The music of country singer Billy Currington has filled my house for many years now. Although these days I have two little girls jumping around the living room singing “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” (not exactly children’s music), I was recently thinking about the more serious 2008 song “People are Crazy” that I have sung at karaoke more times than I like to admit. The lyrics “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy” might sound like the basis for a goofy song, but the message is much deeper than that. A guy meets an older gentleman at a bar and they strike up a conversation about life that had such an impact on the older guy that he left his million dollar estate to the stranger. I’m not advocating what happens in this song as a recommendation for an estate plan, but think of what is most important in your life whether it is family, friends, charity, or something else entirely. Then ask yourself if after you are gone, are you in a position to leave a legacy that benefits what you value? The good news is if you’re reading this, it’s not too late! An estate attorney and financial advisor can help you coordinate the titling of your assets so they are transferred in a tax-efficient way to benefit the people or organizations that you want to help. Nothing I write here can be a substitute for an individualized estate plan, but consider the tax advantages of a life insurance death benefit for individuals and having some of your Traditional IRA assets pass to a charity (that may not pay the income taxes an individual beneficiary would). There are many planning techniques to consider and every situation is different. If you haven’t given it much thought, spend some time discussing what’s important to you with your loved ones with some good Billy Currington songs in the background and always remember, “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy!”
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