Too many Americans do not have an estate plan. Their reasons for not acting vary from procrastination to claiming they do not have any heirs.
Somehow, we must convince more people about the importance of having an estate plan and the simplicity involved in completing one. Having one in place means that you have made the decisions and your loved ones will gain peace of mind.
Procrastination to sticker shock
Caring.com conducted its annual survey on estate planning, discovering that only one-third of Americans have a will or living trust. More than 2,600 people participated in the survey.
Among the reasons the respondents did not have an estate plan include:
- Procrastination: It is not advised to subscribe to the philosophy of “There’s always tomorrow.” Putting off such an important decision is not a good idea.
- Simply do not have enough assets: This is an understandable reason, but further complications are bound to surface.
- Sticker shock: Some think pursuing an estate plan is too expensive. It is not. However, the price of not having an estate plan may be even more costly.
- Unaware of how to obtain a will or trust: It is not that difficult to learn where to turn. Do some homework and ask around.
- No heirs or beneficiaries: Some people said that they have no one to leave their assets. If this is so, there are other options such as creating a charitable or education trust.
Remember, without an estate plan, you open up yourself, your estate and your beneficiaries to a variety of complications. The state must administer your estate. Your spouse may be left with a financial mess. And legal disputes may surface among disgruntled heirs.
Get guidance from an attorney
When it comes to estate planning, it is important to get out of your own way. Do some research. Talk with trusted people who already have an estate plan. Then reach out to an experienced estate planning attorney, who will guide you through the process. You will discover just how simple it is.