ColumnistsFinancial Literacy

The Only Thing Constant Is Change

This indeed has been a crazy time. We have been holding on to our seatbelts, anxiously witnessing what’s happening in our country and around the world. We have just experienced an incredible election season, which resulted in more people voting than ever before and a glass ceiling being shattered. I think we can all agree that the last four years happened because we weren’t actively vigilant and didn’t act on which we know is important.

We are living amid a pandemic in which more than 10 million people currently have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the United States, with 238,000 of them succumbing to the disease. Moreover, the Black community — more specifically, the Black Lives Matter movement — has been increasingly challenged as Black lives are still taken with little regard, through police brutality and other violence.

Our eyes are wide open and eagerly anticipating what the next chapter will entail. The Trump administration created laws and executive orders that met the president’s personal agenda and disregarded those who disagreed and were not aligned with his preferences or his lifestyle.

We have no idea what the next chapter will unfold. Yet, we should not sit idly by uninformed. We should not let changes happen without understanding the impact and how our society will need to adapt. We should be active participants choosing the path we seek.

Estate planning is a dynamic process that examines the intricacies of each of our lives and relationships. We move through the months celebrating births, marriages, graduations, weddings and relocations. We are also mourning loss due to death, divorce, and relationship disappointments. With each change, our life plans should be adjusted. Through estate planning, we are committed to building legacies that transform the future of our families and our communities.

Our lives change without warning almost daily. We must remain cognizant of our societal changes; the laws concerning relationships, blended families, common-law marriages, and foster or adopted children. We should also be mindful of managing the tax impact of all actions we take. We need to be attentive and adapt our lives as our laws and regulations can have a significant impact on the paths that we create for ourselves and loved ones.

The estate planning tax laws most recently preserved the wealth of those with less than $11 million. There is discussion that the estate tax exemption limit will be lowered. There is no certainty in whether the tax law will undergo another overhaul when the next administration is sworn in. I encourage you to stay tuned and informed. Pay attention to the change in laws and requirements. Be attentive to the changes in your family dynamic and your community, as those changes on the local level also have a major impact.

With active planning, you can benefit from the laws. With strategic planning, you can support your children and your children’s children to have the benefits and opportunities that you want for them. If you remain attentive, you can be a blessing that builds and supports the foundation of a community that transforms lives.

It does not happen by accident. It does not happen by standing by idly. It does not happen just by wishing it so. Strategic planning creates the opportunity to build a future that we want. In the multitude of counsel, there is safety. Connect with those subject matter experts that share your dreams, visions and goals. We are better together. Together, let us make an active decision to build the better tomorrow.

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