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As an estate planning attorney, I sometimes wonder why people run away from estate planning, and you know, I do get it. I understand, we understand that it feels hard to get around to estate planning. It sounds about as much fun as getting a root canal, really, and sometimes it is no fun, but I promise that after doing this for over 20 years, you will feel better afterwards. We all want to make certain that our loved ones are protected and receive our hard-earned assets, regardless of whether we have $10 million or $10,000. It doesn't matter. However, nowadays, what is even more important is what happens to you right now in this moment. How do you put together a plan to protect yourself and your family in the event you become incapacitated?

If the current pandemic has taught us anything, it is that many of us have not put any estate plan into place, and it has a lot of us thinking about it. Remember, estate planning is not about what happens after you pass away, although that's a big part of it. If you're in the hospital or incapacitated for a few weeks, then who is going to step in and take care of you, your family, and the business side of your life?

The first reason we see most people run the other direction is that no one likes to talk about death. Believe me, I get it. It's perfectly normal for these discussions to make you feel uncomfortable, but don't let a few minutes of feeling uncomfortable stop you from taking care of yourself and your family. Remember, you need to have a plan in place for incapacity even if it is just a short-term situation. The second reason we see most people run the other direction is that it isn't a good time. Literally, that's the excuse. It's not a good time.

Everybody's busy and I get it, but there's never going to be a better time or a perfect time. During this quarantine, our phones have been ringing constantly because people are realizing that they have been putting off their estate plan for no reason at all and that they really should look at it. We will find a way to make your estate plan happen whether we meet by Zoom or FaceTime. I think most estate planning attorneys want to make certain that our clients are covered and we will do whatever we can to make sure that that happens. 

We have even witnessed our clients signing through a glass window, and I'll actually have a video coming up about how that actually gets started, but remember, there's never going to be a perfect time for anything really in life if you think about it. The third reason we see most people run the other way is that they just don't get it. They literally don't get it.

Estate planning is a legal process and it's common to feel uncomfortable in a world where you're not familiar with any of it. Believe me, I get it. Sometimes we are very resistant to things that we don't understand. I think that's just natural. If that's what you're thinking, you're not alone. Your estate planning attorney will be able to answer any questions you have and translate the legal terms for you and make it make sense.

I have seen grown men and women arrive very agitated because their spouse forced them to meet with us, and deep down, they're really just afraid of the unknown. They're afraid of the process. The truth is that estate planning isn't really that bad, I promise you. We try to make it as easy as possible.

That is one of the reasons I actually make these videos. I want folks to kind of get to know me first and demystify the process of estate planning. The more you know, the more comfortable you are. Most attorneys will want to meet with you one or two times to discuss your goals and concerns, analyze your family and financial situation, and work with you to come up with a solid estate plan. Remember, we're here to help you.

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About the author 

Cortes Law Firm

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