Different things have been on my mind. It’s a slow period at work and at times I get antsy. But once I accept and get used to this lull, I’m able to invite the clear slate and let my mind wander—about ways to improve or introduce new ideas. During the process, I usually stumble upon or keep coming back to interests that only started as small flickers and then I seize upon them. But one of my downfalls—wait—I mean one of the challenges that can be both productive and not so productive—the story of my life—is that I get excited about something new and either it takes or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, I try to absorb as much on the surface as possible and then see where that leads me. I’ve come to accept that I love information, ideas, anything that gets me thinking and/or creating. And with that, I’ve had to accept that I end up not walking too steadily down any one path. I seem to keep many paths open.
For some time I’ve had a certain fascination with what happens from a familial and procedural point of view when someone dies. This curiosity became more embedded when I saw it play out in different ways that you see when you’re right up close with it.
Tax is not my thing. But I work for a small tax and accounting office and I envision that I’ll stay there until the boss retires. It’s my choice and there are many good reasons for me to stay. On the plus side, I have flexibility—which is very important—and I don’t like titles much. I assist: Sometimes that means making coffee, finding files, doing light bookkeeping, keeping the office in order; and sometimes it means preparing simple tax returns when we have simple ones. The plus side, for me, of a small office is that I get to do a variety of tasks. The main thing I enjoy about my job is being able to be helpful in some way—that’s why assistant positions always appeal to me. I’m a behind the scene’s person and I like it that way.
In order to make my job more interesting, I try to get to know the people behind the numbers through their tax returns or other documents. Of course, I have to keep this all to myself and inside the office for the obvious reasons. The small tax office offers a variety of different tax and accounting services, and an area that I am beginning to find quite interesting is related to Trusts and Estates. The area I’m most interested in is not on the tax side, but on the procedural side. So I was thinking, if the boss decides to retire early or if scenarios occur, I think I might enjoy being an assistant in a small office that deals in writing Wills and Trusts for families. This has catapulted me into learning a little more on my own. I started by doing a search on my Kindle Reader and found three titles that sound promising:
Living Trusts for Everyone: Why a Will is Not the Way to Settle Your Estate.
By Ronald Farmington Sharp
Kiplinger’s Estate Planning: The Complete Guide to Wills, Trusts, and Maximizing Your Legacy.
By John Ventura
Dead Hands: A Social History of Wills, Trusts, and Inheritance Law.
By Lawrence Friedman
Just by reading the preface and table of contents of the first one and the introduction and table of the contents of the last two, I’m really looking forward to reading these. The last one sounds like a very interesting read.
I am also planning on taking a two night class in the near future called “Trusts & Estate Planning Made Simple.” I don’t know how simple it can be made, but I look forward to bringing my questions and getting an overview of the process. I also hope to at least skim enough of the books by then, so that I don’t come with a completely blank slate.
A big motivation for me in this area comes from what I have witnessed around me, both positive and negative, of what can happen to a family if someone dies without some form of instrument, be it Will or Trust or both. It really touches a deep core in my soul because the process can be made more manageable with some planning. I’ve gleaned a little here and there, and now I hope to dive in and learn more, and perhaps I will land somewhere where I can help in some way, even if it’s behind the curtain.