Death and Taxes
There is a famous quote that says “there is nothing certain but death and taxes.” It is tragically unfortunate how both of these items work together. Nobody wants to lose a loved one, and nobody wants to pay taxes. Yet as we continue through life we’re constantly doing both, paying taxes and losing loved ones. As a tax accountant I prepare tax returns for individuals who have passed away. I have to console individuals on dealing with their loss and getting their financial affairs in order. How do you explain to someone that their loved one who has passed on still has to pay taxes? Why is there not a death exemption for the deceased? Sure there are various expensives that the estate can use on the decedent’s estate tax return, but that is not comforting to those family members who had to pay funeral expenses for the deceased that died with nothing. As Congress discusses changing the tax code who will be there to lobby on behalf of the deceased?
The best way to overcome the inevitability of death and taxes is discuss your loved one with others. As you remind others of the deceased’s words of wisdom, their daily rituals, and their beliefs, you will be bringing them back to life. The spirit of their character will be transferred to people that may have never known them. Their ideas will shape another generation. Their memory will live on. And maybe bringing their spirit back to life if only through a memory will make it easier to deal with death and taxes.