There are countless reasons why people 50 and over fail to write a will, update a previous one, or make other estate planning decisions. Market Watch’s article entitled “We beat up 6 of your excuses for not writing a will (or updating an old one)” takes a closer look at six reasons, and how to help overcome them.
Excuse No. 1: You have plenty of time. Sure, you know you need to do it. However, it’s an easy thing to move down on your priority list. We all believe we have time and that we’ll live to be 100. However, that’s not always the case. Set up an appointment with an experienced estate planning lawyer ASAP because what gets scheduled gets done.
Excuse No. 2: You don’t have a lot of money. Some think they have to have a certain amount of assets before estate planning matters. That isn’t true. Drafting these documents is much more than assigning your assets to your heirs: it also includes end-of-life decisions and deciding who would step in, if you were unable to make financial decisions yourself. It’s also wise to have up-to-date documents like a power of attorney and a living will in case you can’t make decisions for yourself.
Excuse No. 3: You don’t want to think about your death. This is a job that does require some time and energy. However, think about what could happen without an up-to-date estate plan. Older people have seen it personally, having had friends pass without a will and seeing the children fighting over their inheritance.
Excuse No. 4: It takes too much time. There’s a misconception about how time-consuming writing a will is. However, it really can be a fairly quick process. It's often as easy as meeting with the lawyer; reviewing the draft will; and meeting with the attorney again to sign and execute your documents. This is not always the case depending upon your circumstances and goals, but the more organized and prepared you are the more efficient everyone can be.
Excuse No. 5: You’d rather avoid making difficult decisions. People get concerned about how to divide their estate and aren’t sure to whom they should leave it. While making some decisions in your estate plan may seem final, you can always review and update your choices another time.
Excuse No. 6: You don’t want to pay an attorney. See this as investment in your loved ones’ futures. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney to draft your will helps you uncover and address the issues you don’t even know you have. Maybe you don’t want your children to fight. However, there can be other issues. After all, you didn’t go to law school to learn the details of estate planning, that is why you hire the professional.
Reference: Market Watch (March 12, 2022) “We beat up 6 of your excuses for not writing a will (or updating an old one)”
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