One of the biggest mistakes people make with estate planning is simply putting it off. They procrastinate. They forget about it. They don’t want to talk about. They figure those are decisions best made another day.
In some cases, the real reason is that they do not want to think about the end. That’s understandable. It can be a delicate subject, and many people do whatever they can to avoid it.
However, it is important to remember the inevitably of your own passing. That goes for anyone of any age.
After all, many people procrastinate because they assume they will live into their 80s or 90s. And perhaps they will. But that does not mean you should wait to make an estate plan until you’re 75 years old. Thousands of people die in car accidents every week. More pass away from illnesses, drowning, accidental poisoning, falls, medical malpractice and a laundry list of other issues.
You should not live your life in fear. But you also do need to realize that you cannot predict the end.
A lot of people put off estate planning until it is too late. They pass away without a plan in place, or they fall ill and cannot make those decisions. Some struggle with mental issues late in life that lead heirs to fight over the estate in court, claiming the estate plan that finally got created can’t be trusted since the elderly person’s mental capacity had diminished.
The best thing you can do is simply to address this head-on and put your estate plan in place as far in advance as you can. It’s better to have it for decades and not need it than to pass away without one.
Source: FindLaw, “Ten Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid,” accessed May 18, 2018