When you look into the statistics, you’ll find that most people don’t have an estate plan. There are a few different reasons for this, such as those who aren’t sure what paperwork they need or who find the process confusing and overwhelming.
But one common refrain that you’ll find is when people say they just haven’t done it yet. They are going to make an estate plan at some point. They understand that it is a valuable legal tool. But they’re putting it off and they’re going to do it in the future.
One reason that people will put it off is because they expect to have more assets in the future. Say that someone is planning to retire and sell their small business in the next 10 years. They may consider an estate plan, but they may decide to procrastinate until they’ve sold the business – because that sale is going to substantially change the value of their estate. But is this wise?
You can update an estate plan
Taking this approach is a risk. In many cases, people will pass away unexpectedly and their family members will discover that they hadn’t gotten around to their estate planning yet. This can make the process much more difficult and more complicated, and it can increase the odds of an estate dispute.
Instead, it may be wise to make an estate plan and then just update it if there are substantial changes to the estate itself – like when the business is sold in the future. These updates can be made at any time, and periodic reviews are recommended. Carefully look into all of the estate planning options that you have.