The Psychology of Estate Planning

Summer is in full force. Most of us are far more concerned with the UV Index and humidity level than estate planning. But only two things in life are certain – death and taxes.

The government gives us no choice in the matter of dealing with our taxes. The looming date of April 15th can strike terror in the hearts and minds of even the strongest among us. Few enjoy doing their taxes. Even if they’re getting a refund!

Unlike taxes, there’s no government requirement that we engage in any sort of annual estate planning. Our estate will file our last tax return and the government will get its share.

Contemplating our own mortality is no summer walk on the beach. But having a plan gives us choices and having choices is something that most of us value as an important part of life.

Preparedness & The Business Of You

An article geared toward small business owners on the American Express OPEN Forum website states that great leadership is all about managing uncertainty. Managing our life, so that we can get the most out of it makes sense too.

The writer Scott Belsky says, “We tend to lose perspective when confronted with the unexpected. Caught unprepared, we amplify the importance of unexpected events, allowing them to consume an exorbitant amount of our emotional energy and resources.”

Not much is more important or emotional than dealing with the death of a loved one. There is little emotional energy to spare, so the better the plan that the deceased family member put in place, the less stress will be placed on surviving family and friends.

Belsky explains, “Being prepared for the unexpected is part literal and part psychological. On the literal side of things, you can make a best effort with your available resources to prepare for the unexpected. But resources are limited. There’s only so much you can do.”

Life Insurance

While the timing of death is usually unexpected, the fact that it happened at all is expected. Buying life insurance is something that can be done to prepare. The costs of a funeral and burial can be quite high. Eliminating the monetary worry with a life insurance policy can help on the psychological side to deal with what needs to be done.

A USA Today article from late last year, states that only 44% of U.S. households have an individual life insurance policy, which is the lowest coverage in 50 years. Perceived cost of a policy might be part of the reason for such low coverage. But in the long run, the cost now might be worth it.

By: Lisa C. Johnson, Esq.


About AfterSteps

AfterSteps is an online end-of-life planning platform with educational resources and tools to create your plan, store it, and transfer it to your designated beneficiaries.
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