I had hair to spare. My high school graduation was still six days away. It was Saturday, May 21, 1977.
That day the Billboard Hot Country Singles Chart posted Luckenback, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love) as the number one single for the week. The song made famous by Waylon Jennings would go on to spend a total of six weeks in the lead position. Who knew then Luckenback would be the last song to sit atop the charts that long until Tim McGraw and Faith Hill released It's Your Love 20 years later (1997)?
If you don't remember the lyrics of Luckenback, that's okay. The basic gist of the song is a call away from the trappings of material success to simpler ways, simpler times.
Four car garage and we're still building on
Maybe it's time we got back to the basics of love
So, Kyle, what does this have to do with estate planning? Glad you asked. Many of my clients are feeling like their present and future material success is under assault by forces bigger than they can comprehend, define or identify.
My clients have spent their lives working hard, playing by the rules, paying their taxes, spending less than they earn, giving generously to family and charity, accumulating wealth and... poof... life as they knew it seems to be in a political, cultural and economic free fall. Add to this the certain uncertainty regarding the estate tax present and future, and it is little wonder I am seeing an increased client focus on getting back to the "basics of estate planning." Yes, clients are finding comfort in making plans for the things they can control.
Have you taken care of the basics of estate planning for yourself and your loved ones? If you are in the business of advising clients about their investments, insurance and/or and tax compliance, I encourage you to help them get back to the basics of estate planning. Make sure they get to an estate planning attorney or, if they have an existing estate plan, help them coordinate a review with the attorney who prepared that plan.
As I have heard it said, life comes at ya fast. Some days I feel like that graduating high school senior, sans a full head of hair (see below), listening to Waylon Jennings with the world by the tail. Other days I feel every one of my (now) 51 years. While I cannot control politics, culture, economic forces, or even the estate tax, I have taken care of the basics of estate planning for myself and my family. And that is great peace of mind.