Despite the benefits of an estate plan, many people procrastinate about creating one. The reasons are understandable but should not keep anyone from this important task.
Even though an estate plan can offer the peace of mind that comes with building a lasting legacy and taking care of your loved ones in a tax-efficient manner, sometimes emotions and concerns may interfere with the estate planning process.
Let’s explore some common reasons why people are hesitant to create an estate plan:
- Confronting mortality. Death is not a topic that people want to think about.
- Finances are complex. If you feel uncertain or intimidated about financial matters, you’ll be less willing to create an estate plan.
- Communication challenges. Family dynamics may pose some challenges when it comes to conversing and communicating with certain family members or other potential beneficiaries.
- Privacy concerns. There may be certain estate wishes that you want to keep private, but once your Will goes through the probate process, those estate wishes become public information.
- Questions of trust. Since estate planning can be complicated, you’ll likely need help. But whom can you trust with such important matters? Who will be your executor or power of attorney?
- Procrastination. Many people put off estate planning because they don’t consider it to be urgent (e.g., “I’m not that old yet” or “I’m still in pretty good health”). It’s easy to procrastinate and say that you’ll start your estate plan another day, but nobody can predict the future. The top reason why estates go to court for probate is poor communication because a comprehensive estate plan had not been put in place.
Overcoming the emotional blocks of estate planning
If you can relate to these emotional roadblocks, know that you are not alone. They are understandable and common emotions to experience – but they’re not impossible to overcome. Here are some of the reasons to proceed with estate planning:
- While death can be difficult to contemplate, you can be comforted by knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of.
- When you enlist the expert support of trained professionals like a lawyer, accountant, and tax specialist, you won’t have to face complex finances on your own.
- It’s healthy to discuss your plans while you are around to explain your estate decisions, and hear your loved one's opinions. There will be clarity and shared understanding regarding your choices.
- The complexity of estate planning means you’ll need professionals and loved ones to help create your plan and execute on your wishes. Trust your decisions and know your estate is in good hands.
- Creating an estate plan allows you to clearly stipulate how you want your assets and cherished possessions to be distributed and looked after. By not procrastinating, you’ll create a documented estate strategy that will put less pressure on your executor and beneficiaries regarding how to interpret your wishes.
While there may be several reasons why you may be hesitant to create an estate plan, you can overcome these obstacles by working with professionals who can guide you through this process. Experts can help by making you aware of the various options, strategies, and solutions you have when it comes to an estate plan. They can also provide the guidance and advice you need to make estate planning decisions that are appropriate for your unique circumstances.
Contact our office to discuss how we can help you approach estate planning with confidence and purpose, so you and your loved ones can enjoy peace of mind.