A recent study released by Caring.com reveals that only about one-third of Americans have an estate plan in place. Based on surveys gathered by the senior living referral service, the study concluded that close to two-thirds of people in the U.S. have the vital legal protections that are established in a comprehensive estate plan. When estate planning is so important, why do so many people fail to have one?
Why Don’t Most Americans Have an Estate Plan in Place?
Many of the most common reasons why people do not have an estate plan in place comes from common misconceptions about estate planning. For instance, many people claim that estate planning is not a priority for them because they are not old or unwell. The truth of the matter is, however, that estate planning is important regardless of your age or health status. Why? Because none of us can predict the future! You just never know what life is going to throw your way. None of us are immune from sudden health problems or tragic accidents. Because of this, everyone should have an estate plan in place.
Another common reason cited by people who do not have an estate plan is that they are not wealthy individuals and, therefore, do not need an estate plan. Again, this stems back to a misconception about estate planning, its purposes, and what it can accomplish. Does estate plan address ways to manage and distribute your wealth to your heirs and beneficiaries? Absolutely. Estate planning also, however, addresses how you wish to distribute your assets that may be low in financial value, but high in sentimental value. You can ensure your invaluable assets that you treasure most end up in the hands of the right people. Furthermore, estate planning documents such as a power of attorney, health care surrogate, and living will are important to anyone, regardless of wealth or financial standing. These are documents that help protect a person’s preferences for health care and end of life care. They help ensure that they are properly cared for and their affairs are properly managed in the event of incapacitation. Just like tragedy can strike at any age, tragedy can strike regardless of economic standing.
Sometimes, people may understand, however vaguely, that estate planning is important but it just keeps slipping to the bottom of the to-do list in favor of other more seemingly pressing matters. The fact is that estate planning is too important to put off. Do not wait until life throws you a terrible curveball to realize just how important it is. At that point, it may be too late. Now is the time to estate plan and put critical legal protections in place for you and your loved ones.
Estate Planning Attorney
For immediate assistance establishing a strong estate plan, reach out to the team at Verras Law. We understand that estate planning can be intimidating and we are here to walk you through the process, providing guidance every step of the way. Contact Verras Law today.