If you don’t have an estate plan yet, you’re in good company. Most people in the United States haven’t done it. They know they need to, but they still haven’t.
Top reasons to avoid it include thinking it’s too expensive, not wanting to think about the end of life and just not having the time. Life is busy. People know they should plan, but they don’t get around to it and they don’t make it a priority. This is why people often express regret when asked if they have a plan, or they talk about how they know it’s important.
There’s one other big reason that people don’t do it, though, and it’s just that they do not understand the process. They do not know where to begin. They don’t know what paperwork they need or where to get the forms. Some have complicated tax questions; others just have the need for a simple will. Some want to think about advance directives and QDROs; others just want to pass on their money to their children. Regardless, there is this uniform idea that estate planning is too complex and too intimidating to do.
This is when working with an attorney can be helpful. You may never have done your estate planning before, but they have done this hundreds or thousands of times. They know where to begin and what paperwork you need. Having someone like that on your side can get things started by removing those feelings of intimidation. That does not actually make the plan you need to create less complex, but it means you feel confident that you will be able to get it all sorted out and that you’ll really have a chance to look into all of your legal options.