Poor Estate Planning

When you think of poor estate planning you probably imagine some tactical mistake that is made in regards to tax, insurance or investment decisions.


Maybe you think, for instance, that the failure to provide appropriate disability insurance would be a good example of bad estate planning.


And, it might well be.


But, by far, the most common cause of poor estate planning is simply -- procrastination. It is the failure to make an effective estate plan as well as neglecting its implementation.


Of course we realize we need an estate plan and need to take action to carry it out. But, for some reason, we just don’t get the job done. Why?


First, estate planning is never a crisis. With all the demands we face every day, it is easy to focus on the urgent, immediate demands on us and ignore other things that may actually be more important, but not urgent (like estate planning).


Second, let’s face it, estate planning is not fun. It takes a lot of work to research and think about what resources we have; what obligations we need to meet; and how we can best use those resources to meet our obligations.


Estate planning is often a bit like paying bills or writing a will. We know we should do it; but we don’t have to do it and we don’t even want to do it. So, we just put it off.


But, we can make estate planning fun by linking it to our goals, dreams and passions. If we use our estate plan to propel our aspirations it can be a source of energy and fuel our drive to succeed.


Finally, estate planning is complicated. For the average person to get to the bottom of it requires motivation, commitment; even energy. And, of course, people are busy enough dealing with day to day issues. The last thing they want to do is stick another large task in their rucksack. Especially, when it is something that probably won’t impact them until much further down the road.


So, there’s never and “easy” time to get started on estate planning. But, any time is a good time.


So, let’s get started at Basics of Estate Planning.


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--by Beth Heikkinen
Marquette, Michigan
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