Just like it sounds. Make sure the last check written on your account bounces to the funeral home.
I am only kidding, Todd.*
In all seriousness, the basic premise begins with ensuring that you have enough resources to cover your own needs in retirement.
But from there the focus is on enjoying your resources through lifetime generosity to loved ones and your favorite charities.
This theme was taken up recently by The Wilmington Business Journal in an article titled "Do You Really Want To Leave a Large Inheritance?"
As the article notes, the "Don't Die Rich!" philosophy is premised on the philosophy that money is best used while you are around to enjoy it and appreciate the benefits.
Due to lengthening life spans, in many cases, parental assets will no pass along as an inheritance to their "children" until they themselves are near retirement age.
So, if one adheres to the "Don't Die Rich" theory, how do you put your wealth to work?
You come first, so enjoy yourself.
The first beneficiaries of your estate should be you. After that, then there is nothing wrong with enjoying and sharing your wealth with your family.
For example, think about spreading the wealth by gifting or making even modest financial transfers to your family heirs.
Doing so now, while you are around to see the results, may be better for all concerned instead of leaving them a large inheritance in the future.
This approach is called "gifting with warm hands."
Put another way: If you are giving while you are living, then you are knowing where it is going.
What about charitable giving? Become a philanthropist!
There are many pluses to making a major charitable gift during your lifetime, such as tax benefits and the enjoyment of seeing all your money accomplishes when put to work for good.
While you are at it, if you need additional income from some high-appreciated assets, consider creating a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) to provide you with an increased income stream, current income tax deductions and an eventual estate tax deduction.
There are a number of other trust-related charitable giving programs to consider, as well.
Naturally, the "Don't Die Rich" plan is not a perfect fit for everyone, but the thought of seeing the benefits of using your money while you are alive does make sense in many cases.
Whatever you do, be sure to consult an experienced estate planning attorney about your options, to include the tax implications.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify. Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
*Todd Schneider, owner of Schneider Funeral Homes, is a remarkable gentleman and friend who takes compassionate care of grieving families. He cares for their deceased loved ones like they were members of his own family.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Wilmington Business Journal (January 15, 2016) "Do You Really Want To Leave A Large Inheritance?"