5 Reasons People Delay Making or Updating Their Wills

Featured Article
August 2016

When people focus on their estate plans, they often discover that they are capable of providing for loved ones and charities to a degree they had not supposed. But many people procrastinate. Here are five commonly cited reasons for delaying action on your will—and responses to each.

  1. “Everything my spouse and I own is in joint tenancy, so we really don’t need a will.”
    Although your home, automobiles, and bank accounts may be in joint tenancy, there are probably some things that are individually owned. Furthermore, a will is necessary to dispose of property at the death of the survivor or in the event both spouses die in a common incident.

  2. “We completed an estate plan with a very good attorney ten years ago, and our family circumstances have not changed since then.”
    Even if family circumstances are essentially the same, your assets—including those in retirement funds—have likely changed. Also, there have been significant changes in the law affecting gift and estate taxes, so additional planning options may now be available.

  3. “We have a living trust for the management and disposition of our assets.”
    It is highly unlikely that you have transferred everything you own to the living trust, so you need at least a “pourover will” that would transfer all non-trust property to the trust. Besides, a living trust, like a will, should be periodically updated.

  4. “Based on conversations with friends, developing an estate plan can be very expensive.”
    The cost may be less than you expect, especially if you do not have a complicated estate, but in any case the amount you spend now will be far less than the cost to your heirs without a thoughtful plan.

  5. “I’m just too busy at the present time. I expect to be around for a while, so I will do it later.”
    Procrastination when you have no will leads to state law determining the division of your property. Procrastination when you have an out-of-date will could unintentionally disinherit new family members or result in inequities that cause dissension.

An up-to-date plan brings peace of mind, honors your charitable values, and frees you to live fully without a nagging sense that something is undone.

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Ensuring America's Automotive History is Preserved

1965 Lotus F2There are many factors that show America's automotive history is at risk:

  • Our education system emphasizes college-prep and focuses less on the applied arts, crafts and trades. Meaning less young adults are entering the workforce in the areas of restoration and preservation of vintage vehicles, including motorcycles, boats and planes.
  • Car services are becoming more popular and are competing with traditional car ownership.
  • Technological advances have made modern cars more reliable and longer lasting – reducing the need for local repair shops. Hyper-sophisticated safety and environmental requirements make it difficult for a local mechanic to maintain or repair vehicles.
  • Government sponsored museums are dedicated to art, technology, history, air and space, but there is no Smithsonian for the automobile. Many traditional car museums have a limited purpose beyond showcasing the collections of its founders. They're often static in nature, have limited cultural reference and unfortunately, often collapse with the death of their founders with collections sold and dispersed.