Naperville Estate Planning Lawyer Talks About the Reasons People Put Off Estate Planning
If you are being honest with yourself, you most likely realize that it would be best for you to have some type of estate plan in place. At the very least, you should have a last will and testament. Most of us understand that it is generally better to make our own decisions regarding our assets than to allow the state to make decisions about them when we die. To be blunt, we cannot take our money and property with us, which means that there should be some sort of plan for how they are to be handled.
Somehow, however, over half of adults in the United States do not have any type of estate plan—including a will. As an estate planning attorney, I am disappointed by this reality but not terribly surprised. I know that there are many reasons that individuals procrastinate when it comes to estate planning, and they are often similar for most people:
Facing the Finality of Death
Over the last few decades, advances in medicine, health-related technology, and nutrition have resulted in an uptick in the average life expectancy in the United States. (In the last couple years, the average life expectancy has actually decreased slightly, but overall, Americans are living far longer than we did 100 years ago.) For many people, living longer has become a virtual obsession, making them hesitant to accept that they will eventually die, whether they want to or not. As a result, people tend to avoid any topic that is even related to their eventual death, including the concerns of estate planning.
Complicated and Confusing Ideas
Among those who do grasp the reality of death, there might be other reasons that they put off estate planning. For example, it is often difficult to understand where a person should begin or what needs to be included in an estate plan. A will might make sense to the average person, but what about a living will? Or a revocable living trust? The statutes that address the various elements of estate planning can certainly be confusing, and it can be intimidating even just to schedule your first appointment with an estate planning attorney. With proper guidance, however, there is a good chance that you will discover that the process of estate planning is not nearly as tough as it initially seems.
Making Other Things a Priority
If you were to look at your calendar for the next few weeks, you would probably see that it is already loaded with appointments, tasks, and other things that you need to do. Sure, estate planning matters, but so does getting the kids to their school activities. Besides, you are not that old, and you are not sick, so estate planning can wait, right? What happens, however, if you are on your way to pick the kids up tomorrow and you are hit by a drunk driver? What if, at your doctor’s appointment next week, you are told that you have stage-4 pancreatic cancer? All of a sudden, your lack of an estate plan will matter quite a bit, and it might be too late to do much about it.
A DuPage County Wills and Trusts Lawyer Can Help
There are many reasons to put off planning for the future, but there are just as many—if not more—reasons to have an estate plan in place. Contact an experienced Naperville estate planning attorney to get started. At our firm, we will do everything we can to help you protect yourself and your loved ones. Call 630-756-1160 for an appointment at the Gierach Law Firm today.