Multiple studies and surveys conducted over the past three years have shown that over 60% of adults in the United States do not have a will. While some people admit to being ignorant regarding the importance of estate planning, others are aware of why it is necessary but do not create an estate plan because they are putting off the task. Unfortunately, procrastination is extremely common and something that affects many potentially important tasks. When it comes to estate planning, understanding why people procrastinate gives further insight into the importance of protecting a legacy and tackles some misconceptions about who needs to plan for their passing.
Thinking About Death is Unpleasant
The primary reason most adults put off estate planning is because no one truly wants to think about his or her own death. In some situations, a person might be ready to start estate planning, but children or a spouse might discourage them from doing so because they find the topic depressing. Acknowledging mortality is difficult for everyone, and few people feel prepared for their passing. Talking about distributing assets and planning a funeral forces people to think of these things, so some simply postpone the discussion hoping they will eventually be ready to deal with the task of estate planning.
Unsure of Whom Should Inherit
There are times when a person is mentally prepared to take on the substantial task of estate planning but does not because he or she is not sure of whom should inherit what. Large families or the parents of children who have very different financial situations often struggle to determine what distribution would be fair. Even if a person knows how he or she wants to distribute assets, fear of a family dispute may lead to procrastination that could create problems in the future.
Desire to Keep Finances Private
Sometimes a person may know how he or she wants assets distributed, be ready to discuss the eventuality of his or her passing, but that person still delays because he or she does not want to disclose financial or personal information with another person. Yes, creating an estate plan means disclosing a lot of personal information such as account numbers, passwords, insurance policies and more, but failing to do these things could lead to assets being overlooked or permanently lost. It is best for your family and those you care about to talk to a qualified professional who is ready to help you create a legally valid estate plan.
Estate planning is never easy, but it is necessary if you want to pass assets on to your loved ones in a manner that helps them avoid a lengthy probate process. The trust and estate planning lawyers at MMZ Law can help you when you are ready to begin securing your legacy. We are here to answer your questions and are dedicated to setting your mind at ease by guiding you through each step of planning. Contact us to schedule an appointment at our conveniently located Claremont, California office so that we can begin discussing your needs.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
MMZ LAW, A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711
MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.
This information is educational information only and not legal advice.