Procrastinate: “Delay or postpone action; put off doing something.” The definition seems harmless; the simple shuffling of a task to a time that is more appealing.
Procrastinate: “Delay or postpone action; put off doing something.” The definition seems harmless; the simple shuffling of a task to a time that is more appealing. Often, people procrastinate until they are in a better mindset to tackle a task or they avoid the task altogether because it is unpleasant in some way. Estate planning generally falls into the second category. Planning for your own demise is not a task that is undertaken with any great amount of glee. Most people try to avoid confrontations with their own mortality until the eventual becomes imminent– procrastination is the perfect way to avoid dealing with these decisions. “I will do it tomorrow.” However, tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Estate planning is possibly one of the most selfless legal acts a person will perform during their life. For example, the decisions made in a will take effect only after the testator has, as my granddad would have said, had their worst spell. The decisions made with your attorney make life easier for those grieving beneficiaries that remain, not the testator; a clearly written document outlining the disposition of the testator’s property removes the uncertainty felt by most people who's loved one passed without a plan.
I assume if you are reading this blog post you have already realized the importance of planning for end of life needs and you are aware that there are things you need to do to plan for the eventuality of death or incapacity. Don’t procrastinate. We’re all in this together so let’s start talking about it!
We recently met with someone who shared a bit about a difficult experience handling the estate of a loved one who had no estate plan in place.
This conversation reiterated the importance of having a plan in place – even if the estate isn’t so large that it will need a trust or other complex planning. Consider all of the details that your loved ones will face if you haven’t planned – such as accessing your house and caring for your pets, trying to work with doctors to determine who can make health care decisions on your behalf, weighing the heavy decisions about what health care decisions you would even want, trying to guess whether you would want to be buried or cremated, and then working with the court system to try to determine how your assets will be distributed under the laws of intestacy.