Most people think creating an Estate Plan is important and something they should do. However, statistics show that the majority of adult Americans do not have a Last Will and Testament, Trust or Power of Attorney. Why is this the case? The reasons I have heard include: “I’m too busy.” “I’m young and healthy, why do I need an Estate Plan now.” “I don’t have enough assets to make an Estate Plan.” “It’s too expensive.” None of these are valid reasons for failing to create an Estate Plan.
If everybody knew the date of their death then I’m sure more people would create a good Estate Plan. This not being the case, I am too often dealing with the estate of a decedent who passed away suddenly or by accident. There is no need for this to happen to you or your loved ones. I recommend making an Estate Plan today assuming that you will pass away today. If the unexpected occurs then you have properly planned. If the unexpected doesn’t occur then you can always update your plan whenever a change is needed (e.g. the children become mature enough to play a larger role in the estate plan).
Another reason to create an Estate Plan today is to avoid death bed estate planning which often involves making rushed decisions about the Estate Plan. Good estate planning takes longer than most people think and some Estate Planning options may not be available in a death bed planning scenario. Additionally, death bed planning is more likely to be contested by an heir claiming the decedent didn’t understand the documents he or she signed.
Our clients tell us another benefit of creating their Estate Plan is the peace of mind they have when it is established. They know that they will be taken care of if they become disabled and that their loved ones will receive the items they want them to receive at their death.
S. David McCurry
The information and materials on this blog are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information and materials provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. Nothing on this blog is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney in your area.