The Certainty of Death and Taxes

April 15 is here.  You’ve probably heard this saying before - There are only two things that are certain in life - death and taxes. The difference between these two predictable events is that death only happens once.

We make up a variety of reasons for dragging our feet when it comes time to prepare and file our income taxes- even when we know that the dreaded deadline doesn’t change year after year.

What does planning for death and preparing taxes have in common? 

  • Both arouse a certain amount of anxiety – which is diminished once the task is complete
  • Most people don’t like to discuss either of these topics
  • Both require some organizational skills
  • Getting prepared will take some time, some work, and some reflection
  • Both require assembling important data and personal information 

So what’s your excuse for dragging your feet when faced with the notion that it’s time to plan ahead for that single, final, and everlasting event? 

Do we put off planning for death because we don’t know what the actual deadline is? Or that we don’t mark a date in our calendars signaling it’s time to get our affairs in order and get ready for the inevitable? 

Would it make a difference if we actually knew when we might die? 

Putting off doing or filing your taxes has repercussions. You may get fined for late payment or you might even go to jail for non-payment.  But delaying or completely putting off making a plan for what happens after you die carries with it a laundry list of tasks you will leave for your loved ones to deal with when the inevitable happens.

Surely it is not your intention to leave behind a host of migraines for those left behind. Instead of delaying, why not help your family by getting your affairs in order in a timely fashion…well before the real “deadline”. 

Another familiar saying: there is no time like the present.