Top Reasons to Do Estate Planning—What are You Waiting For?, 04/27/2010

People have many different reasons to do estate planning. Some people plan diligently and well in advance of any urgent need. Other people procrastinate and plan only when things are thrust upon them. What are you waiting for? Here are some of the top reasons which estate planning attorneys say motivate their clients to plan or update their existing plan:

  • Vacations. People want to relax without worrying about “what ifs.” But, you don’t need to wait for a vacation to take this worry off your plate.
  • Weddings. When a couple is starting a new life together, they want to start off right and make sure each other are taken care of.
  • Divorce. Most people no longer wish to benefit their ex-spouse after a divorce.
  • Births and adoptions. A new child is a joyous occasion. People want to make sure there is a solid foundation for their new bundle of joy. Even if they already have a plan, they want to make sure that the plan is suitable now that their family has grown.
  • Funerals. The death of a close friend or relative can make people feel their own mortality. They realize that their own death will happen, sooner or later, and they would rather it happen on their own terms. Often, people see firsthand the anguish caused by poor planning and want to make sure they don’t leave behind an emotional and financial mess.
  • Inheritances. When people inherit money, it often changes their estate plan. They consider how to divide the newfound wealth and what they want to leave as their legacy.
  • Health changes. A significant deterioration in health often makes a person’s mortality more real. They want to make sure their loved ones are taken care of in case their health declines further. Of course, planning in advance would remove that worry and focus their energy on spending time with loved ones.
  • Law changes. Changes in the law can affect what would happen to the estate. New opportunities appear from time to time, while other opportunities disappear. The savvy update their plans periodically to take advantage of these opportunities while they can.

The bottom line is that people do estate planning in order to take care of their loved ones and to assure the legacy they envision. A qualified estate planning attorney from Morris Hall who focuses his or her practice in that field can help you arrive at an estate plan that effectively accomplishes your unique goals. When you die, will your loved ones discover a plan in disarray (or no plan at all) or a coherent estate plan? What will your legacy be?