Spring Cleaning and Estate Planning

It's almost the New Year! If you know someone who has a messy or old estate plan, it may soon be time for some "Spring cleaning.”

It’s almost the New Year! And, after that, comes Spring. I love spring, with one exception – I know my wife will request that I join her in cleaning the garage as part of our spring cleaning. Every year, this situation brings to mind three similarities to estate planning.

ONE – Most of us would prefer to procrastinate cleaning the garage.

This is true with estate planning as well.   An AARP study found that approximately 60% of the adults in the United States have not done any estate planning.  A Forbes report confirmed that almost half the adults age 55 and older do not have a will or trust.

TWO Most of us like a clean garage. 

I have served clients as an estate planning attorney for 25 years.  I have met few people that want to leave a mess for those they love upon their death.   It is one thing to leave a messy garage.  It is much worse to leave a messy estate, upon your death, to those you love.

THREE – Even though cleaning the garage takes time, effort and work, we feel a keen sense of accomplishment when it is completed. 

I have done over 3,500 estate plans.  I can recall hundreds of comments from clients upon the signing of their documents.  They repeatedly state that it was much easier than they anticipated and how great it feels to have a will and trust for their affairs. 

Yes, estate planning does require us to “clean up” our affairs.  However, I believe you will find it a lot easier and more rewarding than cleaning the garage.

It’s almost the New Year! Which means, soon, Spring will be upon us.  I will be cleaning my garage.  When I finish, I will be glad my wife ‘strongly encouraged’ me to get it done.  If you or someone you know has a messy, old or no estate plan, I strongly encourage some Spring “cleaning.”  You will likely find it more fulfilling and less painful than you anticipate.

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