Florida Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog


Our client who left it all to the IRS (and not by mistake)

January 23, 2012

How do Americans feel about taxes? You might think you know the answer, but surprisingly, a Pew Research Center survey back in December revealed that over half of Americans think that what they pay in taxes is “about right.” People are not so much distressed over their personal tax burden as by the idea that the wealthy don’t pay their fair share. More than half the poll respondents said the tax system is unfair and believe Congress should scrap the current system and create a new one.

These results mirror what we hear from our estate planning clients. Sure, they don’t exactly enjoy paying taxes, but they’re willing to pony up their fair share. So we help them dot every “i” and cross every “t” so they don’t pay any more than required. In any event, taxes are but one issue in an array of concerns for our middle class clients.

Now to the client who is the subject of this post:  Our office represented Maria Woods for many years. She always brought home-baked goodies to the office and we enjoyed hearing about her life. She was a German immigrant who felt profoundly grateful to the United States for welcoming her. She insisted on creating an estate plan that left all her assets to her adopted country. When she died in 2004, that’s exactly what happened.

Of course you’ll still want to plan to minimize your estate taxes and other taxes. But Ms. Woods’ inspiring story may just take a bit of the sting out of the process.  Read her story here.