Many Florida residents put off estate planning because they think that they have plenty of time to worry about it. Unfortunately, accidents and illnesses can happen, resulting in the deaths of many people before they ever get around to writing their estate plans. When someone dies without a will, their assets will be distributed under Florida’s intestacy laws rather than according to their wishes, unless there are trusts or beneficiary designations in place. Understanding the common barriers that cause people to procrastinate might help you to get started.
Psychological barriers to estate planning
Many people simply do not want to think about death and their own mortality. However, everyone will eventually die. Putting off estate planning will not change that fact. If you want to have control over who will receive your assets after you die, writing an estate plan can help you to ensure that your wishes will be followed and that the wrong people will not inherit your assets. Another psychological barrier many people face involves how to handle unequal distributions among children. For example, if one adult child needs more help than another, a parent might worry about writing a will that could hurt the child who will not receive as much. Writing a will and explaining your reasoning can help to avoid future conflict.
Other barriers to estate planning
Several other barriers might cause someone to avoid estate planning. For example, many people erroneously believe that estate plans are only needed by wealthy people. However, you can use an estate plan to do such things as plan for the types of end-of-life care you want to receive or decline, assign someone else the power to act on your behalf for your finances and medical care if you become incapacitated by an illness or are otherwise unavailable, and help your family avoid probate.