Don't we all just love thinking about making our legal plans and thinking about our own mortality? I mean, really, there is just nothing more exciting, right? Okay really, we'd much rather spend our time watching water boil than think about who will take care of our kids if we should die or who will be the one to tell the doctor to pull the plug if all hope is lost.
Did you know that it is estimated that only about 1/3 of all adult Americans have actually taking the time to prepare the life and estate plans? So what about the other 2/3 of the population? Are they just simply irresponsible. Not likely. So maybe it is just a matter of procrastination. I mean, if we're young, healthy, etc, thinking about our death seems years away.
So what causes people to procrastinate with this very important task people must handle.
It really is normal behavior to avoid things that are unpleasant. How many look forward to doing our taxes... even if we know we will get a refund... it is just the "hassle" of gathering all the paperwork. We all know that death is unavoidable and that we should get our affairs in order to prepare for it and to ensure our families are protected. But since most adults under the age of 60 do no see their death as being in the near future, they don't see the urgency to plan now.
I mean, people are living longer these days so even if you live to a ripe old age, however, the downside is that, the longer you live, the greater your chances of wearing out physically and mentally before you pass on. Have you visited a nursing home lately?
So part of the "unpleasant-ness" of estate planning is people's age (or lack of old age for some), for some it may be the "hassle" of paperwork, for others it may be avoiding interpersonal relationships. For example, maybe you are not on good terms with family members and therefore, deciding who will take care of your children and/or who should inherit your assets, is some you have no idea what to do about. Whatever the reason, is really is just another excuse.
Excuses, Excuses - we all have them and I am sure we all can justify and rationalize a "reason" why we procrastinate on something. It is an amazing talent we, as humans, have mastered to a tee.
Take these rational excuses as examples to why someone has not set up their estate plan yet:
"We don’t have time, because we are getting ready to do some traveling."
Ironically, most people spend more time packing their luggage, than they do making proper estate plans. And in the the worse case scenario... what if something happens during the flight?
"My son can’t get away from work to come with me for an initial consultation."
Well, if you wait until you are incapacitated or dead, your son can take off work to sort through your assets, squabble with his siblings, hire an attorney and develop an almost first-name relationship with the probate judge.
"Since my children all get along, there’s no need to bother with any planning."
That may be true, but will they know your specific wishes for your home, your bank accounts and your investments, not to mention your heirlooms like the kind over which you and your siblings fought after your parents died.
"We don’t have an estate tax problem." or "Why, my business has no value without me."
Perhaps, but the IRS may not agree with you, especially given your inventory, equipment, real estate, loyal customer base and goodwill.
"It’s too expensive."
You have spent a lifetime working hard to build your estate. A small investment now will save potentially tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary probate costs and taxes. What price tag can you put on that kind of peace of mind?
SO WHAT ARE YOU STILL WAITING FOR?
Don't we all know someone or a friend of someone who has gone through the devastating emotional and financial hardship when a loved one has passed away without proper planning. Wouldn't you sleep better at night knowing you wont have to place your family in that predicament when you overcome your estate planning procrastination.
Schedule an estate planning consultation today... it's free... so what are you still waiting for? Call 925-301-7195 or visit www.LivingTrustsbyAmy.com for more information.