Procrastination And Estate Planning: A Plea For Timely Action


After experiencing my own unexpected health crisis at an age no one would have expected, I have finally learned the lesson that it’s no use putting things off for later – because later may never come.

Among the myriad of items on our to-do lists, there’s one that repeatedly gets pushed to the bottom, and that is estate planning. The subject may feel somber, but its importance cannot be overstated.

Life is unpredictable. While it’s natural to think, “I’ll do it next year,” the harsh truth is that none of us know what the future holds. By putting off estate planning, you risk leaving your loved ones in a difficult situation should something unexpected happen. Estate planning provides peace of mind, knowing your family will be taken care of in accordance with your wishes. Dying intestate (without a will) can create significant complications.

Without clear directives, the state steps in to determine how your assets will be distributed, which might not align with your values or wishes. This process can be lengthy, stressful and costly, causing unnecessary strain on your loved ones during an already difficult time. With proper estate planning, you get to decide how your assets are allocated. Whether it’s leaving a cherished heirloom to a specific family member, making a charitable donation, or ensuring that your beloved pet is cared for, these decisions are yours to make. By procrastinating, you miss out on the chance to ensure your wishes are executed as envisioned.

With strategic estate planning, there are several ways to minimize or even avoid estate taxes altogether. This means more of your assets can go directly to your beneficiaries rather than being siphoned off by taxes.

Discussing end-of-life wishes is undeniably tough. However, initiating these conversations now, while you're healthy and of sound mind, ensures that your family knows and understands your desires. It also grants them the gift of clarity, removing any potential disputes or feelings of guilt about making choices on your behalf.

If you have minor children or grandchildren, having a will is crucial. It’s the place you can nominate guardians for your kids, ensuring they're cared for by the people you trust most. Procrastination might be human nature, but when it comes to estate planning, delay can lead to consequences that extend far beyond our own lifetimes. If you've been putting it off, consider this your gentle nudge. For the sake of your loved ones and to honor your legacy as you see fit, please move estate planning to the top of your to-do list. It really is an act of wisdom, responsibility and love.


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