BiggerPockets Podcast 005: Dealing with Death – A Financial Discussion with CFP Neal Frankle

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Planning for death is not a topic a lot of people want to talk about. However, the discussion shouldn’t be avoided because it’s important that we prepare for the sake of our spouses, our children, our relatives, and our close friends. Today on the BiggerPockets Podcast we are talking with Neal Frankle, a Certified Financial Planner with unique insight into the financial side of death.

This fascinating discussion will help you look at your death (and near-death) in a different way and give you the tools you need to move forward with the planning of your finances. This interview, like all of our BiggerPockets Podcasts, is full of real-world, actionable content without all the hype.

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Read the transcript of Episode 5 with Neal Frankle here.

Listen to the Podcast on iTunes

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Listen to the Podcast Here:

In This Week’s Podcast We’ll Explore:


  • How Neal lost both parents before 18 years old and how that experience helped make him smarter financially.
  • A unique technique for helping your spouse carry on your business after you die.
  • How to plan for the sale of your business or your properties after you bite the dust.
  • The benefit of real estate over retail businesses for succession planning.
  • Why a trust is a terrific tool for every real estate investor.
  • What a “Probate” is and how to avoid it with your future estate.
  • Why you DON’T want a typical “Will” – and the one type of will you do need.
  • The true purpose of life insurance… and which one is “evil.”
  • How much insurance you really need.
  • The best advice for investors looking to take control of their financial future.

Links from the Show

Tweetable Topics

“When it comes to your personal finances — put your big boy pants on, grow up, and do what’s required.” Tweet This!

“Most people don’t “get” that one day – they are going to be gone.” Tweet This!

“If you can make your business run without you, it becomes becomes all the more powerful and profitable.” Tweet This!

“Everyone dies prematurely.” Tweet This!

“The two types of life insurance: good and evil.” Tweet This!

“Always have a mentor or accountability partner to bounce ideas off of.” Tweet This!

“There is no such thing as impossible – just ‘I don’t wanna do it.'” Tweet This!

Books Mentioned in the Podcast

About Neal

Neal Frankle is a Certified Financial Planner in Los Angeles with over 25 years experience. Neal teaches others how to plan for their financial future at

(In case you missed the link, click below to listen to the show!)

Do you have any questions or comments for Frank? Leave them below in the comments!

About Author

Thanks for checking out the BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing & Wealth Building Podcast. Hosts Joshua Dorkin & Brandon Turner strive to bring top-notch educational content and interviews to our listeners -- without the non-stop pitch prevalent around the industry. With over 180,000 listeners per show, the BiggerPockets Podcast has become the biggest real estate podcast in the world. But don’t take our word for it. We’re the top-rated and reviewed real estate show on iTunes — check it out, read the reviews on iTunes, and get busy listening and learning!


  1. Great, important information.

    My grandmother passed at 98. All of her bank accounts were jointly in my name and passed immediately to me – no hold on any accounts. All of her stocks were jointly in my dad’s name and immediately passed to him – no hold on any accounts. No will, no probate, no attorneys, no tax issues.

    Being prepared is actually quite simple, it’s simply a matter of doing it rather than ignoring it or putting it off. As Neal said, “everyone dies prematurely.”

    Thanks for the topic, Brandon and Josh. Thanks, Neal, for the invaluable information.

    • Thanks for listening, Karen! We know the topic is not the typical “real estate advice,” but we’re anything but typical here, and this topic can’t be stressed enough.

      I’m glad you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing your feedback. We all need to learn from people like Neal and your grandmother!

  2. Thanks for taking a risk on this topic. I found the content surrounding trust particularly useful.

    Regarding whole-life insurance, I’m not sure I would write it off completely. I agree it doesn’t make sense for MOST people, but there are investors who use the policy as a way to build wealth. It would be interesting to hear the other side of the story as well, IMO.

    Keep up the great content fellas!!


    • Brandon Turner

      Thanks Arthur – me too. I need to look more into setting up a Trust for my business! And yeah, I know that “whole life” debate can rage pretty fiercely – might be a fun topic for a debate someday Maybe we’ll pit Neal up against a “Pro Whole Life” guy. It would be interesting!

    • Thanks Arthur — without risk there is no reward. I also found the topic to be very helpful. As for whole-life, I agree that it would be nice to get the full story. That said, I’ve never spoken to a financial planner that was fond of it, and rarely have met an insurance salesmen who wasn’t pushing it. I guess that says a lot…

  3. Will there eventually be transcribed? sounds interesting but I cannot imagine listening through the “chit chat” to get tot he meat. I’d read this article in a heartbeat but if it’s “podcast only” I’m afraid it will only be on my “maybe someday list.”

  4. Wow … I generally love the BP podcasts but I really feel this one missed the mark. The most important thing and something the show participants stressed is CONSULT AN ESTATE LAWYER FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. It might be expensive but it is expensive to make bad choices in this area as well. We have a number of trusts and I feel like I have a pretty good understanding.

    The statement made in regards to “not wanting to have a will” is just plain wrong. Even if you didn’t mean it exactly as it was said, it is the wrong impression to leave on your audience. Unless you have _absolutely_ nothing personally owned, you want a will. If you don’t have a will, there is no guarantee things get to the people who should get them. Family pictures, watches, jewelry … you can’t assign ownership of everything to a trust. The more accurate statement that should have been stressed is that you don’t want any significant assets personally owned that will be subject to a will and thus taxed upon death. No big savings accounts in your name, no cars, no homes, no land, etc. Place those in a family trust and the trust can be passed to heirs estate tax free. Trusts have different benefits as well. Revocable, marital, family, etc … all different. Do everyone a favor and leave a will behind.

  5. Neal,

    Your podcast was a sounding bell! Although I had thought of dealing with these important items in the past, I had never actually gotten around to it; even though I am now almost 40 and have two small children. Thanks to your podcast, I am now in the process of qualifying for term life insurance and will seek to open a trust account as soon as I am approved.

    Thank you so much for you sharing your life experiences and your knowledge! You have made a huge impact in our lives.

  6. Julia Rowling

    Great podcast! I think you are right, Josh, that we don’t get enough financial education growing up and that most of us are just fumbling along, unless we were lucky enough to have parents that schooled us right (not my case)…As part of this education, I couldn’t agree more that keeping track of your expenses (and income) is a necessary first step. Doing so has had a huge impact on my life and I’m sure is the main reason I’ve been able to live below my means without too much trouble.

  7. Julie Marquez

    This was great information. My dad is getting older and working through his issues, and will be putting his rentals in a trust. He is talking with a lawyer in getting it done right now. Thanks for the reminder, and it is something I don’t want to forget either. Good topic, thanks again!

  8. As an estate planning and business attorney, I hope everyone takes the estate planning advance in this podcast with a grain of salt. I know the speaker gives a disclaimer about not giving legal advice, but that’s exactly what he is doing. He generalizes what someone should do when in reality it depends on the client and the state they live in. Further, some of his comments were flat-out wrong. My suggestion is to find a licensed attorney in your state and create a plan to address your needs. Do not listen to generalized advice that may put you in a position you don’t need or want to be in.

  9. Alexis Murrell

    This was another phenomenal podcast and definitely shifted my mindset and made me think about things I have seen that happened to people when they didn’t have a Trust/Will in place. Tough topic, but so glad you all decided to have it. Thanks Again!

  10. Don Spafford

    I know this was a long time ago, but just curious if there was any suggestion on the best place to get term insurance. Years ago I had a buddy suggest one of the big online companies, but I’m curious as to what others are doing. My insurance agent tried to sell me on both the term and whole. The term for the big stuff to expire when the no longer matter and the whole to cover everything else. But doing multiple terms as Neal suggested may be a better way to get it done.

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