Estate News --- Observations of a Trust and Probate Attorney

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Do you know why people do not plan?

    I need your help answering this question.
Why Do So Few People Have An Estate Plan?

    I am sure you have never asked that question and frankly I don’t dwell on it myself.  I am an estate planning attorney and in the estate planning community the fact that only 35% of the population has an estate plan leads my peers to conclude that there is potential for a great amount of business.

    I am not sure their conclusion is correct.  I saw a survey result recently that causes me to conclude estate planners have it all wrong.  People do not have estate plans because they just do not care.  It is not important to them.  It is not because they do not want to talk about death and taxes.  It is because no one is talking to them about what is important.

    Americans are Explorers.  We are a people who are comfortable with uncertainty, 60% of Americans “tend to enjoy the uncertainties of life”.  Only 33% tend to avoid uncertainty and want everything in life to fit in a neat box.  Most of what we have IE., our financial wealth and our stuff we acquired through our hard work as a result of our experience and values.  Things were not neatly boxed up and handed to us.  We took what we had in an uncertain world and made something out of it.  Therefore if we could do it so could our children can do it.

    Over the years I have talked to many parents who have said, “let our children work it out”.  Or we have taught them well and they are prepared to work it out themselves.  Or I just don’t care what happens after I am gone.

    I think estate planners are not offering the correct product.  What we offer is not something people care about.  Consider this the estate plan does not save the planner any money or time.  It is just an expense that may put things in a neat box for their children and save them some money. We need to help parents pass on what is important.

    Estate planning is more than controlling the money from the grave.  Parents want to return to their roots and pass on what is important.  Their core and experience assets because with those assets in a world of uncertainty they know that their children will have the tools to be financially secure.  I believe Estate planners have focused too long on only the financial assets we must also help parents pass on their other more important assets.

    Parents have spent a lifetime living their core values and have years of experience which is more important to share with their children and grandchildren than their money.  They do not do their estate planning becaue they do not want to think their life only in financial terms.  They do not want their children to remember them for the money and estate they left.  They want to be remembered for something more.

    What do you think?    I agree _____ I disagree __________ 

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Brock, Robinson & Associates assists clients with Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Special Needs Planning, Pet Trusts, Probate & Estate Administration, and Family Business Preservation in Chino, California as well as Chino Hills, Inland Empire, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Montclair, Diamond Bar, West Covina, Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont Fontana, Riverside, Colton, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Orange, Brea, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Hacienda Heights, Eastvale, Norco, Mira Loma, Alta Loma, Upland, Rialto, Highland, Loma Linda and Grand Terrace in San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County and Orange County.

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