There is one key legal step that most Americans simply haven’t gotten around to doing yet, even though all of them will need to do it at some point: They still need to create an estate plan to make end-of-life decisions and leave their assets to their heirs.
It’s hard to imagine that many people haven’t thought a little about how things will go at the end of their life. And all of these people know that estate planning can help them leave medical directions for doctors, give people the power to make legal decisions on their behalf, split up all of the assets that they own in a controlled fashion, and much more. Yet, even armed with this knowledge, the majority haven’t done it.
This creates a precarious situation. If someone becomes incapacitated with no plan in place, do the doctors know what type of treatment they want? If they pass away, do their heirs know who gets what? A situation like this can be tedious and complicated to resolve, and it can also lead to arguments between heirs and even estate disputes. It’s all very chaotic, and it could be solved with a small amount of advance planning.
For most people who have neglected their own planning, it’s not a lack of understanding that they need a plan that causes the issues. It’s just that they assume they have more time. They tell themselves that they will do it next year until it’s too late and they never got it in place at all. If you want to make sure you don’t leave that type of legacy for your family, be sure you know what steps to take in advance.