When it comes to estate planning, most of us are understandably conflicted. It forces us to confront our mortality and consider the future of those we leave behind. And yet it’s also a vital aspect of financial management and the long-term security of our loved ones, which is why it may be surprising to learn that only four out of 10 Americans currently have an estate plan in place.
While the percentage of Americans who have an estate plan is low, the statistics indicate that a much higher percentage recognize the importance of having an estate plan. Thus, as Americans, we recognize that estate plans are important, but the majority of us do not have one. Why? Here are the top four excuses we hear as to why people procrastinate putting together an estate plan.
- I don’t have enough assets to need an estate plan. Many people think that since they do not have millions of dollars in the bank, they do not need an estate plan. While large estates definitely need advance planning to avoid taxes, you do not need a large estate facing taxes to need an estate plan. Even the smallest estates should have at least a will, a living will, a healthcare power of attorney, and a durable financial power of attorney. Moreover, you may have a larger estate than you realize, with growing retirement accounts, increased home values, and life insurance—an estate that could face taxes.
- I’m young – I don’t plan on dying anytime soon. Estate planning, like buying life insurance, brings up the specter of death. People do not like to think about death and prefer to avoid discussing it too. While we certainly understand this excuse, this life is fleeting, and one of the main reasons for an estate plan is to plan for the unexpected.
- Paying an attorney to prepare an estate plan is too expensive. Sure, it is cheaper to do nothing and avoid paying an attorney to prepare an estate plan for you. However, without an estate plan, costs can be much higher on the back end – especially for your loved ones. Most people are surprised to learn that it is less expensive than one might think to have an estate plan prepared. At Fleming & Monroe, PLC, we offer our estate planning services for a flat fee. That means that we charge you a reasonable, competitive fee up front with no additional costs or hidden fees to you.
- It takes too long to prepare an estate plan – I don’t have the time. It does take some time to think about your situation, to meet with your attorney to discuss your goals, and then to finalize the documents with your attorney. However, the time involved for your loved ones when there is no estate plan can potentially be much more significant.
Contact the attorneys at Fleming & Monroe, PLC today for a free consultation to discuss your estate plan. We will talk you through your concerns and tailor an estate plan specific for your needs.