Death and Taxes

January 15th 2018 | Posted in Blog, Market + Industry

There are two things in life that you can’t avoid…death and taxes. Most of us don’t have a problem talking about the latter. Sure, it might be an annoying, time-consuming task to get your taxes done each year. But for most people, the process is fairly pain free.

But what about the former? According to a survey, only 42 percent of adults in the United States have estate planning documents. That number drops to 36 percent for those with children under the age of 18. Why is that? Texas-based financial coach Craig Dacy believes that “…many Americans avoid setting up a will because they simply don’t want to think about their death.”

For me, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to think about it; it was that I just hadn’t thought about it. Thankfully, when our first son was born, my father stressed the importance of, at minimum, setting up wills and Power of Attorney documents for me and my wife. He gave us the contact information of a lawyer who could meet with us and draw up the documents for a reasonable fee.

Now, in the event of our death, we know that our assets will be distributed according to our wishes instead of being distributed based on state intestacy rules. We are also reducing the emotional stress and financial burden (estate fees, court costs, attorney fees, etc.) that our loved ones will experience once we are gone. And most importantly for us, we know who will receive custody of our children in the event that they are still minors.

Michael Jackson and Prince are just two of many well-documented cases of people with large fortunes who did not have wills, leaving their assets tied up in the courts. If you haven’t already, I urge you to consider meeting with an estate-planning attorney to create your will, as well as talking with your advisor to see if there are any other things that you can do to prepare for when that time comes.

Adam H. Burns | Relationship Manager

Email Adam H. Burns

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