Inheritance planning preparedness surveys are conducted on an ongoing basis that bring back disturbing results. Year after year, the statistics indicate that most adults are going through life without estate plans, and the numbers are actually going in the wrong direction.
Caring.com has released the results their 2020 survey, and we will analyze the overall implications in a different blog post. For the purposes of this piece, we want to emphasize one particular facet of the study.
Just 47.9 percent of respondents that were 55 years of age and older stated that they have executed estate planning documents. This is very surprising, so we did some research on our own to find out why people procrastinate. We have been able to identify five contributing factors.
Reluctance to Confront Mortality
If you stop and think about it, people avoid the concept of death, and they don’t even use the word. They substitute phrases like so-and-so “passed away.” This is just the way it is, so we accept it as the way of things, but it is a rather telling phenomenon.
Since many people do not even want to say the word, it is no surprise that many individuals do not think about their own mortality. This is a factor that leads to estate planning procrastination.
It is wise to recognize this tendency and resolve to overcome it so that you can put a plan in place to make sure that your final wishes will be carried out effectively.
There is a perception that you are surrendering control when you plan your estate, because you are deciding how you want to give your assets to others. You also have to name an administrator to distribute the resources after your death in accordance with your choices.
This can be disconcerting to many people, especially when they apply it to trusts. In reality, when you use a revocable living trust, you lose no control at all while you are alive and well.
You would act as the trustee and the beneficiary while you are living, and you would name successors to assume these roles after you are gone. When you plan your estate effectively, you never lose control of your resources unless you become incapacitated.
Even if you do experience incapacity late in your life, a disability trustee that you name in the trust declaration would manage your property. Because of this, in a very real sense, you would maintain control via a proxy that is familiar with your thinking.
A lot of people know that they should put a plan in place with the assistance of an attorney, but they are intimidated by the prospect. They feel as though they will come across as completely uninformed, and some folks harbor concerns about being judged.
Granted, there are not many instances in your life when you have to share intimate details personal and financial details with someone that you have just met.
Yes, estate planning attorneys are experienced professionals, but we are human beings just like anyone else. We understand the fact that people sometimes feel a bit ill at ease at first, and we go the extra mile to make all of our clients feel comfortable from the start.
There are those that do not take action because they are under the impression that estate planning attorneys are very expensive. We actually find that people are usually pleasantly surprised when they get quotes from us, and in the long run, a properly constructed estate plan can be a very cost efficient investment
Avoiding Difficult Decisions
Family relationships can be complex, and people sometimes have to make difficult estate planning decisions. They often delay because they just do not want to face the task, and this is understandable.
At the same time, the responsibility will always be looming, so action is certainly going to be required at some point in time. When you keep your head stuck in the sand, you are tempting fate.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
If you are going through life without an estate plan, you are not alone, but today can be the day that you finally put the procrastination behind you. Our doors are open, and you can schedule a consultation appointment if you call us at 513-721-1513.
We also have a contact form on this website that you can use to send us a message.