What stops people from getting an estate plan that serves their needs? Here are the top 5 reasons people have an incomplete or poor estate plan.
Many people put off their estate plan for later. It just seems easier to ignore thinking about the unpleasantness than dealing with it. The longer planning is put off, the less urgent it becomes. Eventually, it will be too late. You cannot execute an estate plan after you’ve been incapacitated, declared incompetent, or died. By then, it will be your family and loved ones that will need to do their best to pick up the pieces left behind.
Many people mistakenly believe they can’t create a plan until every element is perfectly lined up. There will never be such a time. Since we can never tell the future and our lives are constantly changing, there will always be a missing element. Instead, focus on making the best plan for today and revisit your plan as additional elements are available and modify your plan to address changes as they occur.
3. Analysis Paralysis
Over-analyzing every aspect of your plan can cause you to lose the sight of the big picture. Don’t get hung up on small or technical details that prevent you from acting on your plan as a whole. Instead, communicate with your family about the big picture. Make sure everyone knows their roles and expectations. They can act on the small details when the time comes to reach the bigger goal.
Some people think they only need a “simple” plan. They think they don’t have any issues that requires a “real” estate plan. The problem is that “simple” estate plans are very generic, won’t cover your wishes very well, and don’t provide a lot of support or guidance. A well-crafted estate plan will take into account your entire estate, even those properties that won’t be transferred using the Will or trust.
5. Family Disagreements
If you’re married, you and your spouse will need to come together and plan as a couple. You must hash out differences of opinion and agree to a comprehensive plan. This can be difficult when you can’t decide how to pass your property to your spouse while protecting it for your children. Or when trying to determine who will be named as a guardian for minor children. Seeing an attorney can help discuss these issues and provide solutions that will provide maximum protection for everyone involved.