Based on every statistic I’ve seen, the majority of Americans don’t want anything to do with estate planning or the perceived headaches that come with it. However, making excuses to avoid investing in a valuable legal set of documents (that comes with numerous benefits) will do nothing to cement your legacy and intent for transfer of assets.
Here are some of the excuses I’ve heard from people about why they don’t have an estate plan:
- “I don’t have any assets, and just a whole bunch of debt.”
- “Isn’t that just for rich, older people?”
- “I don’t need an estate plan my wife and kids are going to inherit everything I own.”
- “I’m super healthy, so I don’t think I would ever need a health care power of attorney.”
- “My spouse can take care of it.”
- “Getting a will made for myself is too expensive and time consuming.”
- “If I talk too much about it, I might jinx myself.”
Yet, everyone over 18-years old, regardless of age, debts, assets, and marital status should have an estate plan in place. (Here are the six “must have” estate planning documents you can focus on initially.) In the beginning it may feel uncomfortable talking about the details of your estate plan—that’s normal. But, there is deep and lasting peace of mind in knowing that there is a plan in place in the event of your incapacitation or untimely death, which far outweighs any discomfort.
So, cast off all excuses by embracing the benefits of having a strong estate plan in place. The benefits include, but are certainly not limited to, peace of mind, financial security for your family, established guardianships for your children, reducing taxes, fees, and costs, and saving your family and friends untold time, trouble, and heartbreak.