Did you know that only 19% of American investors have an estate plan?** Even worse, according to Harrisburg PA attorney Neil Hendershot, 55% of American adults do not even have a written will.* Admittedly, it is difficult to muster up the courage to develop an estate plan because it isn’t for you, it is for your heirs. The estate plan itself serves to carry your wishes beyond the grave. It is however, much more than just that, it is a proactive process that helps avoid probate issues, minimizes taxes, take care of loved ones, split your estate amicably and outlines medical directives in case you become incapacitated.
The aforementioned attorney Neil Hendershot says the top reasons why people do not have an estate plan are as follows:
• "Ignorance is bliss: One in ten (10 percent) American adults who do not have any elements of an estate plan say it’s because they don’t want to think about dying or becoming incapacitated."
• "Where to begin?: Similarly, nearly one in ten (9 percent) adults say they don’t have an estate plan in place because they don’t know who to talk to about creating such documents. This percentage nearly doubled from 2004 (5 percent)."
• "But I don’t need a will: Nearly one in four (24 percent) of adults say their biggest reason for not having an estate plan is a lack of sufficient assets. This was also the top reason cited in the 2004 survey (21 percent)."
Elements of an estate plan are simple but drafting them correctly is why estate planning attorneys make so much money. At RHS Financial, through our network of estate planning attorneys we can help you develop a solid estate plan that includes, wills, revocable living trusts, advance medical directives, powers of attorney and charitable trusts that will help make sure that when you are gone, your legacy will live on. Best of all, we likely can do this far more affordably than you can if you hired a local attorney.
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***Source: 2007 Estate Planning Survey
The survey on estate planning was conducted by Harris Interactive® for Martindale-Hubbell® lawyers.
**Source:2009 Phoenix Wealth Survey