Someone once said “when all is said and done, more gets said than gets done,” and this mentality is at the root of that thing called procrastination. Most people live very busy lives these days and you do have to prioritize the way that you spend your time. However there is a great deal of flexibility there, and the things that get put off are not necessarily the things that are least important. They are more often the things you would least like to do.
Estate planning can fit into this category for a number of different reasons. For one thing, many people find it uncomfortable to consider their own mortality and simply don’t want to delve deeply into the matter until they feel as though it is absolutely necessary. Others are pragmatic enough to have no problem addressing the concept, but they simply feel as though they have many years in front of them and planning for the distribution of their assets after death is simply not relevant yet.
Procrastinating with regard to estate planning is unique in that your inaction is not putting you at risk; it is your family who will suffer if you die intestate. Even if you have not yet accumulated a considerable store of assets and you are at peace with the way that the government would distribute what you have there is the matter of medical care preferences to consider.
If you become incapacitated and unable to make health care decisions on your own you can leave your family in an excruciating position if you have not executed advance health care directives that state your wishes. If you look back at the case of Terri Schiavo you can see why it is so very important to have a living will and/or a durable medical power of attorney in place.
The wise course of action is to make an appointment with an experienced estate planning attorney, explain the details of your personal situation and the nature of your wishes, and take action for the benefit of your family if for no other reason.
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- Estate Planning for Parents With Children in College - May 24, 2023