Almost everybody knows that having a comprehensive estate plan in place is a necessity in our modern world. Your relationships change, your children grow and change, and the law definitely changes. Nonetheless, many people delay thinking about an estate plan simply because of mental impediments that they strive to justify or that they deny even exist.
An estate plan is more than just about having a will or answering the question, "Who gets what?" If you're a parent, it is about spelling out what happens to your children if something happens to you. Without an estate plan you can't ensure your children go with who you would choose and don't go with someone you would never allow. Only about 25% of people between 25 and 34—most of whom are young parents—have an estate plan in place to protect their children.
Some procrastinators avoid drafting an estate plan because they just do not like making decisions, especially when the options from which to choose seem unappealing. After all, as the Hammond Law Group explains, no one enjoys sitting down to decide who will raise their children should they die simultaneously, or deciding who will get that family heirloom, or figuring out how to divvy up your financial assets among your potential survivors.
Other procrastinators avoid the topic of estate planning because it seems just too overwhelming. Making an inventory of all of your assets is a time-consuming process even if you have an advisor helping you, and the more assets you have the longer it will take. For some people, simply thinking about this task can send them into a panic.
Still others procrastinate because they just feel that it's not the right time. They say they'll get to it later because they're too busy working now. But if they are really that concerned with working, they should be just as concerned ensuring everything they have worked hard for is passed on to succeeding generations in a predictable, easy, and cost-effective way.
A somewhat humorous reason for procrastination is the notion that somehow planning for it will hasten its occurrence, although this has never been known to be the case.
Despite the reasons for procrastination, the task is a necessary one—especially for parents with minor children.
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