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Top Four Reasons Most Americans Do Not Have an Estate Plan

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning lawyersAccording to surveys, only about 40% of Americans have a last will and testament and much fewer have a comprehensive estate plan. There are many reasons why people neglect to plan for their future in this way. Some people are simply unaware of the ways an estate plan can help protect their wishes and decrease the burden on their family. Others assume that they do not have enough assets or make enough money to qualify for estate planning. The reality is that everyone can benefit from planning for the future using estate planning tools.

They Think They Do Not Need a Will If They Are Young and in Good Health

In movies, wills are only written by characters who have just learned that they have a terminal illness or are otherwise planning to die. This is very misleading. One of the worst times to write a will is when you are in bad health. A person should write a last will and testament while they are still cognitively competent to do so. A will written by a person of questionable mental capacity due to old age, dementia, or another illness is very vulnerable to being contested, or formally disputed in court. Furthermore, there is no need to wait until an advanced age to write a will or create a trust which determines how your assets are distributed after your death. The best idea is to create a will while you are young and to simply update it as your life circumstances change.

They Think They Are Not Rich Enough for an Estate Plan

It is true that wealthier individuals will often need more complicated strategies to protect their assets than a lower-earning individual would, but there is no income requirement for estate planning. While some estate planning tools will not be appropriate for a person with few assets, others will be. For example, even someone with no property may wish to create an advanced healthcare directive which outlines their medical wishes in case of incapacitation.

It Is Uncomfortable to Discuss with Family

It can be incredibly uncomfortable to discuss issues related to your own death. No one wants to face their own mortality. However, if you do not plan for what will happen if you become incapacitated through illness or injury or for the time after you have passed away, the decision-making burden falls to your family. While they may not jump at the chance to discuss estate planning options with you now, when the time comes for these tools to be used, your family will be grateful you were proactive.

They Think Estate Planning Is Too Overwhelming

Estate planning can be highly complex in some cases. An experienced estate planning attorney can provide guidance for people who wish to plan for their future using estate planning tools but are unsure as to how.  If you are ready to start planning for your and your family‚Äôs future, the Lombard estate planning lawyers at A. Traub & Associates are here to help. Call us at 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://craft.wealthcounsel.com/images/articles/Estate-Planning-Awareness-Survey-2016.pdf?_ga=2.41221281.222416793.1522261562-789737540.1522261562

https://www.cnbc.com/2014/09/24/estate-planning-not-just-for-the-1.html

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