If there is one silver lining to the craziness that was 2020, it is that many people have realized the importance of estate planning. However, according to a 2020 survey by Caring.com and YouGov, something is holding many back from actually drafting an estate plan. In fact, less than a third of us actually have one or more estate planning documents drafted. Perhaps, it is a fear of cost or just the idea itself.
Nothing is guaranteed in life other than death and taxes. It is an old adage, but just as true today as it ever was before. As 2020 has shown us, the unexpected happens. This is why it is so important to plan, and for life, that means an estate plan.
The perceived high cost
According to industry experts, what holds many back is the perceived high cost. However, depending on one’s circumstances, the costs will outweigh the benefits, and the costs are often much less than anticipated. For example, for a simple, straightforward will, costs are usually under $1,000, sometimes, even only a few hundred dollars. Of course, for complex estates, fees can be significantly higher. But, for those clients with six figure or more estates, this type of planning is vital to ensure that the government does not get an unfair share.
Plus, if one passes without an estate plan, they have passed on the probate process to their heirs. In essence, this is a potentially highly contentious litigation process that can rack up costs that may significantly drain those assets meant for our loved ones.
For some, they have turned to online wills to save. These often cost less than $100. Though, these may end up costing one’s heirs in the end because one does not know what they do not know. And, a website can rarely figure out everything one needs to know. An experienced attorney asks those questions that one may not even think to consider to make sure that one’s wishes are truly carried out. Perhaps more importantly though, an attorney makes sure that one’s estate plan is legally enforceable.
For Sarasota, Florida, residents, now is the time to get an estate plan done. It does not have to be a complicated or expensive process. But, the first step is to contact an attorney to walk through the estate planning process.