Numerous studies show that unfortunately, the majority of people haven’t completed their estate plans. While most people will admit that they know they need to create an estate plan, but they put it off. But why is it that people tend to procrastinate on their estate planning? Here are some common reasons:
1. It’s Expensive. Granted, many people don’t have lots of extra money sitting around these days. But waiting to plan can ultimately cost your loved ones much much more than it would cost you to create a plan now. If you become incapacitated because of illness or injury, you will likely be placed under a court ordered guardianship, in which a person – not of your choosing – will make decisions for you and handle your finances. This is not free, and all of the costs (attorney fees, court costs, accounting fees, etc.) will all have to be paid from your personal assets. In addition, your family may have to petition the court if they need money for living expenses.
Note that this is different from probate. After passing, your loved ones will have to navigate the courts all over again, this time to handle your estate. This means more money going to people other than your family. Without a plan, your assets will be distributed pursuant your state’s laws – which might not be what you wanted.
Creating an estate plan doesn’t have to be expensive. We offer a variety of flat fee packages that will help you protect yourself and your family without breaking the bank.
2. I Don’t Own Enough. A common misconception is that estate planning is only for wealthy people. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Often, the costs of a court guardianship and probate are usually end up swallowing a higher percentage of assets from small estates (which can least afford it) from the larger estates. Regardless of the amount or value of your assets, wouldn’t you rather see it go to your family than to courts and attorneys?
3. I’m Not Old Enough. You don’t have to be “old” to need or create an estate plan. Estate planning can be done by anyone of the legal age with the capacity to execute contracts. The unfortunate reality is that people of any age can be come incapacitated or pass due to an illness or injury. Consider the case of Terri Schaivo, who at the age of 26 suffered a massive heart attack which lead to years of court battles and millions of dollars spent trying to figure out how Terri would want to be cared for.
4. The Process is Confusing. This can be a big hurdle for many people. However, a good estate planning attorney should take their time to educate you to ensure that you know what an estate plan can do for you and how it will work in your case. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
So why do we need estate planning? To ensure that our assets go to the people we want to have them with the least amount of hassle and expense. To keep our families out of the courts and allow them to focus on what’s important during a difficult time. To let our loved ones know that we care about them and want to protect and provide for them. To protect ourselves if something bad happens to us. And to get the peace of mind of knowing that’s we’ve done the best we can to protect ourselves and our families.
Stop procrastinating and get started on your estate plan today. Call the Powers & Neal law firm at (480) 699-7992 for your free estate plan consultation.