You may assume that everyone has an estate plan or that they’ve at least written a will. Someday, everyone will pass away. This estate planning can be very helpful for the family as they make medical decisions, distribute assets and much more.
But this assumption would be incorrect. The statistics show that most people actually have no plan in place yet. Why is this and what problems can it cause?
Why it happens
This lack of estate planning happens for numerous reasons. For instance, some people feel uncomfortable talking about it. Others aren’t sure where to get started. Some believe that it’s going to be too expensive or that they don’t have enough assets for it to be valuable.
But in many cases, the issue is just procrastination, as people assume they can do their estate planning in 10 or 20 years. Maybe they’re waiting to retire or something of this nature. Unfortunately, many people pass away before they expect, so this procrastination is risky.
The problems this creates
Not having an estate plan can cause a lot of problems, starting with the fact that disputes are more likely. Family members have to try to determine what the elderly person would’ve wanted if they need medical care, for instance, or how that person would’ve wanted their assets to be distributed to their family after they pass away. In some cases, family members can find common ground and handle the situation on their own. But there are also many disputes where they don’t see things the same way – especially with financial issues.
If you haven’t made an estate plan yet, but you want to avoid these problems in the future, take the time to look into all of your legal options.