Let’s face it – estate planning usually isn’t at the top of your list of to-do items unless there is some event that spurs taking the time and effort to start the process. The following is a list of reasons that clients have told me is the number one reason they don’t start the process.

  1. “There’s Plenty of Time” Illusion: We tend to live as if we’re immortal, but time is fleeting. Procrastination only leads to regret. Remember, estate planning is about being prepared, not predicting the future.
  2. Asset Underestimation: Even if you feel your assets are modest, they hold value – sentimental or otherwise. From specific bequests to final wishes, estate planning covers more than just financial assets.
  3. Discomfort with Mortality: Contemplating death is daunting, but estate planning is really about life – the life of your legacy and the impact on those you love.
  4. Perceived Time Consumption: While the process requires some investment of time, it’s less than you might expect. Compare the effort now to the potential legal entanglements your loved ones could face without a plan.
  5. Avoidance of Tough Choices: Yes, estate planning involves difficult decisions. But facing them now can prevent future hardships and confusion for your family.
  6. Cost Concerns: Although hiring a lawyer isn’t cheap, the cost of not having a plan can be much higher, especially if legal disputes arise later. Consider it an investment in peace of mind.
  7. Complexity of Personal Situations: No matter how intricate your circumstances, a well-crafted estate plan can address and simplify these complexities.
  8. Overwhelm on Where to Start: Begin with a single step. Seeking professional guidance can transform an overwhelming task into a manageable journey.
  9. Mistrust of Lawyers: While some lawyers might be challenging to work with, many are approachable, understanding, and genuinely invested in helping you. Finding the right attorney can make a world of difference.
  10. Fear of Causing Conflict: Ironically, not having an estate plan is more likely to lead to disputes. A clear, legally sound plan can prevent misunderstandings and familial conflicts.
  11. Lack of Knowledge: Many people delay estate planning because they simply don’t understand what it entails or its importance.
  12. Belief That It’s Only for the Wealthy: Some think estate planning is only necessary for those with significant wealth.
  13. Reluctance to Discuss with Family: Talking about estate planning can be uncomfortable, as it involves discussing finances and death with family members.
  14. Changing Family Dynamics: Modern families can be complex, with divorces, remarriages, and blended families. This complexity can make estate planning seem daunting.
  15. Underestimating the Importance of Non-Financial Decisions: Estate planning isn’t just about assets; it includes decisions like healthcare directives and guardians for minor children