Does estate planning make your uncomfortable? Or are you one of one of millions of Americans who are putting it off?
Did you know experts predict that over $68 trillion in wealth will be transferred over the next 25 years? It’s the estate planners and administrators for all those baby boomers who will decide where that wealth goes. If a person dies without an estate plan, then the court decides how a person’s assets are distributed.
Here are some of the common reasons people put off estate planning:
“Estate Planning Forces Me to Think About Death.”
Making final arrangements makes a lot of people uncomfortable. For some people, talking about death seems to make it more real.
Whatever the reason, avoiding an issue does not make it go away. And when it comes to estate planning, avoiding it can have dire consequences for you and/or your loved ones.
Probably nobody “enjoys” estate planning. The best thing to do is just approach it like any other responsibility. Press forward and get started.
“It Requires a Lot of Time and Energy.”
Yes, estate planning does take some time and energy on your part. It’s not only about making a list of your assets. It’s also about organizing those things so that after you die, your family will understand your wishes.
If you still aren’t convinced, gather your family around and ask them what they would do if you were to die unexpectedly. The variety of questions and answers you get will confirm your need for a plan.
“My Estate Isn’t Big Enough to Worry About.”
Estate planning isn’t only about division of assets. Other reasons include:
- Naming a guardian for minor children
- Selecting a power of attorney to make health care and/or financial decisions for you
- Stating your end-of-life decisions
- Funeral arrangements
- Passing along family heirlooms
Even a small estate will require some work. Canceling services, subscriptions, paying final bills all take time. Distributing personal effects can be a mammoth task in a large family.
“I’m Not Old Enough to Need an Estate Plan.”
Estate planning is appropriate for anyone who has a job, or has inherited property. You are never too young to have an estate plan. When people say they don’t need an estate plan yet, what they mean is they aren’t planning on dying anytime soon.
Life is unpredictable. The sad truth is that people die at all ages. You never know when your time will come, so you should prepare as though you will die tomorrow. Remember: estate planning is not just for you, but for the people who love you. They will be the ones left picking up the pieces if you don’t plan your estate.
“Everything Will Go to My One Child.”
Avoiding conflict over your estate is not the only reason to have an estate plan.
A good estate plan also addresses how your beneficiaries will receive their assets. Will their benefits be contingent on age, marital status, a drug test? What if your child is a minor when she inherits your estate? All these are things to consider.
An estate plan can prevent a messy custody battle. If you and your spouse die, who becomes guardian? What if both sets of grandparents want custody? An estate plan can avoid lengthy, traumatic litigation by nominating a guardian for your minor children in advance.
“Estate Planning is Expensive.”
Consider the cost of not having an estate plan.
Yes, sometimes it can be expensive, but not as expensive as probate. With estate planning, you are not just paying for a nice piece of paper: you are paying for the peace of mind that comes with knowing your affairs are in order and that your family will be cared for after your death.
“I Don’t Think I Really Need One.”
Wrong. Here are some helpful articles to give you a basic understanding of estate planning and why it is important:
- Beneficiary Basics
- Charitable Giving Through Your Estate Plan
- Can a Long Lost Sibling Inherit?
- Plan For Your Pet
- Guardian Exploitation
However, there is no “one size fits all” approach. So the best way to figure out an estate plan that works best for you is to call and meet with an experienced Alaska Estate Planning Attorney to discuss your options.
Stop procrastinating and get an estate plan.
We all find reasons not to do the things we don’t want to do. But if you put off estate planning too long, your family and those closest to you may suffer the consequences.
To talk with an experienced Alaska Estate Planning Attorney, contact the Law Office of Constance Aschenbrenner at: 907-334-9200.