Estate planning is an important part of life. However, many people of all ages put it off – sometimes indefinitely.
Some of the most common reasons people put off estate planning are described here.
Misconceptions about estate planning
Some people don’t think about estate planning because they believe it is only necessary for people who are wealthy. They assume that estate planning is irrelevant because they don’t have significant assets or complex financial situations.
However, estate planning is crucial for everyone, regardless of wealth, as it involves decisions about guardianship for minors, healthcare directives and distribution of personal possessions.
Not understanding the process
Another barrier is the lack of understanding about what estate planning entails. There’s a common misconception that it’s solely about drafting a will. However, estate planning is much more comprehensive, encompassing living trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare directives and more. This complexity can be daunting, leading many to delay acting.
Thinking it is difficult and expensive
The perceived complexity and cost of estate planning also deter people. The process can seem overwhelming, with legal terminology and various documents to consider. Additionally, the assumption that estate planning is expensive discourages some individuals from starting the process. However, the cost of not having an estate plan—both financially and emotionally—can be far greater.
Being uncomfortable with mortality
Procrastination is a universal human tendency, and when it comes to estate planning, it often intersects with discomfort around discussing mortality. Many people are hesitant to confront their own mortality or discuss it with family, leading them to put off estate planning. This avoidance can result in families being unprepared for unexpected life events.
Estate planning is essential for everyone, regardless of their financial status. Understanding its importance and overcoming misconceptions can encourage more people to take timely action.