40% of Baby Boomers Run With Scissors
New clients, visiting my office in San Diego, are often embarrassed when they admit to me that they don’t have, a will or trust or that it’s been a long time since they updated their estate planning documents. For years I’ve told them that they are in good company; maybe I should have said bad company?
Unfortunately, an amazing number of smart people seem to put planning for how their assets will be deployed after they die on the bottom of their to do lists. Even so, running without a will, running without an estate plan is like running with scissors. It doesn’t matter until we fall and none of us know when we will fall.
According to AARP nearly 40% of Baby Boomers between 51 and 69 years old, do not have wills or trusts. They are running with scissors.
AARP also found that Baby Boomer have taught this lesson to their children. 71% of all Americans over the age of 34 are running with scissors.
You cannot control who will get your assets without taking action. Over the last twenty-six years as an estate planning attorney I’ve seen how proper planning can make a positive difference for families and how the failure to plan can rip families apart and put children and young adults on paths of destruction.
Your assets are your life’s work, with proper planning they can continue to work for you after you’re gone by providing incentives to guide your children and grandchildren and provide support or a long term nest egg to help your family members be more financially secure. Prudent deployment of your nest egg has become increasingly important for families in our world where businesses fail, pensions are rare; social security uncertain; and the cost of raising children and the costs of getting help if you are disabled keeps going up.
While doing estate planning right is not cheap, it is always less expensive than the financial and personal cost of dying without plan documents. For average San Diego home owners choosing to die without a living trust, they have chosen a ten to eighteen month delay as to when their family can receive their inheritance and chosen to pay attorneys’ fees and court expenses of not less than $18,000.
Money is money and time is time, but subjecting your family to the Probate process is encouraging them to fight. It is in the nature of being in court, where misunderstandings and old wrongs thought left behind become fuel for conflict and legacy consuming attorneys’ fees. The one legacy you don’t want to leave behind is a court battle between your family members.
Make it your New Year’s resolution to call an estate planning attorney today. Call me at (619) 281-1888. I, or one of my staff, will make sure that start 2016 off on the right foot, with no scissors in hand.