Our own mortality is an unpleasant and difficult thing to think about, and even though a Revocable Living Trust and a Last Will and Testament are very important, it can at times be hard to find the motivation to sit down and complete these emotionally challenging documents. If you’ve made an effort to begin the process but haven’t finalized the details, now is the perfect time, since an unfinished document is as useful as none at all.
Estate Plan Avoidance
Even initiating a meeting with an estate planning attorney can feel like a chore or an emotional obstacle to overcome, so many people fail to act in their own best interests and protect their families, and instead, they bury their heads in the sand to avoid these feelings.
Estate planning requires us to make difficult choices. Depending on your family dynamics, beneficiaries may end up feeling frustrated, sad, or even angry about their inheritance, and it may be impossible to please everyone. But money is serious and important, and it is better for you to make the decision instead of leaving it up to the courts.
Sometimes an unfinished estate plan isn’t the result of emotional upheaval or internal debate about inheritance. Like other money management or long-term planning chores, estate planning is often put off in favor of what are deemed more pressing concerns. Busy lives and major life events like marriage or pregnancy can cause people to put off their estate planning, and while certainly understandable, this kind of procrastination can have serious consequences. Be careful not to add another large and emotionally charged project to your family’s to-do list when you pass away.
An Unfinished Estate Plan
Regardless of your reasons for procrastinating on estate planning, the results are the same: Your unfinished Revocable Living Trust or Last Will and Testament is likely unenforceable. You may document your wishes, but without a signature, proper execution, and clear information, your estate will be forced through probate, an expensive and time-consuming public legal proceeding that puts your private affairs on display. While probate isn’t always stressful for beneficiaries, it’s possible that an unfinished estate plan won’t even be adhered to by a judge and then who knows how your assets will be distributed and wishes likely ignored.
Regardless of the reason, if your estate plan is unfinished, give our office a call. If you’ve been putting off your plans for your estate, schedule an appointment to complete the process and check one more thing off your to-do list!