Generally this blog is intended to provide information that is tax specific, but because of the relational nature of this business this blog post will be more about the non-tax aspect of tax work.
There is a commercial that says "life comes at you fast" (see video) and in our office that seems to be the case in particular this week.
The week began with a greatly emotional phone call from a client, calling to inform our office that her adult son had passed away the day before and she would need a referral to an attorney to handle matters for his widow and children (from other relationships).
Later that same day, a client spouse called requesting copies of the last 5 years tax returns and providing an address in a different state than last in our records. This raised suspicions for our office as this may indicate 1) an attempt at ID theft for the married couple's records or 2) a need for financial records for an impending divorce situation. It turned out to be the latter, as our office confirmed additional information and was informed of the couple being separated and divorce beginning.
Hearing from clients that are celebrating children (or grandchildren) graduating from high school and college. Clients share their excitement at having their children get married, or at the news of becoming grandparents, or becoming empty-nesters.
All of these things illustrate again that "life comes at you fast"! We all need to stop and take inventory of the truly important things in our life and take steps to leave a legacy. I want to encourage you to take a moment and review items that could be impacted by a death, divorce, marriage, or even some other life event. The following are not an extensive list and not intended to replace legal or professional advice but intended to be a catalyst to take action:
- Do you have a trust or will drawn up? Is it still current or is it outdated?
- Do you have life insurance? Do you know who the beneficiaries are of the policy? Is that beneficiary still around (ex-spouse? deceased person?)?
- Do you have retirement plans (401K, IRA, etc.)? Do you have a beneficiary named on those accounts? Is that who you want to get the money and incur the tax consequences?
These questions are by no means an exhaustive list but please take some time to review these questions and maybe others will come to mind as you answer these questions.