Each year the Financial Awareness Foundation promotes National Estate Planning Awareness Week. The Financial Awareness Foundation is currently under organization to become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. From their website, “it was established to significantly improve financial awareness and financial literacy. The Foundation’s vision as an educational public benefit corporation is to teach, promote, motivate, and disseminate educational materials to the public, professionals, and nonprofits that will help the public achieve and maintain their financial stability, security, and freedom throughout their lives.” Their core purpose is listed as “the Financial Awareness Foundations serves to benefit the public by significantly improving financial awareness and financial literacy.”
The statistics are staggering regarding the lack of estate planning. It’s not just people of lesser financial means that don’t do estate planning; many “wealthy” families have failed to do proper estate planning. However, from my professional experience, 19 years as a probate and estate planning attorney, I can tell you the costs to the families of lesser wealth can be even more staggering. That is, the costs are usually proportionally much higher on a “small” estate than a large estate. That is the costs of attorney fees, court costs, executor fees, and the like are generally a much higher percentage on modest estates. This can be devastating.
A recent Forbes.com article provided:
A survey from 2010 by Lawyers.com found that “[o]nly 35% of Americans now report having a will and only 21% have a trust arranged.” A more recent survey by EZLaw affirmed these numbers. It found that “only 44% of Americans report that they currently have any estate planning documents.”
Proper estate planning is the solution! Beit a will, a trust, powers of attorney or more advanced options like irrevocable trusts or family partnerships… estate planning is the solution to the problem!
Get your estate planning done. Get it done now, before National Estate Planning Awareness Week so you can check it off the list and “celebrate” that week knowing you have already taken care of business!