Five Barriers To Successful Estate Planning

  1. Perfection: Many of us believe that we can’t create a plan until we have every element lined up perfectly and plan for all future contingencies. Without a crystal ball (that works), that’ll never happen. Estate planning requires reviewing your plan on a regular basis and modifying it as needed to keep up with life changes. Focus on making the best plan for today’s circumstances, and revisit it as often as needed.
  2. Paralysis-By-Analysis: Over-analyzing every aspect of your plan can cause you to lose sight of the bigger picture, which is that you need a well-crafted legacy plan. Don’t get hung up on small or technical issues. Instead, prioritize communicating with your family and make sure everyone understands their role and the expectations that you have of them and how your plan will generally work. This goes a long way in perfecting your legacy.
  3. Procrastination: The longer you put off planning, the less urgent it becomes. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Make sure you put your plan in place now while it’s on your mind. You cannot execute an estate plan if you’re not competent, so get to it while you’re healthy. A common excuse is waiting until every child is on board with your plan. That sounds good in theory, but in reality, it’s often a way to delay making decisions. Remember, you need to make the decisions, not your children.
  4. “Simple” Syndrome: You think you only need a “simple” will and don’t have any issues that cause people to get a “real” estate plan done. The problem with a “simple will” is that it may not be written properly, and most likely doesn’t cover all of your wishes. Consider that a will doesn’t even cover your IRA’s, life insurance policies or annuities. A well-crafted estate plan will take your entire picture into account and make sure you have a legacy in which to be proud.
  5. Family Disagreements: If you’re married, you and your spouse need to come together to plan as one couple, not two separate people. You must hash out your differences of opinion and agree to one plan. Seeing an attorney can help clarify misunderstandings and help bring people together to agree on fundamental issues.