Estate Planning: Now Is The Time

February 12, 2011

When you are a busy person you have to set your priorities, and when you do some things are going to wind up being neglected as other "more pressing" matters arise. Estate planning is something that people often procrastinate about because let's face it, dying is something that you have etched onto the very bottom of your to-do list in almost permanent ink.
Aside from the the fact that people simply don't want to consider the unpleasant notion of passing away, there are actually some practical reasons for the procrastination. For one, even if you have no difficulty accepting the fact that you have to plan for the distribution of your assets after your death you may simply feel as though you will get to it when you have more time - maybe after retirement.
But once you retire, you may be occupied doing the things that you always wanted to do while you were busy working, and once again estate planning goes to the back burner. This is understandable, but it is risky all the same. And the fact is that that the people you are damaging when you do not plan your estate intelligently in advance are the ones that you love the most.
If you do not create an estate plan and record your wishes, should you pass away the state will decide who gets your assets, and the matter can be held up in the probate court for a significant period of time. There will be court costs and a number of additional fees, and of course many of your family members may be left out in the cold by the state when you would have remembered them had you taken the time to record your wishes.
How you use your time is a personal choice, but not all choices are good ones. To put it bluntly, when you move through life without having an estate plan in place you are neglecting one of the core responsibilities of adulthood and turning a blind eye to the needs of your loved ones. When I am asked who my competitors are, I always respond, "My biggest competitor is procrastination." Now is the time to act.

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