Every adult over 18 years of age should have an estate plan – so why don’t they? It’s estimated that roughly only 33% of U.S. adults have a will or trust, even though not having an estate plan can set their relatives up for a long, complicated probate process.
People put off estate planning for all kinds of reasons, but some are more common than others. Some of the top reasons people put it off include the following.
They just haven’t gotten around to it
A lot of people have good intentions when it comes to estate planning, but no follow-through. The process can be distinctly uncomfortable because it requires both contemplating one’s own mortality and thinking about what can sometimes be complicated family dynamics.
They think they don’t have enough assets to bother
Many people believe that they simply don’t have enough assets to bother with a will. They usually assume that their next of kin will get everything they own. However, not having a will can make it difficult for one’s heirs to obtain their inheritances without delays.
They think they’re too young
Even if they have no financial holdings in their own name when they die, a testator usually has personal items, such as family heirlooms and personal mementos that they want to be handled in certain ways. You may want your brother, for example, to inherit your graphic novels – or your sister to get all your photographs.
They don’t realize that they can plan for incapacity
No matter what your age, a sudden accident can leave you incapacitated and unable to communicate your thoughts and desires to others. In that situation, a durable power of attorney can be granted to the person of your choosing so that they can step in and make financial and medical decisions on your behalf. That can provide you with a measure of security since you can pick someone you trust to advocate for you according to the wishes you’ve previously expressed.
They don’t know where to start
Finally, a significant number of people say that they don’t know how to start. If you haven’t yet begun your estate plans, it’s time to change that.
Seeking experienced legal guidance can demystify the estate planning process and help make certain that your plans and your goals align and are ultimately enforceable.