Setting up a will or trust isn’t exactly the most pleasant experience. To many Californians, an estate plan is a sign that they are going to die soon or that it won’t be long until they are much older and can barely function on their own.
It’s all right if you fear death, it’s natural for many humans to feel the same way. What isn’t ok is not having something in place that makes sure your valuable possessions go to your loved ones. Unfortunately, less than half of American adults lack a will or living trust and risk not having their assets distributed the way they want.
While many cite their fear of the inevitable as their primary reason for putting this task off, there are plenty of other excuses people have developed over the years to avoid estate planning. It is important that you are aware of these excuses so you do not submit to similar bad habits.
“I’m too young.”
According to AARP, well over half of millennials and Generation Xers do not have a will. In contrast, 58 percent of boomers have estate planning documents. This task is usually associated with older individuals primarily because they have much more assets they’ve built up over the years and they are closer to dying.
It’s understandable why younger individuals would have less of an urgency to start these documents, but life is unpredictable. You never know if you’ll meet your end from a disease or from a car totaled by a drunk driver on a Westminster highway. You don’t need to get closer to retirement age to have a living trust in place.
“I’m too busy.”
Nearly half of the responses from AARP’s survey state that they don’t have estate plans because they haven’t gotten around to it yet. Even though planning for the future is important, there are plenty of problems to deal with in the present first. Some people are busy at parenting, while others can end up neck deep at their job or taking care of someone in need.
Estate plans need frequent updating as you grow older and gain more assets as well as people to give them to. Try to figure out a way to set aside just a little bit of time to make sure everything is up to date. You could try to schedule it on an annual basis with a professional similar to how to sign up for dentist and doctor appointments. You could also have a friend or family member remind you to check on it when a major life event is coming up or to discuss it in person.
“I don’t know enough about it.”
Estate planning is not an easy task. Many California residents hesitate to start on it just because it can go in several different directions and the process can feel overwhelming. You want to make sure that the possessions you’ve built up throughout your entire life go to the right people at the right time.
You also need to realize that this process is a team effort and that you won’t be alone during this task. You can try to get a better understanding of how to go about this by contacting an attorney with experience in helping people begin their estate plans and keeping them stable.