When There is a Will – There is a Way!

Rick Walter, CPA
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Recently, my beautiful wife and I decided that we should dust off our wills and meet with an attorney to go over revisions and updates.

This was a good idea since we had many provisions for the care of our kids who are now old enough to care for themselves (and us as we get older).

Many of my clients think that having a will put together is something they need to do once they accumulate wealth. This is not the case. A will – and all the paperwork that surrounds a will – is a very useful and instructive document.

Our wills had “Medical Directives” which basically read – if my wife needs extra ordinary measures to keep her alive – do them. If I needed those measures – pull the plug. I forget who made that call!! There were also instructions as to who would care for our children – not the same people who would care for our money.

Besides deciding who will take care of your children, there is the basic function of who will inherit your worldly goods. There can be all kinds of issues here.

If you leave all of your assets to your spouse – without designating that your half go into a trust for your children, you run the risk of having your spouse decide who gets all 100%. Normally this is fine but if they remarry or there are kids from a previous marriage, issues can arise.

Right after the new year, reach out to your attorney and see if it is time to prepare or review your will. If you need a reference, let us know. Also, keep an eye out for your tax organizers coming in the mail. Once you have them, and all the documents you need, be sure to mail them to us or schedule an appointment.

Since it is the Holiday Season, I will share a story about the time I was mistaken for Santa Claus. My son and I were in Tucson years ago swimming in the hotel pool – big belly, white beard, and the biggest red swimming you (n)ever wanted to see. A small child asked his mom if I was Santa Claus. I have never worn those trunks again!!

Just remember, I know if you’ve been naughty or nice – it comes with the job!

Thanks for listening and I will talk at you again.

Author: Rick Walter, CPA

Rick Walter brings over 25 years of professional tax and accounting experience to Hutchinson & Walter. Specializing in small to mid-size business entities and start up organizations, Rick brings a deep understanding of the unique tax compliance and accounting issues specific to those entities.

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