If You Don’t Have One Yet, Ask Yourself What’s Holding You Back.
The words most often associated with estate planning are “important” (53%) “responsible” (52%) and “smart” (42%), according to a survey conducted in the U.S. by WALR in partnership with Wealth in December, 2021. Yet only 53% of us have an estate plan. What drives this dichotomy? Put simply: misperceptions. Here, we examine the top four reasons people aren’t doing the “important, responsible and smart” work of creating an estate plan — and how to get over those hurdles.
It’s Something To Do… Later.
Estate Planning Is Complicated.
You’re not alone in thinking this. For respondents to the survey who didn’t have a plan, 23% said a big reason is that, well, they don’t know where to start—20% said they don’t know anything about what estate planning entails. However, many people find it easy to create the major estate planning documents on their own—as long as clear directions are involved. For example, you can draw up a simple, valid will using software, online or via an app. (Though you may want to crowdsource to find the most reliable options.)
I Don’t Own Much, So I Don’t Need One.
And even if you think you don’t have much money, when you die, your estate consists of not just the money you use day to day but also your life insurance, the equity in your house, the full value of your retirement plans — and everything else you own. That usually amounts to more than you anticipated.
It’s Too Depressing To Deal With.
Moreover, life is unpredictable. So why not draw up an estate plan? As Chief Growth Officer of Wealth, Tim White, sums it up, “Creating an estate plan is a genuine act of compassion for your loved ones and your greater community, if part of your plan includes charitable donations. There’s real value in the peace of mind that comes from knowing your legacy — whatever that means to you — will be intact after you die.”