Why Do Most People Not Have an Estate Plan?

Many People Delay Estate Planning

Some just don’t see a need to have an estate plan because they anticipate good health, while others do not view their assets to be anything worthy of an estate plan. EVERYONE should have an estate plan, but only a few people actually have one. The ones that do have an estate plan often fail to update outdated estate planning documents.

Some People Don’t Have an Estate Plan Because of the Cost

Yes, some people don’t have an estate plan because they are concerned about paying high fees with an estate planning attorney. With no beneficiary designation or trust, wills can definitely trigger action for probate. Probates can span from fifteen months or longer. Probate can be an extremely long process and has the tendency to be very costly. Probate fees, statutory fees that is, are based on your gross, not a net estate. Save money and time by creating an estate plan with a reputable, affordable attorney, and avoiding probate.

family walking down trail with dog

Making Important Decisions

Yes, estate planning involves making important decisions. These decisions should be thought out carefully by you. Imagine if you did not do this during your lifetime, leaving your family as decision-makers…how much harder would it be for them to make decisions on your behalf? Let alone creating conflict and strife. You may have a dog that you want to have a specific person become guardian over. You can name someone to make decisions for you should you become incapacitated. You can name an executor to take care of your estate should you pass.

What Happens If You Die Without an Estate Plan?

If you do not have an estate plan, you could cost your family and loved ones time and money as they deal with probate proceedings. You can save money and possible conflict between loved ones by having an effective estate plan. Your family will know your personal wishes for your property, what goes to whom, and when, which eliminates any guesswork.

As a California resident, and by chance you do not have an estate plan or a will, the state of California actually has a plan to default your assets. This default plan through California gains the state the ability to distribute your estate according to a specific formula. But what if you wanted funds to go to a specific charity? What if you wanted a certain friend, pet, or child to receive specific amounts of tangible assets? Did you want children to receive their trust at the age of 18, or 30? You have no choice now. Estate planning is not only for the rich. An estate does not require you to have a certain amount of wealth. An estate is everything you own.

Take the time to create an estate plan, and make everyone’s lives easier. You will feel comfort in knowing all of your assets will be distributed based on your wishes. Contact Dana Cannon of Cannon Legal Firm to discuss creating an estate plan. We offer a free consultation to all who inquire.