Top Five Excuses for Failing to Plan

By J.C. Bailey

You have heard it said that those who fail to plan, plan to fail.  When it comes to estate planning, there are lots of excuses and plenty of people who plan to fail.


Number 1: “I’m too young.”  Age may affect asset accumulation, but it has little to do with responsibility and legacy.  Some of the saddest cases I have ever handled involved young people who never expected to die or become disabled, and left a nightmare for their loved ones.

Number 2: “I don’t have enough to worry about.”  Most of us have some assets that can be accessed by our beneficiaries if we plan ahead.  An insurance settlement, bank account or last paycheck could really help those we leave behind if we make provisions for them.  Even more important is our ability to designate those we trust to administer our estate, serve as a trustee or serve as the guardians to our minor children.

Number 3: “It takes too much time.”  A simple estate plan can usually be completed with two visits to the attorney’s office in less than two hours.  Considering what is at stake, the time involved shouldn’t be an issue.

Number 4: “It costs too much.”  A simple will and appropriate powers of attorney are not expensive, particularly compared to the time and expense of settling affairs without the correct documents in place.  Failing to plan can easily cost 10 times what planning costs.

Number 5: “The state will take care of it.”  You are correct.  The state of Texas has a descent and distribution scheme by statute.  However, the chances of the distribution and the time and expense of an intestate succession being consistent with your wishes are between slim and none.

Don’t let your legacy be that you made excuses when you should have been making a plan.


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