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Common Estate Planning Excuses

Don’t have an estate plan?  You are not alone!  Many people avoid or delay estate planning until a major life event occurs.  For instance, marriage, divorce, death or the birth of a child may help us to realize the necessity and importance of an estate plan.  It is often not until one of these life events take place that we really start to take into account the importance of putting our estate in order.

Here are a few reasons why you may have neglected or avoided building your estate plan as well as some helpful tips to keep you from delaying estate planning any further.

“I don’t want to think about death.”

Many of us don’t like to think about dying.  In fact, this is probably the most common reason people avoid starting their estate planning.  Few of us like to dwell on our own mortality but the reality is that we will all pass away at some point so we might as well put together an estate plan while we are in good health.

Estate planning can be challenging.  You will have to think about things like who should take custody of your minor children, where you want to be buried or if you want to be cremated and who will receive your money.  You will have to think about no longer being on this earth and how that will affect your family and loved ones.  While estate planning can be uncomfortable, it is also necessary and should be done sooner rather than later.

“I don’t have time.”

These days we are busier than ever.  Our lives are full with work and family and it’s easy to bump the task of estate planning to the bottom of the to-do list.  That being said, estate planning is one of those things that must not be de-prioritized.  Naming your executor and beneficiaries are two absolute musts.  Make sure you take time to think these decisions through.

You might assume that, if you are married, your spouse will automatically get all your assets upon your death.  That could be true, but it’s important to take into account your other relatives and what they might want so that fights don’t ensue over specific items in your estate.  Single or divorced?  In that case, “who receives what” won’t be as clear, particularly if your parents or siblings survive you.  You might not get another chance so stop procrastinating and start your estate planning right away!

“I don’t have an estate.”

Some people don’t think they have an estate or enough wealth to worry about creating an estate plan but this is a major misconception.  Your estate can simply include owning a car, life insurance or a home.  You might also want to consider your loved ones as part of your estate.  For example, what you pass on to your loved ones will affect their standard of living.  Make sure your wishes are in line with what they will actually receive.  Take precautions so that your assets are protected from lawsuits, divorce or bankruptcy.  If you don’t want your death to cause family tension and fighting, make sure you do your estate planning now so things don’t get complicated after you pass on.

If you have been avoiding creating an estate plan, we urge you to consult with a trusted estate planning attorney to learn more about the process and how important it is for your family and loved ones.

To discuss your specific needs and to find out how an estate planning lawyer in Pittsburgh can help you, please call us at Fingeret Law (412.281.8222) or contact us online.  

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