Procrastination – The One Word that Keeps Many Families from Planning to Protect their Loved Ones
If there is one word that keeps many families from engaging in estate planning it is …procrastination. I am always amazed by the number of people who put off planning their estate. In fact, 64% of Americans do not even have a will!
If you have loved ones who depend on you and you do not get your important legal life planning documents in order, you could be leaving your loved ones with a mess to deal with should you die or become incapacitated.
However, effective estate planning is more than just naming who will get your stuff when you pass away. I am continuously amazed by people, who have been given bad advice, that believe that all they need is a simple will.
Did You Know that a Will is Not Effective Until You Die?
If you become incapacitated, your will does not take effect. In this case, a court would have to decide who is going to make decisions for you when you can’t make decisions for yourself any longer.
Did You Know that a Will Only Controls Assets that are Titled in Your Own Name?
A Will does not control assets that are held jointly and distributed by transfer-on-death (TOD) and beneficiary designations. For instance, if you set up your Will that says that your children only receive 1/3 of their inheritance at age 25, 1/3 of their inheritance at age 30, and 1/3 of their inheritance at age 35, but all of your accounts list your children as equal beneficiaries … those accounts are going to pass directly to your adult children at your death! The provisions in your Will are not going to control, because a Will only controls those assets that are titled in your own name.
There may be many reasons why you wanted to stretch out the distributions to your children:
- They are not responsible with money
- Divorcing spouses
- Creditor issues
- Other predators
With all these issues and potential problems that you could be leaving behind for your family, why would you want to procrastinate any further?
For More Information
If you have questions regarding estate planning, please contact our office at (513) 241-0400 or use the contact form available on this website to schedule a time to speak with one of our Estate Planning and Probate attorneys today. We look forward to hearing from you!