How many times have you heard about people who were all set with their estate plan, except they never signed their documents? It’s not unusual, according to an article from Wilmington Biz, “Keep Mental Hang-Ups From Sabotaging Estate Planning.” Many people find it easier to focus on the legal and technical aspects of their estate plan, and when it comes to the emotional part—thinking about death, what will happen to their children, etc.—they can’t bring themselves to finalize the plan.
There are some people who have an issue with deciding how to allocate their assets, after they pass away. A common issue is emotional or moral paralysis. After they worked with their attorney to draft the documents, they freeze when it’s time to sign on the dotted line.
Another issue arises when a person is estranged from his or her children. There are also those who—believe it or not—fear that somehow if they make a will, they will die. It is sort of like if they ignore the inevitable, it will never happen. Crazy, right? Do you think that if you don’t draft a will, then you could live indefinitely?
Another challenging issue is the decision of a parent that makes them feel like they’re favoring one child over others. There may be a good reason: perhaps one can manage money better than another, or a child is married to someone the parents don’t like or trust or maybe the child has an addiction issue.
Because the emotional challenges make it hard for some folks to think straight about much of this, the best approach is to work with an estate planning attorney who can take some of the emotional baggage out of the equation.
These conversations may indeed have psychological ramifications, especially where there is substance abuse, fear of dying or a sense of entitlement.
Discussing the family’s situation and concerns about what the future will bring, is part of the estate planning process. An experienced estate planning attorney will be able to facilitate productive discussions, so that the family can put a plan into place that provides peace of mind.
Reference: Wilmington Biz (June 6, 2017) “Keep Mental Hang-Ups From Sabotaging Estate Planning”