People tend to procrastinate about things that they’re not particularly eager to think about, and planning for the time when you will no longer be around for your loved ones certainly fits this category. The simple avoidance of a potentially unpleasant matter is one of the reasons why people put estate planning on the back burner. But there are others who have “practical” reasons that cause them to procrastinate about these important matters.
They reason that things are constantly changing and the estate plan that they would’ve created three years ago would not be relevant today. So if they were to arrange an appointment with an estate planning attorney on a given day the plan would be obsolete in a year or two or three. Therefore, they see no real point in creating an estate plan until you “really have to.”
It is true that we live dynamic lives and family members are added and subtracted, divorces and marriages take place, our finances fluctuate, and the economy takes its inevitable twists and turns. However, the ever-changing nature of life does not eradicate the need for estate planning until you’re lying on your deathbed. The fact is that estate planning is a process, and you should be fully cognizant of this when you put your initial plan in place.
Planning your estate is a unique form of financial planning because you won’t be around to see the result. Preparing your assets for distribution after your death is something that you’re doing for the benefit of those that you love. So when you think about estate planning it is important to keep this in mind and ask yourself who might be hurt if you continue to procrastinate or if you don’t update your existing plan to reflect the present dynamic of your family.
What happens to your estate after your death is your responsibility, so keeping your plan current is always relevant. Your family anticipates and expects you to do this. It is important to recognize this, take action, and be fully prepared to react to changing circumstances and revise your estate plan appropriately as things change over the years.