For the most part, there is an upside to making mistakes as you are traversing your life’s path. People can give you advice and some of it may sink in, but the reality is that your own personal experiences are the most profound. When you make a mistake and suffer the consequences you learn a very valuable lesson and it is unlikely that you will find yourself making that same error again in the future.
However, there are some mistakes that you really cannot chalk up to experience. One of these would be a failure to plan ahead for your eventual passing and the possibility of incapacity. The sad thing is, for the most part, it is going to be your loved ones who suffer should you fail to make the necessary preparations.
You might think that most people are aware of the importance of estate and incapacity planning, and while they may be aware too many of them simply do not take action. There was a survey conducted not too long ago by the Harris organization, and it found that only 35% of Americans who they spoke with had executed a last will to direct the distribution of their assets after their death.
It is logical to assume that younger Americans would be less likely to have executed estate planning documents than those who are older, and the results of the survey validated this assumption. Only 24% of people under the age of 35 had at least one essential estate planning document in place. However, an alarming 23% of people age 55 and over had done no estate planning whatsoever.
Estate planning is a basic responsibility that comes along with adulthood. If you shirk this responsibility you are doing your family a disservice. If you do not have an estate plan in place, do take action right now and arrange for a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney who will guide you through the process and help you devise an estate plan that is tailor-made to your needs.