Friday, June 17, 2011

What are you waiting for?

When I meet with a client for the first times, one of the very first questions I ask them is why they wanted to meet with me and why are they coming in for estate planning now.  I constantly hear people tell me they have been putting it off and putting it off and putting it off.  But what is it that finally brings them in.  It's typically one of four reasons:

• Travel.
• Hospitalization or terminal medical diagnosis
• Change in family status (marriage, divorce, death, birth of a child)
Many of the reasons that cause people to stop procrastinating and get things in order is when they are forced to face their own mortality.  For many, once we begin to come to terms with the inevitable, we begin taking those steps to prepare and protect our loved ones. 

Without some "push" we can easily find an excuse to put this on the "to do" list but never get it done.  Here are some common excuses:
  • I/We don't have time
  • I/We can't get all the paperwork together
  • I/We don't have the money
  • I/We need help from a family member and that person is just too busy
  • I/We don't have much and therefore don't need anything
  • Don't know anyone who I would want to have raise my kids if something happens to us
  • Don't have the money, and for many superstitious people....
  • If we do it (write a will, buy life insurance, etc.) something bad will happen to us
What I always find though is that once people do get it done, they always feel so much more secure and confident.  The answer to many of these questions lies in one of a few answers....

  • Time:  It may take a few hours now, but it will take your loved one years later if you don't
  • A small investment now will same your estates tens of thousands later
  • Everyone need some planning - unless you want someone else to make your decisions for you.... like the State and a Judge.
  • If you don't pick someone to raise your children if you can't, the State and a Judge will decide for you.
  • If you do it or don't do it.... we are all going to die someday.  Being prepared will only make it easier for your loved ones to grieve since there will be a lot less hassle.
If you can't focus on estate planning right now, set a timeline.  Don't wait until you are rushed, scarred or after it's too late.  Create a savings plan for it if money is your issue (don't skimp though... you get what you pay for).  The next time something gives you that big "push", jump on it, call us, I am sure you will feel so much better when it's done. 

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