Naperville Lawyer Discusses Estate Planning as a Form of Insurance
In my practice as an estate planning attorney, I have heard all of the excuses that people make for not creating a will, establishing a trust, or choosing a power of attorney. “My estate is too small to worry about.” “I’m too young to think about estate planning.” “Estate planning now will just create bad luck in the years to come.”
While I certainly understand that the ideas associated with estate planning can be difficult to think about—especially the idea of one’s own death—there are really no good reasons for any person to avoid making a plan for the future. Yet, sadly, more than half of American adults have not begun the estate planning process to any degree.
But, what if something unexpected and tragic happens?
An Auto Insurance Comparison
Under Illinois law, a driver must be covered by an auto insurance policy in order to operate a motor vehicle on the state’s roads and highways. In addition, lenders typically require certain levels of auto insurance coverage before they will issue loans to buy a new car. Assume you have an auto insurance policy that has been in place for 15 years, but you have never been in an accident or filed a claim of any sort. Would you consider your insurance premiums to be a waste of money?
While it may be frustrating that you have not realized any financial benefit from paying for insurance without “using it,” the reality is that thousands of car accidents occur every day. Your car may not have been damaged by a falling tree yesterday, but someone’s car was. Tomorrow, yours could be. The point is that it is impossible to predict the future. There is no way to know when something bad might happen. This is exactly why we buy auto insurance, homeowners insurance, business insurance, health insurance, and life insurance. The money we spend now is an investment in protecting the future.
Estate Planning Just in Case
The same is true about time and energy invested in estate planning. Sure, estate planning requires some work, but creating a plan will give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you are prepared for the unexpected. Just as an insurance policy offers protection against certain risks, estate planning can help with other risks—many of which are far more personal and sensitive than a car or a house.
When you look at estate planning as a form of insurance, it may become a little less overwhelming. Most insurance policies protect against financial losses or offer some type of financial payout. Estate planning, on the other hand, allows you to decide in advance how certain things will be handled if something unexpected should happen.
For example, if you were suddenly killed in a car accident, your auto insurance policy might offer some compensation to your family for the crash, but without an estate plan in place, you would be leaving your surviving family members to make some very difficult decisions about your possessions and, possibly, your children. If you were to die an accident with an estate plan in place, your family would be left to deal with the tragic loss, of course, but they would have a great deal more direction about how to manage your estate.
Contact a DuPage County Estate Planning Lawyer
If you have questions or concerns about the estate planning process in Illinois, an experienced Naperville wills and trusts attorney can help you find the answers. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation at the Gierach Law Firm today.