Death and taxes are two certainties of life, and we all acknowledged one of them recently in April. However, the vast majority of people do not plan ahead for the other one, and this is an oversight that is not getting any better.
Each year, Caring.com conducts surveys that ask people if they have wills or trusts in place. Over the last three years, the overall results have been consistent. Between 32 and 33 percent of people are in fact prepared from an estate planning perspective.
Just 45 percent of individuals that are 55 years of age and older have estate plans in place, and this is actually 3 percent below the 2020 figure. When you consider the impact of the pandemic, this is a real head scratcher.
Older people are more vulnerable to fatal cases of the virus, and they did not respond. However, in 2021, many young adults between 18 and 34 were moved to action because of COVID. In 2020, 16 percent of these folks had wills or trusts, and this went up to 27 percent the next year.
Reasons for Inaction
Researchers asked the respondents why they did not have estate plans in place, and 40 percent said they had not gotten around to it. One-third stated that they were not concerned about estate planning because they had next to nothing to pass along to their loved ones.
Thirteen percent were under the impression that it is too expensive to set up an estate plan, and 12 percent said they had no idea where to get a will or trust. Six percent did not act because they thought that it takes too long, and four percent said they were worried about inflation.
Debunking the Myths
Most of the objections are actually misguided if you understand the facts. When it comes to inflation and financial markets, you do not have to surrender control of your assets when you plan your estate. You can create a living trust, and you would be the trustee while you are living.
There would be no loss of control of the assets, and financial markets would not impact the estate planning value. You will be able to dissolve the trust at any time if you choose to do so, but you would have a plan in place to assert your wishes.
Those that are worried about time are definitely mistaken. We can help you create an estate plan quickly and efficiently, but a lack of planning can be a time-consuming nightmare. The court would intervene to sort things out, and it will take close to a year at minimum in most cases.
Our clients are typically pleasantly surprised to learn about our rates, and estate planning is an investment. A properly constructed estate plan will save money in the long run in many cases, because mistakes can be made that yield negative financial consequences.
It is hard to understand the group that does not know where to begin. If they need electrical work done on their homes, they know that they should call an electrician. The same logic applies to the estate planning process.
Don’t Delay–Schedule a Consultation Today!
If you are going through life without an estate plan, now is the time for action. All responsible adults have plans in place, and when you have people relying on you, it is an absolute must.
There is no universal way to proceed. There are multiple different approaches that can be taken, and the right choice will depend on the circumstances. When you work with our firm, you will receive the personalized attention you need to develop the ideal plan.
We will gain an understanding of your objectives, your financial position, and your family dynamic. Your options will be explained so you can make fully informed decisions. Ultimately, you will go forward with a custom crafted plan is right for you and your family.
You can schedule a consultation at our Bluffton, SC estate planning office if you call us at 843-815-8580, and you can use our contact form to send us a message.
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