Estate plans are not all that common. People have many reasons why they might delay creating a will or neglect planning for the future. Why is this? It is clear that estate planning can be beneficial and useful in a number of ways, from advanced planning for medical care to dividing assets between heirs to potential tax savings and asset protection.
Despite the benefits, a 2022 study found that only 1/3rd of people in the United States have a plan in place. Listed below are a few of the most common reasons.
Many people delay estate planning because they believe they have plenty of time. It can be difficult to commit to choices when you are in good health and believe you will remain so well into the future. The reality is that no one knows how long they have before they pass away or become disabled. Establishing a plan early can provide peace of mind.
Thinking that estate planning is only for wealthy individuals
Many individuals mistakenly believe that estate planning is only necessary for the wealthy. Contrary to that popular belief, estate planning can hold significant importance for everyone. Regardless of your financial circumstances, it is important that your assets pass to those who you want to receive them, or that you have designated a person you trust to act on your behalf should you become disabled.
Fear of facing mortality
Thinking about end-of-life matters can be uncomfortable, leading some individuals to avoid the topic altogether. Even if difficult, it is a gift to your loved ones by making the transition easier and not making them have to guess.
The complexity of the process
Estate planning can seem overwhelming due to the various legal documents and decisions involved. People sometimes claim that they have no idea how to get started, even though they may want to. It may not be that complex and an experienced attorney can guide you through the decision-making process.
Changing family dynamics
People may postpone estate planning due to evolving family situations, such as divorce or estrangement. The truth is that these types of life events are when plans really need to be established. Amendments can be made at any time as wishes and circumstances evolve.
What are your options?
It is important to overcome these barriers and recognize that moving ahead with estate planning is a necessary undertaking. It can help you protect assets, understand different tax implications, provide for your loved ones and help ensure that your wishes are carried out. If you have not yet made an estate plan, seeking legal guidance from an experienced attorney can help you begin the process and ensure your plans will be legally enforceable and adaptable to future life changes.