There are some responsibilities that we readily recognize as things that we must address in an ongoing manner, and some of them involve possibilities rather than hard realities. For example, we all make sure that we have sufficient insurance coverage to protect our homes, cars, and businesses, though we may never have to make a claim.
In addition, we recognize the fact that the policies need to be updated when we get new things or when other aspects of our lives change. Nobody procrastinates when they know that they can incur significant losses if they don’t have proper coverage, and if you have creditors they demand it. Procrastination is not an option because they have to make sure that their interests are protected.
The same dynamic applies to estate planning, but a lot of people don’t recognize it. You can go your entire life without a house fire or an automobile accident, but you will indeed pass away at some point. Proceeding through life with the idea that planning your estate is something that you can put off indefinitely is a mistake, and the worst part of it is that you are not just hurting yourself. It is your family that would be left to deal with the result of your procrastination.
Aside from those who never take the time to put an initial plan into place, there others who have created an estate plan at some point in time but have not revisited it since. They may recognize that their lives have changed; grandchildren have been born and are growing, their financial capabilities are different, and their vision for their own future has evolved. And they also realize that they should revise their estate plan, but they simply procrastinate and never take action.
It is somewhat natural to feel as though you have plenty of time to prepare for the end of your life. But when is the right time? Sitting down with an estate planning lawyer to create or revise your estate plan is a relatively simple task, and there is really no justification for eschewing this basic adult responsibility.
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