It’s no secret that many people tend toward procrastination, and this pattern rears its ugly head quite frequently when it comes to estate planning. Forbes magazine ran an article last year using statistics provided by the Harris organization. Harris conducted an interactive survey among 1022 adults and found that only 35% of them had a last will in place, and just 29% of the participants had executed a living will. Even older Americans were remarkably unprepared with nearly one-fourth of the individuals who responded who were over the age of 55 stating that they had signed no estate planning documents at all.
A significant percentage of people who responded to the survey said that they had no estate plan because they didn’t feel as though they were wealthy enough to have one. Another reason people shared was their impression that they could not afford to pay for legal advice.
To address the first reason, people of all walks of life should have an estate plan in place. All responsible adults should have a vehicle of asset transfer such as a last will along with advance health care directives like a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care.
As for the expenses involved, retaining the services of an estate planning attorney is going to save you more than it costs you in most instances. There are a number of different ways to transfer assets after you pass away and if you don’t do it properly your heirs could wind up losing a great deal of money. When you get maximum value for your expenditures they are well worth it, and that is what you get when you work with an estate planning attorney to make plans for the future.
It is understandable that many people don’t have an estate plan in place because they don’t know where to begin. To end the cycle of procrastination the logical first step is to contact an experienced estate planning attorney and arrange for an initial consultation.