Four Reasons Not to Create an Estate Plan (And Why You Should Ignore Them)

I always tell the audience at my seminars that the biggest enemy in estate planning is not the IRS, nor the state, nor conniving relatives. The biggest enemy is procrastination. We know we need to do an estate plan, but we say to ourselves, “I’ll do it next month” or “I’ll do it next year.”

We do this for a number of reasons, and it may help to understand those reasons as a means of getting past procrastination.

  1. Denial of death. This is one of the strongest human defense mechanisms. Most of us associate estate planning with “death planning” (which it certainly is not), and who wants to think about that?
  2. Expense. Estate planning is like elective surgery. You don’t have to do it. Of course, if you don’t make your own estate plan you’re stuck with the plan the IRS and the state have for you. But still you don’t have to. And who likes to spend money if they don’t have to?
  3. Laziness. We know that if we do our estate plans, we’ll have to gather together documents, and fill out forms, and visit an attorney’s office. Who  have time for all that?
  4. Not wanting to face family issues. Estate planning often touches on sensitive family matters: children who aren’t mature enough to handle an inheritance, untrustworthy in-laws, elderly persons who may be losing mental capacity. Many people quite naturally don’t want to deal with such emotional questions.

Of course, the problem with all evasive thinking is that the issue you are evading does not go away. When we avoid going to the dentist because we don’t enjoy it, it doesn’t mean we won’t get cavities. In fact, eventually, we will pay a much higher price, financially and physically, for our evasive thinking. But we continue to do it. Why? Because the long-term pain is far away in the future, and the procrastination pays immediate emotional dividends. Instead of visiting an estate planning attorney and paying for the cost of planning, we can play golf and buy a new big screen TV.

It’s fun, maybe, but it’s certainly not smart.

Call our office; we’ll help you get past procrastination, to reach the peace of mind that comes from knowing your comprehensive plan is in place. We promise to make your experience as painless as possible.