Don’t Get Spooked by Estate Planning
Tackle Your Estate Planning Fears and Plan for the Future
Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of adults quite like estate planning, and it’s about more than the technicalities of creating a will or a trust. Estate planning brings up anxiety about the end-of-life, fear about what will happen to future generations, and concerns about how much weight the plan itself could hold over the course of your own life.
Certainly, it can be difficult to confront the what-ifs of the future, but it’s critical to plan ahead. Putting off an estate plan isn’t a viable strategy. If you’ve been hesitant, review the estate planning fears below and learn how to overcome them.
1. Catastrophes and Tragic Accidents
We’ve all had irrational fear creep in from time to time, whether you’re scared of venomous snakes or terrified a train will hop off the rails. It won’t surprise you then that many people make an appointment with a professional before they take a flight, no matter how short or long.
Though crash landings could hypothetically occur, it’s incredibly unlikely. In fact, it’s far more common for someone to need long-term care or develop an end-of-life illness than to die in a plane crash. While revisiting or creating your estate plan is a good idea under almost any circumstance, fear of a freak accident shouldn’t be the only impetus. An estate plan includes health directives and assigns power of attorney – the right for someone to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf – which is important to have in place in a multitude of circumstances.
2. Over-Considering Contingencies
Just like it’s unlikely a plane crash will cause your demise, it’s (thankfully) equally unlikely that some catastrophic event will take out your entire immediate family. That’s a great comfort in many ways, but even the extremely unlikely possibility that it could occur is enough to twist people’s minds into an estate planning pretzel.
Analysis paralysis, the inability to move forward with a decision because of overthinking the issue, can set in. When faced with that difficult scenario, it can feel equally impossible to pick a charity or next-tier contingent beneficiary.
So, how do you proceed? Consider your options thoughtfully, but also as quickly as possible. Agonizing over what would happen if everyone you love passes away simultaneously isn’t helpful to your state of mind or your estate. Choose a contingency plan you’re comfortable with and move forward.
3. ‘Do and Then Die’ Thinking
It’s a common, but faulty, fear that the grim reaper will come for you the moment you sign the dotted line on your estate planning documents. Facing mortality head-on can make you forget all logic in favor of the what-ifs.
One trick that can help you get past this kind of thinking is to remind yourself that you can change your plan whenever you like. Though the document should accurately reflect your current wishes, thinking of your estate plan as a first draft can help you overcome the illogical reasoning that a completed will means you’ll be meeting your demise soon.
Financial Goal-Setting Tips to Help Achieve Your Money Goals
1. Decisions = Family Discontent
Money can be a divisive topic in some families, which is why a common estate planning fear is stirring up conflict in your family. Though making estate planning choices can seem difficult, having any plan in place – even a flawed or clandestine one – is better than not having any plan at all.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the thought of causing family trouble, but try to think past it. If tragedy strikes, it would be even more challenging for your family if there’s no estate plan to guide the ones you leave behind.
2. Too Complicated, Too Costly
Doing anything that requires an attorney is enough to spook people, especially when it comes to estate planning. Many people fear the complications or the cost. On average, professionally done estate plans cost around $2,500, which can be a hefty sum to swallow. But consider this: if your home is valued at $500,000 and you have no estate plan to protect it, it will cost roughly $40,000 when it goes through probate.
If your financial situation is holding you back, it can be difficult to prioritize something that feels far off. However, it’s worth saving up now for a professionally prepared will or living trust to protect your assets and your loved ones in the future.
3. Limited Time Only?
There’s a common misconception that an estate plan is somehow structured like a warranty—that it will run out after a period of time. However, there’s good news if this is what’s been holding you back—these documents are valid until revoked or amended. There’s no need to fear that your plans will expire or that your hard work will go to waste.
Estate Planning: There’s No Time Like the Present
If you think you would benefit from expert help to dispel your estate planning fears and get your assets in order for your heirs, contact Lane Hipple Wealth Management Group at our Moorestown, NJ office by calling 856-638-1855, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or to schedule a complimentary discovery call, use this link to find a convenient time.
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