Are you planning on setting a New Year’s resolution? If so, you are in good company. 45% of all Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions, and 17% infrequently do so. This sounds pretty good until you consider only 8% of people keep their resolutions. Probably because most of them require extreme behavior modification, and, horror of horrors, calorie-counting! Why not set a resolution for 2017 that is easy to accomplish and calorie-counting free? Vow to get an estate plan.
Estate planning is something everyone needs to do, but many people put off. People put it off because they think it will be hard, but what many people don’t consider is that the person who does the most work is the attorney, not the client.
If you are the client, the most difficult part for you is going to be making decisions and thinking and talking about death. Luckily, working with an experienced estate planning attorney can even make these things easy. A good attorney knows how to help you navigate challenging topics and make decisions you feel good about.
One of the ways to ensure you keep your New Year’s resolution is to get it done as soon as possible. Thankfully, for most people, estate planning can be done relatively quickly. If you have a modest estate, you will probably only need to meet with an attorney twice, once to tell the attorney what you want, and a second time to go over the plan the attorney has put together for you.
If you have a larger estate, it will probably take the attorney a longer amount of time to get your plan put together, but it really won’t require you to do much more work than someone with a smaller estate.
No matter the size of your estate, putting an estate plan in place is going to help you, and your family, save money in the long run.
If you die without an estate plan, your family is going to have to go to court to get permission to distribute your assets, pay your bills, and maybe even lay you to rest. This can get expensive depending on how complex your estate is, and whether any disagreements arise between your loved ones.
Having an estate plan will save your family time and money after you are gone. A plan can also help you reduce your tax bills now and at the time of your death.
Deep down, you know you need an estate plan, especially if you have children, or a loved one with special needs. It feels good to know that the people you love are going to be taken care of even after you are gone.
Getting your estate plan done during 2017 is a resolution you can feel good about. It is something you will feel better for having done, and we promise it does not require calorie-counting!