Names in cataloging can be complicated and often change.  Birth and death dates are added when needed to distinguish one author from another. And now RDA allows for adding more descriptive terms to differentiate between people with the same name as well as when one individual performs different roles in the creation of different titles.
It is also very important to keep in mind that Horizon AND Enterprise consider these to be case and punctuation sensitive.  So if you are typing in a name manually, it is always recommended to use the CTRL B feature to see if there is already an authority file in Horizon for that person and then link to that record to prevent accidentally creating a new name in Horizon.
Some examples to keep in mind are:
Some names will not have dates and never will need them:
Jesus Christ;
Arthur, King.
Some will always have dates attached:
Smith, Will, 1968-;
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
Usually dates are added when there is need to distinguish between two or more names which otherwise would be the same:
Brown, George, 1824-1840,
Brown, George, 1835-1913;
Brown, George, 1835-1917;
Brown, George, 1836-1897, etc.
Some names will also include the birth day as well:
Smith, Peter, 1965 November 16-
Smith, Peter, 1965 July 5- ;
Others will include middle names or initials which they do not use on their published works.
Under RDA, names can now being enriched with parenthetical information such as Film director, Archivist, Lawyer, Writer on education, Vocalist, or Trumpeter, titles (Rev., Dr., Princess) and associated information such as FRCS, Ph.D., III, and epithets such as “Windmill.”
Relationship designators provide more specific information about the nature of the relationship (e.g., author, donor). Use relationship designators at the level of specificity that is considered appropriate for the purposes of the agency creating the data.  RDA, Appendix I.5
However, this is optional and not standardized when it is used in the Subfield c.  That is why we are starting to see things like:
Lane, Katie $c (Western love story writer)
Thanks to Linda Davis at the Edmonton Public Library for her descriptions and examples of names in catalogs.