Why do many Pennsylvanians procrastinate estate planning?

older man with tie at desk

Unfortunately, many people don’t understand how essential the estate planning process is to protect their assets. As such, they delay creating a will or trust or skip the process altogether. Unfortunately, this can leave your property and family vulnerable upon your passing. As such, it’s imperative to begin this process as soon as possible with the help of Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys. Keep reading to learn more and discover why so many procrastinate estate planning.

What are the common reasons many delay this process?

Generally, many people delay planning their estate because they do not think they are old enough. There is a common misconception that only adults over 40 should have these documents. However, many attorneys recommend creating a plan as soon as you become a legal adult. This ensures you have a say over who can receive your assets and property, as well as deciding who you would like to serve as your power of attorney.

Unfortunately, another common reason many do not start estate planning when necessary is that they believe they do not have enough assets. Generally, many assume that to have an estate plan, you must own a home, cars, additional property, bank accounts, and retirement funds. However, this is not the case. Anyone with a bank account should create an estate plan.

Why is it a bad idea to procrastinate estate planning?

Planning your estate is something you should consider as soon as possible. Though it can be morbid to consider, people’s lives are cut short daily. As such, ensuring you have your assets and family protected can help provide the peace of mind necessary.

It’s important to understand what happens to an estate if you pass away without a will. Your property and funds will enter the intestate process. This means the courts will validate your assets before distributing them according to Pennsylvania state intestacy laws. Essentially, people can obtain a portion of your estate simply because they are related to you, even if you did not want them to receive an inheritance. This process can be costly and time-consuming, often causing tension between family members.

Similarly, those who believe they do not have enough assets may find that without an estate plan, the few assets they do have can end up going to the courts as they often take a percentage of the estate. As such, their family may not receive much, if any, of the assets left.

Though unpleasant to consider, it’s important to begin estate planning as soon as possible. This is true whether you’re an established professional with kids and a 401k or if you recently graduated college. While this process can be complex, the dedicated team at Friedman Schuman has the experience you need to help make planning your estate as simple as possible. Call today to connect with a member of our firm to learn more.

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