Estate planning involves having certain documents in place to protect your loved ones and you in the event of illness, injury, incapacity or death. These may include a Will, a Trust, a Durable Power of Attorney and a Living Will, Establishing an estate plan is not terribly difficult or time consuming but the benefits can be tremendous! A good estate plan provides both protection and peace of mind. So why do people not set up their estate plan? Here are some possible reasons:
1. The Avoider: (also known as the Ostrich) “I don’t want to think about illness, incapacity or death. It’s depressing so I don’t want to think about it” Thinking about illness, incapacity and death isn’t always easy or pleasant. However, planning for them is necessary and important. Not planning can have harmful and even disastrous results. Some things in life are unpleasant but we still need to do them. For example, consider: going to the dentist, having a regular physical, and filing our taxes! Not always pleasant, but still necessary.
2. The Superstitious: “If I start thinking about estate planning, something bad will happen.” The fact of the matter is, something bad can happen whether you think about it or not. So if that’s the case, why not plan and prepare rather than become a victim of your own fear?
3. The Indecisive: “I can’t decide who to put in charge if something happens to me.” The truth is, it can be hard deciding issues such as who will make medical decisions for you in the event of illness or incapacity, who will raise your minor children and who will oversee distributing your assets if you die. But if you don’t decide, a probate court will. It is better to have some plan than to avoid planning because you can’t make up your mind!
4. The Optimistic: “I’m in good health, so why should I worry?” The fact of the matter is that LIFE does not always discriminate. Young or old, healthy or not–illness, injury, incapacity and death can happen to anyone. We’ve all known families, perhaps even our own, where tragedy struck unexpectedly. The reason estate planning is important is so that action can be taken to protect your and your loved ones before a crisis arises.
5. The Penny Pincher: Estate planning costs too much. The fact of the matter, setting up a basic estate plan is not all that expensive. We spend many of our working hours trying to improve our lives and those of our family. So spending some of our money on protecting them is certainly worth it. While there is some expense involved in establishing an estate plan, the cost of not having a plan can be huge! When it comes to providing for yourself and your loved ones, don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish!