Newflash! Estate Planning is Declining. Lawyers advised to gear up for Estate Probating
Avoiding probate is the primary reason the people engage in estate planning today. Yet the estates of a majority of Americans will go into probate, because they are failing to do that essential estate planning in advance. (Wealth Management.com).
Why are Americans not doing advance estate planning ?
According to recent surveys, the reasons given by most people who fail to do estate planning falls into the following:
- 7 in 10 Americans believe that in today’s economy it is more important to focus on saving money for immediate needs than long term planning of their estate.
- For those with no estate planning documents (wills or trusts),
20% who have no will or trust, believe that their spouse and/or children will automatically receive any assets.
19% believe that it is just too expensive. (See Lawyers.com)
- 44% say that they need to focus on essentials, like paying bills, buying groceries, etc;
- 31% say it’s just not a topic of concern right now;
- 11% don’t believe it is necessary; and
- 9% believe that it takes too much time to create one.
A well known resource for Estate planning lawyers, Wealth Management.com suggests that lawyers shift their focus from Estate planning to Estate probating. Lawyers make more money in probating than in planning. So why fight the tide, especially if the lawyer lives in a state with large populations of seniors? If the current no-estate-planning trend continues, Wealth Management.com estimates 50-70% of Americans who don’t have an estate plan will create a lot of business over the next 20 years.
As you may recall from past newsletter issues, probate is the process whereby the Circuit court administers the distribution of a deceased person's assets. Assets include, but are not limited to: real estate; any personal property; investments; rights to receive money and property; and liquid assets, like cash. The process can take years and usually requires an attorney to process. And the attorney bills by the hour, generally about $250-$275 per hour in Salem.
- If you have no will, your estate must be probated in order to pass title to your heirs.
- If you do have a will, a probate is still necessary to pass title, but the process is smoother and costs less than if you don’t have a will.
The only sure way to avoid probate is to create a Revocable Living Trust and transfer your property to the Trustee (usually yourself and a spouse) during your life time. See pricing information on our website.
Do you have an estate plan? If not, what is your reason? 8-9% of people responding in previous years' surveys say they just don’t want to think about dying or becoming incapacitated. Unfortunately, we must all face our mortality, and planning for it can give you real peace of mind as you have taken care of your loved ones.
Please call me today (503) 363-7334 to schedule an appointment to discuss your estate planning.