Thursday, March 23, 2006

American's Favorite Estate Plan Idea? Do Nothing!

Category: Estate Planning

I have written before about what happens if you don't have a will ("Married and Don't Have a Will? New Jersey Has One For You"), but I thought the beginning of this article summed it up nicely:

Writing a good will � it's all relative - Personal Finance - "No one wants to acknowledge their own mortality, especially in writing. This is probably why avoiding doing so is the favored estate plan for many Americans. "

The article goes on to point out that 70% of adults have no estate plan (and think how many have children????); and that 1 out of 3 affluent adults have no estate plan (a gift to the government in taxes).

If you don't make a Will it doesn't mean that you don't have one - it just means that you didn't write the one you have. For those who don't write their own Will, there are intestacy statutes that say who gets what and how. A comment from the article: "Letting the state decide may save the decedent a few hours of thinking through their exit plan, but it can be exceedingly costly and aggravating to those left behind. Ultimately leaving a will is a much better legacy than dying without one."

The law empowers you to make your own choice about who gets what and how - a failure to plan leaves you with a plan, but that plan may fail your family.

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