"Most people also just don't know it is important or why they need to do it," stated Willingham. "Many people are also just indifferent. It is something you can put off until you can't. It took me three years of being an estate planning attorney to get mine done, and I had two kids."
Other reasons people avoid planning for the end of life is because it can be expensive, complicated and requires effort, he added. Willingham, however, warns individuals to not let these factors stop them from planning for the future. While avoiding the issue may seem harmless, the financial burden and stress it can create for their loved ones are often enormous.
"All you are are your memories. Your money is not you. True estate planning is to try keep your memories and those you love alive for as long as possible," stressed Willingham. "The best estate planning you can do at this moment is to take out your phone. Film yourself leaving a message to your loved ones, and then store it somewhere where they can find it."
Wills and trusts are two very important documents in life estate planning. In his latest book titled, "Do I Need a Will or a Trust," the three-time author explains the difference between the two, reasons to create one or the other, the need to protect beneficiaries, how to avoid probate, the importance of keeping your estate off Google and much more.
According to Willingham, people over the age of 60, or those who have blended families, minor or disabled children or simply have loved ones they want to take care of will benefit from the advice and real-life examples offered in this book. Although Millennials and Generation Z tend to feel invincible and that they have all the time in the world to think about life estate planning, they, too, can learn a thing or two from the book's invaluable content.
"Young people often have large life insurance policies when they pass, leaving millions of dollars to sometimes old friends," explained Willingham. "On one occasion, I had a client leave
The price of creating a will or trust runs the gamut, costing anywhere from
"If someone called me and said, 'I have
But doing nothing at all, he warns, should never be an option. Failure to do estate planning can not only take a financial and emotional toll on loved ones left to sort out the deceased's belongings, it will also subject the distribution of the individual's estate to the laws established by their state legislature.
"Many of these laws were established 100 of years ago," Willingham said. "
To learn more helpful advice regarding life estate planning, readers can purchase Willingham's Do I Need a Will or a Trust on Amazon. The book is available on Kindle and paperback.
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