When people think about estate plans, they have a tendency to get a little uncomfortable, which is not unusual. After all, it can be difficult to think about what you want to happen in the event of death, and creating an effective estate plan can be quite complicated. However, ignoring the subject won't make it just go away. In fact, you could be doing yourself a great disservice by avoiding estate planning.
If you are among those who are intimidated by or uncomfortable with estate planning, we encourage you to consider the following points and perspectives.
- Estate planning is about protecting your wishes. You may have complete control over your financial, medical and personal affairs now, but there will come a time when you cannot make your own decisions about these matters. Putting down your wishes now can ensure they will be respected later.
- It is also about protecting your loved ones. Without guidance and instruction from you in the form of an estate plan, your family and friends can wind up having to make some extremely difficult decisions on your behalf. Having an estate plan in place can give them the guidance they need to be confident that they are doing things the way you would want them to be done.
- You don't have to have all the answers right away. There are different types of estate plans for different people in different situations; you don't need to have everything finalized at the start. You can begin by appointing someone to make financial and/or medical decisions for you, or drafting a will. Over time you can make changes, set up trusts and make decisions about how to fund your long-term care.
- You don't have to navigate this process alone. You can work with an estate planning attorney who is already familiar with the elements of an estate plan and can guide you through the process.
Creating an estate plan doesn't have to be a big, scary event. However, it can be an incredibly important part of protecting yourself, your assets and your wishes in the future. Instead of putting it off or trying to convince yourself you don't need one, you can reach out to an attorney who can help get you started and guide you through the process.