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Why don't people do estate planning?

The truth is that, though humans are perhaps the only creatures on earth to live their entire lives with an understanding that they will one day pass away, most people still do not plan for it.

It's a curious problem in modern times. People in the United States have an incredible amount of assets. They need to pass them on to the next generation. They also understand the potential need for medical care, help with legal and financial decisions, and much more. Estate planning can address all of that. And yet many people neglect to do it anyway. Why is this?

Thinking about the end

Sometimes, people just do not want to think about it. You have to consider the end of your own life in order to plan for it. We may know it is inevitable -- and new studies have shown that some animals may understand that finality, as well -- but it still makes people uncomfortable. They avoid that feeling by avoiding estate planning. When they can't do so any longer, it may be too late to plan effectively.

Lacking the time

Another popular excuse is that they're too busy to think about it. They spend their time raising families, working and engaging in hobbies. People spend hours watching TV, going to the gym, shopping online or browsing social media, but they feel like there's no time to write a will and get an estate plan in place. They want to do it, but they keep putting it off for some future day when they finally have more time.

Feeling confused or overwhelmed

Most people don't have a lot of experience with estate planning and other complex legal decisions. It all feels so overwhelming that they do not know where to begin. They get confused. They don't want to figure it all out. Even when they wish they had a plan in place, this barrier keeps them from creating it.

The good news

There is good news: You can do your estate planning. It's not as confusing as you think when you sit down with your legal team. It's not as time-consuming, and you can create the time if you are dedicated to getting this done. It is also not as uncomfortable as you may imagine. You spend most of your time talking about realistic decisions you know you will have to make and how you can make them in advance. That's all that it is.

If you do not have a plan yet, it may be time to consider it. Take the time to look into the legal steps you need to take moving forward.

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