Emotions and Estate Planning
Writing your will is an emotional process. Most people have some emotional hurdles to overcome during the will-writing process. The first (and perhaps most important) step is to find the right lawyer. Find a lawyer that suits your personality; your will is should be a reflection of who you are. The right lawyer will help you find the right options and best words to match who you were during your lifetime.
The first emotional challenge is frequently admitting that you may not know a lot about estate planning (and retirement). A good lawyer will take the time you need to walk you through the process. Feeling ignorant or hiding your confusion will only cause more problems as the estate planning process progresses. If you need, stop the lawyer and ask questions. After all, you are paying him or her on an hourly basis.
Writing your will can also be a harsh reminder that you will one day die. Don’t be shy about talking to your spouse or a friend about these fears. While your lawyer might be willing to listen to the reasons why you fear death, time with your lawyer is best spent talking dollars and cents — not feelings and fears.
You will have to relinquish some of your need for control. Don’t waste too much time making an overly-complicated will filled with contingencies. Circumstances and families change over time and so should your will. But get started as soon as possible. No will is going to be perfect.
Don’t let your fear of estate planning prevent you from writing your will. The best will to have is the one that is legally signed and complete when you die. Don’t leave the court system to decide what’s best — that is something to fear.