“I’ll Get to It Later”: Why We Put Off Planning Our Estate
By: Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
January 7, 2021
Lockdowns and cancelled vacations have given Americans a lot of free time to check off items on their to-do list… or just do another puzzle with the family. Because no matter how much time you have, it’s still far too easy to put off important tasks.
Like making an estate plan. No one enjoys putting together their estate plan. Which is likely why only four out of 10 American adults have a will or a trust.
But why do we put it off? What excuses do we tell ourselves?
In this post, we’re going to cover some of the common misconceptions about estate planning used to justify putting off a plan. No adult should avoid estate planning any longer. Reading this blog post should be the last barrier between you and a thorough plan for your estate.
Top Reasons American Adults Avoid Estate Planning
“I don’t need an estate plan — I’m healthy and young!”
This mentality explains why only 19% of Americans between the ages of 18-34 have a will or a trust. Unfortunately, even healthy and young people pass before their time. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life is unpredictable. If you have savings, debts, or assets that could be passed onto others after you die, you should consider making an estate plan.
“I don’t need an estate plan — I’m not that wealthy!”
Estate plans name a beneficiary of your assets and determine how those assets are distributed. But that’s not all they do. An estate plan can also:
- Name a guardian who will take care of your child or pets
- Determine who manages/what happens to your online accounts after your death
- Name a power of attorney to make legal, financial, or medical decisions if you become incapacitated
- Describe how you would like your funeral service to be conducted
Think of all of the debts, subscriptions, and decisions that must be handled after your death. Yes, having a large estate does make estate planning more complicated. But it doesn’t make estate planning more or less important.
“Talk about death? No, thank you!”
We know that these conversations are uncomfortable. They can get emotional, especially if your spouse or children do not agree with your decisions.
But these conversations are best had with your input. Without a will, your estate will go through probate, giving your family less control over your assets. An estate plan will let your loved ones grieve without the stress of handling your finances.
“Probate? Beneficiaries? This is too complicated!”
Estate planning, gift taxes, and specific strategies can be hard to grasp at first (or, for some, just totally boring!). But this is no reason to let your assets go to the state after you die.
An estate planning lawyer can walk you through each estate planning document and build a solid strategy based on your wishes. With their help, you will know exactly where your assets are going to go after your death.
There is no better time to plan for the safety and security of your family. Get in touch with the team at Haimo Law to learn more about building your estate plan today.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
Strategic Planning With Purpose®
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