It’s human nature to want to avoid something that makes us uncomfortable or requires too much concentration when we’re focused on other more enjoyable things — like the busy holiday season. We think, I’ll worry about this tomorrow. Then tomorrow never comes. But carving out time for critical financial decisions, such as getting an estate plan, brings focus and peace of mind.
The percentage of Americans who have an estate plan is low, yet statistics indicate a much higher percentage recognize the importance of having one. Why is this?
Reasons People Avoid Estate Planning
Here are the top five excuses we hear for why people procrastinate getting an estate plan:
- I don’t want to think about sad things like death and dying. Estate planning forces us to confront our mortality and consider the future of those we leave behind. It might feel uncomfortable, yet it’s a vital aspect of financial management and the long-term security of our loved ones. This is why it deserves our attention.
- 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 and don’t plan on dying anytime soon. We never know what tomorrow holds for us, and that’s why we have to make the most of today. Even if you’re young or don’t consider yourself rich by any means, having an estate plan in place brings not only peace of mind but clarity to what’s most important in your life.
- 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 and have several package options to choose from. That means that we charge you a reasonable, competitive fee upfront with no additional costs or hidden fees to you.
- It takes too long to prepare an estate plan. 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.
Take the First Step with Your Estate Plan
If you’re ready to get refocused on an important decision that’s been weighing on your mind, contact the estate planning attorneys at Fleming & Monroe. We offer a free consultation (by phone, video or in-person) to start the planning process. Jacob Fleming and Bob Monroe will talk you through your concerns and questions and tailor an estate plan specific for your needs.
Our team wishes you a joyous holiday season and looks forward to talking with you!