People often put off their estate planning. When you hear talk about how most Americans don’t have a will, the implication is that they don’t want one or never plan to get one. For most people, though, that’s not true. They generally do want to make an estate plan and they know they need one, but they’re just planning on doing it later.
What are their reasons?
If you have done this yourself, you may have your own unique reasons, but let’s take a look at some of the common excuses that people make:
- I’m too young and so I’ll make an estate plan when I’m closer to retirement.
- I am planning on having more children, so there’s no point in writing a will when I don’t know who all of the beneficiaries will be.
- I don’t have enough assets for an estate plan right now, but I hope to in the future.
- I’m in perfect health. I’ll make a plan if something happens.
These reasons all seem to make sense in the moment, but they have one thing in common: They’re not actually reasons to delay estate planning. After all, estate planning isn’t something carved in stone. You can update the plan every year if you want.
All of the issues noted above are really just reasons to update your plan. You can write it today and, if you have another child, you can add a beneficiary. If you gain a lot more assets, you can update your financial documents. If health issues arise, you can change your plan to focus more on long-term care planning.
How can you get started with your plan?
It’s never too soon to have a plan. You can never know exactly when it will be needed. It makes more sense to draft that plan decades before you pass away and then update it as you go than to wait and try to guess when it’s a good time to start planning. If you do this, you know that your family has some level of protection at all times. Make sure you know what steps to take to craft the right plan.