When you examine the psychology behind it, people who engage in estate planning long before they would logically expect to pass away often look at it like a precaution rather than a carefully crafted plan. They hold it at arm’s-length to some extent and don’t really fully envision the implications of their eventual absence.
Any estate plan devised for any reason is certainly going to be better than having no estate plan at all. However, it would be a good idea to ask yourself if your existing estate plan really does reflect your wishes at present and if it is actually sufficient to provide for your loved ones after you pass away. A lot of people are under the misconception that they can always change things later on, but in reality people die suddenly at times and you will not receive an invitation from the Grim Reaper.
In addition to this, individuals sometimes suffer from reduced mental capacity as they age. In fact, one out of every eight people who reach the age of 65 are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Some 40% of people who reach the age of 85 are Alzheimer’s sufferers. So if you leave the “fine-tuning” as it were for later on you may find that later on either never comes or that you are not capable of digesting complex information and acting on it when it becomes necessary.
In addition to the notion that there will always be time to make changes, another misconception about estate planning is that you can plan your own estate without legal representation. While this is technically possible, it is not advisable.
Legacy planning involves the execution of legally binding documents that will be scrutinized by the courts. Would you attempt to draft any binding agreement without legal advice? Of course you wouldn’t, and it would be equally illogical to attempt to transfer all the assets that you have been able to accumulate throughout your life to the people that you love the most without the assistance of a licensed estate planning attorney.
- A Trust Can Facilitate Responsible Pet Ownership - September 13, 2022
- Life Care Planning, Aging in Place, and the Medicaid Waiver - August 30, 2022
- What Is a Stepped-Up Basis? - August 16, 2022