Overcoming 3 Common Barriers to Estate Planning

Alisa Foster |

Chances are, you're investing considerable time and effort into achieving financial milestones, both big and small. From submitting a final payment on a burdensome debt and finally reaching a fully funded emergency fund to ramping up your retirement savings and shifting from a negative to a positive net worth—you're steadily laying the groundwork for a solid financial future. 

Yet, there's an essential aspect that goes hand in hand with all your current efforts: safeguarding what you're working so hard to build with an estate plan. Estate planning is the legal process that empowers you to dictate how your assets will be preserved, managed, or distributed after your passing. 

While many of us can agree on the importance of estate planning, that doesn't necessarily render it a simple task. It's a process that can stir up emotions and force us to confront hurdles that can hinder our progress. So, what exactly are some of those hurdles, and more importantly, how can you overcome them? Let's find out: 

  • The "D" Word 

The mere mention of death can be enough for some to steer clear of estate planning. Facing the reality of mortality can be daunting, and some might even entertain superstitions that planning ahead somehow speeds up the inevitable. It's a topic most would rather avoid, and grappling with these thoughts often leads to putting off the task altogether.

Tip: As you begin your estate planning journey, focus on the positives. Ultimately, estate planning is an expression of love. Beyond the material possessions you might be passing along, it offers the opportunity to minimize conflict and stress for your loved ones, provide financial security, prepare for unforeseen circumstances, and impart your values and legacy for generations to come—a gift that keeps giving.

  • Keeping Everyone Happy

This might involve considering who will inherit your assets, determining who will care for minor children, and assessing how those types of decisions might affect family dynamics. It could also entail navigating disagreements with a partner or spouse regarding the distribution of assets. 

While the thought of potential conflicts and resentment can understandably cause anxiety, failing to have a plan could result in the courts making decisions for you. This could spark family disputes over inheritance as certain individuals might feel entitled to specific assets, potentially leading to a lengthy and costly legal process. 

Tip: Start early to allow ample time for thoughtful consideration and informed decision-making. If you feel comfortable and see the necessity, you might even opt to be transparent with your loved ones about your intentions and the rationale behind your decisions to help mitigate any misunderstandings. 

  • The Cost

It's a common perception that working with an attorney can be expensive. It can be enough to deter some from seeking legal guidance, even though the benefits of proper planning often outweigh the associated costs in the long run. It’s essential to think of estate planning as an investment instead of an expense. You're investing to protect your financial legacy, which is something you can't put a price tag on. 

Estate planning attorneys typically offer packages that include a full suite of documents for your estate plan, which can vary in price based on complexity. 

Tip: Many employers now offer legal benefits as a part of their employee packages. It's worth reviewing your benefits package or checking with your employer to see if they offer benefits that might provide discounts or subsidies for estate planning services.

  • The Roadmap to Your Legacy

Estate planning often proves challenging for many, but these challenges shouldn’t discourage you from taking action. With courage, commitment, and the right support, you can overcome any obstacles and take meaningful steps to pursue an independent future.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through WCG Wealth Advisors, LLC a Registered Investment Advisor. The Wealth Consulting Group and WCG Wealth Advisors, LLC are separate entities from LPL Financial.

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