It’s easy to see why people don’t get excited about estate planning. To do it right, you have to ponder your own death, potential disability, nursing home stay, and any number of other unpleasant possibilities, both for you and your loved ones. These are not things people generally want to think about. Most people don’t give much thought to the certainty of death or the possibility of disability so it’s not surprising that a recent survey showed that only 34% of Americans have created wills.
While planning your estate inevitably involves contemplating the unpleasant, the experience itself doesn’t need to be a negative one. In fact, it can be downright rewarding, as the process inevitably leads to a better understanding of your own assets, your own goals and your ambitions. With some good work on all sides, you’ll emerge from the estate planning process better organized, better informed, and feeling like you checked off a box that needed checking. And as a special bonus, drafting a quality estate plan will make your loved ones’ lives easier.
Planning now, while you are well and while you have time to think about things clearly, will take the burden off you in later years. Likewise, family members won’t have to make difficult decisions as they try to best carry out your wishes or try to determine what you had intended. Think of estate planning, then, as a roadmap—if you put something in place now, you are able to make changes down the road, as you see fit.
I’ve met many great people through my work in estate planning over the years and can assure anyone on the fence about it that the process does not have to be boring or intimidating. It can even be a little fun.
And it all starts with education. That will be the aim of this blog going forward.