Surveys consistently show that about 70 percent of adult Americans do not even have a simple will. Why such a pitiful percentage? Most folks can plan a week of vacation with incredible care and spend lots of dineros to make It happen.
What's up with that?
All our times have come
Here, but now they're gone
Seasons don't fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain
- Blue Oyster Cult, Don't Fear the Reaper, (Agents of Fortune album, 1976)
I get it. And so do you.
Nevertheless, that is no license to ignore your personal responsibilities when it comes to everyone you love and everything you have.
So, have you signed your will?
Is it one of those New Year’s Resolutions that is hanging around like a Florida "hanging chad" at election time? If yes, who will get custody of your minor children, inherit your stuff, and take care of your funeral arrangements?
If signing your own will is still on your “to do” list, then you are not alone.
A recent article in The Huffington Post, titled “Why We Avoid Estate Planning,” offers some common excuses given to avoid estate planning in addition to the obvious denial of our own mortality.
The excuses include:
I just don't have the time. Really? We all know this is a lame excuse. Everyone is busy. Priorities, my friend, priorities. Just like preventing forest fires, this is something only you can do.
I don't understand it. Okay, I can understand this one. Nevertheless, while this sounds like a valid reason, I still am not going to let you off the hook.
Because an experienced estate planning attorney can provide you with a solid education on the subject matter so you can make truly informed decisions regarding your unique estate plan.
By the way, this is not a do-it-yourself project. Go ahead and stain your own deck this spring, but engage a pro to help with your estate plan.
I don't really have much of an estate. Estate planning is not all about the money. Your estate starts with properly appointing the decision-makers over your own personal, health care and financial decisions should you become incapacitated. From there it expands to taking care of other folks if you are "gone," like the guardians for your minor children.
When it does come to "money," the issues can get really complicated - and fast! These issues include, but are not limited to protecting the inheritance for your heirs, let alone navigating the potentially treacherous legal shoals when it comes to blended families and family businesses.
Do not fear the reaper, the probate court or even the IRS ... and others. Contact an experienced estate planning attorney and get your estate plan buttoned-up without delay.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri) and to download free tools to help you organize your estate, visit my estate planning website.
Reference: Huffington Post (February 27 2015) “Why We Avoid Estate Planning”