within each of those outlets, I can guarantee you there’s 3% LGBTQ people also listening in that Wichita town and I’m talking to them and or that person who thinks they don’t like me, but because they haven’t met me, heard me, or ever heard my side of the story, if you will, that even if I bring someone from staunchly disliking me to kind of being like she’s all right, that’s something.
Speaker 2 (24:39)
Speaker 3 (24:40)
You don’t have to go from like, I dislike her strongly to I love her. But even if she’s all right. It’s a win, right?
Speaker 2 (24:50)
Exactly. But I wanted people to know because we’re in Austin, we’re in Houston, we’re in Dallas, we’re in South Florida who have big LGBTQ community in those cities and you’ll go there but you’re going to go like you said, Mobile, Alabama.
Speaker 3 (25:11)
Speaker 2 (25:16)
Pretty amazing and that’s where you’re listening to the show here in Philadelphia. If you’re part of the LGBTQ community and you have an estate planning problem, family law problem, real estate employment law problem you can come to Angela with so much comfort that you might not have at another attorney’s office. I just have to say that I’m not trying to toot your horn for you and we got to get going and we always have about five or six things we want to talk about and we will next weekend. You don’t have to ride any exactly.
Speaker 3 (26:02)
You have my question. Exactly.
Speaker 2 (26:05)
Angela, we love having you on the show. I’m so glad we have you every week at 10:00 on Tuesday. Get better, please.
Speaker 3 (26:15)
We need you well, thank you.
Speaker 2 (26:17)
People need you well, Angela, thank you.
Speaker 1 (26:21)
Be sure to tune in every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. When Angela Giampolo is the guest on Ask the Experts on 860 at wwdbam.com.