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Estate Planning - 7 min read

Most people acknowledge the value of estate planning and have every intention of doing it. And yet, it often ends up at the bottom of our to-do lists. Procrastination seems to plague estate planning.

 

As we’ve worked with clients over the years, we’ve heard of many reasons for avoiding the task. From a lack of information to a fear of death, the reasons are plenty. If you’ve struggled to overcome your procrastination, perhaps you can relate to one or more of these rationales.

 

Fear of Death

No one likes to think about death. When it comes to estate planning, not only do you have to think about it, but you have to write down your decisions in black-and-white.

 

When you decide to tackle your estate planning, you must think about how to provide for your loved ones after you’re gone. Details about the distribution of your assets remind you that you won’t be around forever to enjoy the wealth you’ve accumulated.

 

These decisions are sensitive and difficult, but leaving your family without a plan or provisions is much worse. While you may feel awkward during the estate planning process, many people are surprised by the peace of mind they feel when they accomplish the task.

 

Family Difficulties

Strained family relationships can complicate estate planning. To avoid dealing with drama, many people just avoid planning altogether.

 

For instance, you may have specific goals you want to accomplish through estate planning, but family members may be pressuring you to go a different direction. Working with an experienced third party can help you to sort out these family issues and resolve differences.

 

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that this is your estate plan. And you may be surprised how family tensions can be alleviated when you make decisions and clarify your plans. You can be honest and listen to your loved ones while still maintaining control over your estate and how you want to handle disbursement.

 

Fear of Losing Control Over Finances

You work hard and take care of your family, your home, your business, and so much more. That’s why it can be painful to think about a time when you won’t be able to safeguard and manage your domain.

 

Ironically, estate planning allows you to maintain control of your assets and provide for your family after you’re gone. Without proper planning, the probate courts will take over your estate when you die or become incapacitated. In such an instance, you truly do lose control over your finances.

 

You can pre-empt such a situation by planning today. Your strategies could include protecting your assets from creditors, creating strategies to reduce the amount of taxes your estate must pay and providing for your family’s future.

 

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Lack of Information

You may feel completely comfortable with your current financial situation, but the terms and concepts surrounding estate planning feel intimidating to many people.

 

Trusts? Beneficiaries? Schedules of assets? If the ins and outs of estate planning are preventing you from taking action, we can help. Instead of delving right into the details, we’ll start with the big picture to make sure we understand your goals. Our estate planning experts can answer all of your questions and help you to create the perfect plan for you and your family.

 

Disorganisation

The task of pulling all of your financial information together and trying to make sense of it can prevent some people from addressing their estate planning needs.

 

One of the best parts of estate planning is that you finally get a dashboard-like view of your personal financial world. From real estate and bank accounts to legal documents and tax information, you’ll not only see it all in one place, but you’ll also have a plan to care for it.

 

The Expense

Some people avoid estate planning because they don’t want to incur the costs of creating their wills and organising their affairs.

 

The truth is, however, that neglecting to plan can significantly decrease the size of your estate later on. If your estate goes through probate, it will be charged legal and accounting fees as well as court costs. Without planning, your estate could be taxed at a much higher rate than necessary. Worst of all, your family’s future could be left to the whims of the courts.

 

We spend money on insurance to mitigate risk. It only makes sense to spend a little on your estate planning. Most people are pleasantly surprised by the actual costs involved.

 

“I’m Too Young”

Estate planning is for old people, right? That’s a common misconception that gets people into trouble.

 

Accidents and illness happen to people of every age. If you have opinions about your future medical care and your assets, you should embark on estate planning. You may be surprised to see how future planning can help you with the financial issues you grapple with today.

 

“I Don’t Own Enough”

Another misconception about estate planning is that it’s only for the wealthy. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

When it comes to smaller estates, the costs of court guardianship and probate can easily eat up most of the assets, leaving your beneficiaries with little to spare. Wouldn’t you rather see your money going to your family instead of court costs and solicitors?

 

If you’re ready to tackle your own estate planning, give us a ring. We can help you at any step along the way. As your assets grow and change, we can also help you to update your estate plan and make sure it reflects the current realities of your life.

 

Set up a meeting with our estate planning expert, and experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family’s future is secure.

 

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