“While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us.”

– Benjamin Franklin

How was your long weekend? Nice to have that kind of family time, eh? And, of course, it’s sobering on this weekend to remember the sacrifice our veterans made. It can be tempting for us to take a look around (oil spills, economic chaos, a mounting debt, etc.), and feel like everything is spinning out of control.

Our veterans have faced much worse–and prevailed.

The “Greatest Generation”, during WWII, had meat on a weekly basis, sugar monthly, and faced a level of sacrifice we haven’t had to even think about. It’s right that we paused to consider the sacrifice of so many men and women who went without so much–so that we could live the lives we have now.

It’s a good reminder, during these turbulent times. Let’s not give up, in the face of our own fights!

Well, moving on, as you may know, Congress hasn’t yet taken any action on a situation. We currently see no estate tax plan in place. It’s a confusing mess…for some professionals.

So, what does that mean for you and your family?

Well, it may not actually mean much–but there are some things which you should always be thinking about, REGARDLESS of the “estate tax” situation. Read on…

“Real World” Personal Strategy

Do More Than “Just” Avoid Taxes

It’s an all-too-common misconception that smart estate planning is all about avoiding the “estate tax”.

And, if that were the case, only the very wealthy would be affected by it–since (until this year, with no current legislation in place) only those with estates carrying over $3.5 million in value weren’t exempt.

You may fall into that category, but even if you DON’T (and if you do), you should be considering the following questions as a family. You see, regardless of what’s happening in Congress, you should focus your attention on what issues you can deal with now:

What are your values and goals?

The key question to ask is, “How do you want your success to affect your children and grandchildren?”

Every family has a different answer to that question, and it’s an extremely important–foundational–component of how we work with our client families. Some planning only takes “money” into consideration. And while that’s certainly an important item to consider, the money is really only there to create a specific destiny, and style-of-life that you’d want to see carried into successive generations.

And it doesn’t require a lot of “it” [money] for you to be able to pass along your most precious values.

I often urge my clients and friends to actually take the time to consider this question, because it may seem obvious on its face…but your answers will often surprise you.

And we’re here to provide any kind of support along the way which you might require. We’re pretty practiced in helping families cut through the clutter of financial statements–and find the hidden gems of core values and relationships.

And THOSE are the only things which really do last forever.

Let’s talk more, if you want to explore these issues. Because regardless of how Congress eventually acts, walking without the right kind of plan can create an even worse mess when the time comes–and it’s not just about the money.

If we can’t help you directly, we’ll put you in touch with the right people who can.

With that, I’ll leave you until next week.

I’m personally dedicated to the success of your family–and to your dreams! Can other tax professionals say that?