If you want to be prepared for the eventualities that we all face as we reach an advanced age you have to engage in intelligent planning. While personal decisions are just that, estate planning is something that is not all about you.
If you take a risk or make a bad decision and you and you alone suffer the consequences, you can make the case that you have every right to take your chances.
Estate planning on the other hand is something that is done for the benefit of your family members. Depending on the specifics of your family dynamic and economic status, if you don’t make the proper preparations you could be leaving your family in a horrible situation if you were to pass away without executing the appropriate estate planning documents.
A lot of people understand this and they do what is necessary to protect the interests of their families. But statistics show that an alarming percentage of Americans have no estate plan in place.
Last year Forbes magazine published the results of a Harris interactive survey that was intended to get a feel for how prepared people are for the eventualities of aging. The results were rather shocking.
A mere 35% of the people who participated in the survey had executed a last will to state their wishes regarding the eventual distribution of their assets. 23% of people over the age of 55 had no estate planning documents at all in place. 48% of senior citizens were without a financial power of attorney, and only 58% of them had executed a living will.
There really is no excuse for going through life without making any plans for the future. If you recognize the need for an estate plan but simply don’t know where to begin, the logical first step would be to arrange for a consultation with a licensed, experienced estate planning attorney.