Celebrating Life (Chai) and Taxes: Lessons Learned
American Bar Association - Section of Taxation News Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 1, Fall 2006
6 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2006 Last revised: 6 May 2008
There is nothing certain about taxes or death. I beg your pardon Ben Franklin, but hear me out . . . . A glance at my resume presents a life journey including at least three different careers: tax accountant, tax lawyer and tax professor. While I have had different titles, in substance I have been doing the same thing for decades (albeit in a different form). And as we know substance rules over form, except when form rules over substance. Same daily excitement only different locations, I digress, which is what law professors do best.
As a law professor, I teach, but this summer I learned some valuable life lessons about death and taxes that I share in this Essay. While tax professionals deal with death and taxes on a routine basis in the abstract, few people really come to terms with a family member's terminal illness or even their own mortality. This Essay describes critical financial and estate planning steps that, while commonsense, are often neglected even by the most informed professionals. These numerous simple recommendations are certain to help you and your family and your clients to celebrate life (chai), rather than death, and taxes.
Keywords: estate planning, financial planning, estate taxes, retirement planning, death
JEL Classification: H24, J17, J14, J18, J26, K34, Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation