Archive for October, 2014

#4 – Avoiding Estate Planning? You are Not Alone

Jun 07, 2011 – By: Johanna Nagel-Kim

Estate planning can feel like a looming task.  While feelings of comfort and security can be gained from completing estate planning, it’s not exactly a ‘feel good’ task.

If you are putting off estate planning, you aren’t alone.  According to a 2008 study performed by www.findlaw.com, an online legal website owned by Thomson Reuters, only 40% of Americans currently have a will.  Without a will, decisions from allocating the distributions of your assets to selecting a guardian of minor children will be outside of your control.  Instead, State law will govern these decisions, which may be in conflict with your preferences.   There are four main reasons typically cited to explain why people choose to postpone estate planning.   “Estate planning is overwhelming”   Estate planning is a detailed process.  Since it is legally binding and attorneys are involved, estate planning takes time and money and has a number of complex decisions to be made.  Also, many people have file cabinets bursting with paperwork, which must be organized in order to gather the necessary materials to create wills and trusts.  All of the activities involved with preparing for estate planning, selecting an attorney/estate planner, and getting the work done can feel overwhelming.   “Estate planning takes too much time”   Estate planning generally takes a few weeks to complete.  Gathering information, meeting with an estate planner, making decisions, reviewing decisions, and finalizing paperwork can feel cumbersome.  Instead of spending time documenting your wishes for your loved ones, which is certainly of long term significance, people will often focus on the minutia of life and work.   “This isn’t the right time in my life for estate planning”   There are times in a person’s life when they are typically more interested in estate planning, for example when children are born, when a loved one passes away, and if someone is suffering from a serious illness.  Unfortunately, this means that people are waiting for stressful times in their life to undertake estate planning.  Since estate planning itself is usually perceived as a somewhat unpleasant and stressful activity, it often does not make it up the priority “to do list”.

“Estate planning can be confusing”   Some people avoid estate planning because it raises challenging questions to which there are no clear answers.  For example, a couple with young children may not know who to select as a guardian for their children should something happen to them.  The fear of making the wrong choice can keep people from making any decisions at all.   Estate planning is a very important task that most people should undertake.  It is recommended to perform estate planning in a stress-free time, when you have the time to think through the issues and make sound decisions.  While there are risks to delaying estate planning, it’s important not to feel rushed and pressured.   Creating your personal inventory   Creating a personal inventory for yourself and your family is a less time consuming activity than estate planning yet is an activity that is equally important.  It can also help you to get organized in preparation for estate planning.    Creating a personal inventory is done by documenting critical personal information for yourself and your family.   Javont Vault is a personal inventory software that helps you to document and access your most sensitive and important personal information for future use.  Javont Vault offers a complete itemization of your personal data, including banking, investments, retirement, insurance, physical property, household bills, memberships, personal documents, key contacts and passwords.


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