In this blog, I am not going to address the importance of estate planning to protect you, your family and your assets; believe me, I have hammered on this point many times. This blog will simply address the many reasons why people fail to plan their estates. I hate to use the word “fail,” but failing to plan, is planning to fail! Sadly, many legal problems caused by failing to plan could have been avoided if one had a power of attorney, or advance health care directive, or a revocable living trust.
- I Know I Need An Estate Plan, But I Will Create One Later.
In my practice, the number one reason (or excuse) why people fail to create their estate plan is that they will get around to creating one in the near future. Sadly, I have had many cases where the “near future” was too late. By way of example, I have dealt with clients in their 30s, 40s and 50s who were either rendered incapacitated or deceased, who never got around to creating their estate plan. As a result, a lengthy and costly conservatorship or a probate administration had to be commenced in court. Please do not let this happen to you and your family.
- I Am Not Married, So I Don’t Need An Estate Plan.
Far too many individuals wrongly believe that they do not need an estate plan because of their unmarried status. Generally speaking, if one is rendered incapacitated, then a lengthy and costly conservatorship proceeding will likely occur. If one dies with a gross probate estate exceeding $150,000, then a lengthy and costly probate will likely occur. Incapacity and death do not discriminate; they affect both married and unmarried couples.
- I Don’t Like Talking About Death.
Simply put, many individuals do not like discussing their own death. However, I tell people that if you do not make these difficult decisions, then your loved ones will be left to have to guess what their mother, father, sibling would have wanted. The difficult decisions such as end of life, cremation or burial, should be made by you. In my opinion, it is not fair, or responsible, to leave your loved ones to make these difficult decisions on your behalf.
- Estate Planning Is For The Wealthy.
Simply put, if you own assets and have a family, then you need an estate plan. Estate planning protects you, your family, and your assets in case of an unforeseen (or foreseen) event. You do not have to be a millionaire to create an estate plan.
In conclusion, if you are one of these individuals above, please feel free to call Matthew W. Harris, Esq., LL.M at (415) 521-5610 for a complimentary, no hassle, estate planning consultation. Often times, the hardest thing is simply contacting and meeting with an estate planning attorney. Many of my clients tell me that the whole estate planning process was easier than they had envisioned. Furthermore, my clients feel very relieved that that have an estate plan in place just in case something should happen.
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