This week (October 16-22) is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. In honor of this week, the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils lays out common excuses for not creating an estate plan. Here are the most common reasons people give for not creating an estate plan. Let’s take a look at each of these reasons and then address whether or not they are valid. 1. “I’m too young.” It is never too early to start planning for your future. As uncomfortable as it may be to think about, you never know when your time will come. Estate plans can be revisited and reworked at your convenience through changing times, so the earlier you start, the better. 2. “All my property is titled in joint tenancy with my spouse so I don’t need a will.” While this appears to be a true statement on the surface, a variety of issues can arise with this claim. Depending on which spouse dies first, the one who inherits the money from the deceased spouse will be subject to probate issues if the property is not placed into a proper trust. 3. “You must be super wealthy to have an estate plan.” This claim is simply untrue. Estate planning is essential for anyone who owns any kind of assets. No matter what your net worth is at your time of death, your family will still have to go through probate if a proper estate plan is not established. 4. “Estate planning is too confusing and expensive.” On the surface, estate planning can seem rather complex to the untrained eye. However, lawyers are trained professionals who can easily do the work and explain it to you in laymen’s terms. While estate planning can at times be expensive, it will save your family time, money, and headaches in the future of not having to deal with probate. 5. “I thought the government provided for that.” This is definitely not the case. 6. “We did our wills right after we got married 30 years ago and see no need for further planning.” Inevitably, your life will change in 30 years’ time. Your estate plan should too. One of the most common mistakes in estate planning is not revising your plan, but revision is one of the most important aspects of estate planning. Your estate plan is open to be reviewed to all the twists and turns your life may take.
At Hatley Law Group AP.C., we hope that you take National Estate Planning Awareness Week as a week to reflect on the status (or lack of) your estate plan. Then, if needed, take the necessary measures to secure your future and the future of your loved ones.