Do any sound familiar to you?
- Most people don’t like to think about death or money. Wills and Trusts force you to confront mortality and money, two issues that can be difficult to face. This is particularly true if you are healthy and don’t feel you have much money.
- Estate planning is something most people are unfamiliar with or feel uncomfortable about. Because you don’t know much about estate-planning documents, you may experience anxiety or struggle with feelings of inadequacy when confronted with the subject. You know how to be a good plumber or schoolteacher or police officer or how to run a restaurant, but you don’t know estate planning.
- There’s no hard-and-fast deadline. Many people can’t accomplish anything until a deadline looms. But when it comes to wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, there is nothing on your calendar telling you when you will need it. The deadline often comes without warning.
- It’s not much fun. True, but life isn’t always fun, especially if you are an adult. If you need fun, plan a party to celebrate finishing your estate plan.
- People hate spending money on lawyers. But not all lawyers deserve this animosity; you can find a good one you can relate to, buy peace of mind by getting your affairs in order and ultimately save exponentially more in legal fees by spending some money now, rather than paying later.
- People are afraid of massive amounts of paper. If you understand the paperwork, it becomes less intimidating. Be prepared to ask questions about anything you don’t understand.
- You won’t live to see the benefits of your estate plan. The beneficiaries will be your heirs. It can be difficult to devote yourself to this task until you accept your family’s priorities as your own.
- It might mean making decisions that could arouse negative feelings in loved ones. Maybe you’re concerned your family will be angry when they learn the details of your estate plan, but your wishes are paramount.
- The size of the job can be daunting. Estate planning can be, but isn’t necessarily, a big, time-consuming task. The perceived enormity of the task can prevent some people from even starting the job.
- Not doing your estate planning can be a form of passive-aggressive behavior. If you’re not happy with your future heirs, failing to complete necessary wills or trusts can be a subconscious way to punish them.
- Some people just like to live for the moment. Some procrastinators simply can’t—or won’t—force themselves to pass up short-term pleasure and sit down to complete their estate planning, even if on some level they understand that doing so will provide them with long-term satisfaction.
- Seeking perfection in your estate plan. Some people start the estate planning process, multiple times even, but never finish. They want to analyze every possible contingency and account for every possibility, which can lead to a maze that makes the trustee’s job impossibly complicated. Just give it your best shot, focus on what’s really important, and sign documents that capture your overall wishes.
- Guilt feeds upon itself. The real number-one excuse for not doing an estate plan, when you know you need one, is the wall built from guilt caused by putting off estate planning. This adds to any depression you might have about procrastinating in other areas of your life and leads, ironically, to further delay. If you can’t move on from that state, a psychologist or a counselor who has experience working with procrastinators might help you.
All of these reasons to delay are perfectly understandable—but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous or counterproductive. Keep in mind that doing nothing can make your worst fears come true. Whatever keeps you from properly planning your estate, the damage arising from your own inaction will inevitably be greater than doing nothing. Weigh the perils of delay against your fears and you might discover that doing your estate plan is easier not only in the long term, which is obvious, but also in the short term, because the whole subject can then be put behind you.
We can help you stop procrastinating. Give yourself peace of mind and a gift to your family. Please click here to request an estate planning consultation via Matlin Law Group’s website or feel free to give us a call at 1-847-770-6600.Like this article and want to receive more like this? You can! Sign Up for Our Newsletter