People Delay Or Do Not Make Their Estate Plans Because Of Laziness, Fear Of Mortality Or Just Not Knowing How Important It Is
All of these things are probably true. Although for a lot of people it is something that is not urgent, meaning that it would not affect their day to day life unless a tragedy happened. This is something that is on the prevention side of things, and is like taking care of business and getting things ready just in case.
A lot of people are more worried about making their car payment, getting to work on time and making sure there is food on the table, than they are worried about planning for the future and any tragic events that could happen. Every single one of those things is a valid reason, yet it would still be very important to plan.
Young couples usually do not think they actually have an estate. They may have just bought a house, or maybe they are still renting but they owned a couple of cars and may have young children. Let us suppose the couple, the mother and father of those young children, went on a date and the babysitter was left with the two children. Let’s say the couple got into an accident and they both died. If they did not have an estate plan, there would be no instruction regarding who would get custody of the children.
What usually happens is that the grandparents end up fighting over the children, which is something that no one would really want to happen. This would be a tragedy in and of itself because at that point the children would already be in shock over losing their parent, and would not need any more battles or things to deal with.
This whole process would become very seamless if it had already be done and set forth in a will or in an estate plan.
You Should Give Your Estate Plan A Checkup Often
People really should give their estate plan a checkup every year because things tend to change. Case law changes every year and uniquely enough, so do people’s life circumstances on a regular basis.
A fairly common situation is where an older couple would go see their attorney in January. They would want to change their will because; “Johnny” did not send them a Christmas card.
People tend to make these kinds of changes because life changes, people’s feelings towards each other change and even assets change.
Things would change if someone acquired a new car or maybe they got a new house. If the will or trust was never updated, then those changes would not get incorporated into the plan. If they were not incorporated into the will or trust and therefore into the estate plan, then under certain circumstances, no one would know how to deal with them.
At this point there would either be a lot of guessing or there would be litigation involved, and nobody would want to fight. Unfortunately, however, if the person had not planned right, ultimately everyone would end up fighting.
Certain Life Events Might Prompt Someone To Revise Their Estate Plans
It is quite common for people to revisit their estate plans before going on cruises or vacations, especially to foreign countries. They realize they would be leaving the country so they starting thinking about what would happen if they fell off the ship or got lost or if they were a victim of a terrorist attack. People also tend to revisit their plans before a major surgery.
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