The Covid-19 pandemic has given most Americans a different perspective on their own lives. In general, it has made us all feel a little more vulnerable – physically and financially. Things that we once took for granted, including health and economic stability, are no longer quite so certain.
If the sentences above accurately describe your current state of mind, now is a good time to finally address estate planning. Most of us know we need an estate plan but can’t quite bring ourselves to create one. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the most common excuses and why they are invalid.
Excuse #1: Planning for death could jinx me
It sounds completely irrational to say it out loud or even see it in writing, and that’s because it is. But many of us have a subconscious belief that planning for death is akin to inviting death. It should go without saying that this simply isn’t true. We don’t buy car insurance because we expect to get into an accident. We don’t install smoke alarms because we are inviting a house fire. Instead, we recognize that these are risks and we take precautions accordingly.
Excuse #2: I’m too busy
On its face, this seems like a legitimate excuse. All of us are busy, and it doesn’t seem logical to spend precious time planning for someone that is hopefully decades away when there are more immediate matters to attend to. But consider the fact that none of us truly knows how much time we have left. This is one of the major reminders provided by the current pandemic.
Moreover, basic estate planning doesn’t take weeks or even days to complete. Much of the time, you can finish the process in a matter of hours – especially with the help of an experienced attorney.
Excuse #3: Estate planning is complicated and expensive, and I don’t know where to begin
Creating thorough and legally sound estate planning documents can be complicated if you’re not an attorney and are new to the process. But that’s why you start by contacting an estate planning attorney. A good lawyer can walk you through the process step by step and help you create an estate plan that allows you to rest easy. In this time of Coronavirus, many attorneys are ready to work with you over the phone or in videoconferences, and will charge rates that are very reasonable.
And remember: You can start with a basic estate plan and then update it over time, as needed.
There will always be excuses for why we shouldn’t do what we know we need to do. Hopefully, however, you now feel confident enough to take on this important yet manageable project.