Why People Don't Have a Will Observations from and Estate Planning Lawyer

There are various reasons people don't write a Will. As an Estate Planning Lawyer, I've heard them all and there has been some research into the area.  The excuses are the usual roundup and some tailor made for Wills.

So what if you don't have a Will?  

As I heard someone say, "Who cares.  I don't want to think about it and they can just figure it out after I'm gone."

Well, the consequences of not having a Will are many and expensive.

  1.   The big problem is that the state, not you, decides where your assets will go and who gets them.  
  2.   Your kids, wife and others that need to be protected and taken care of, may not be.
  3.    For my cheapskate friends, the additional cost of a proceeding without a Will should be 10 to 20 times more expensive than the cost of    paying for a Will in the first place.  There is not a better way for a cheapskate to be penny wise and pound foolish.
  4.    If you are pissed off at your wife, kids and heirs, not writing a Will is a great way to cause them untold aggravation after you are gone        and get some revenge.    
  5.    Since if you don't have a Will you won't have a Health Care Proxy, there is a chance you can receive medical you don't want, won't            receive care you might want, will be resuscitated even though you might not want to be, and someone may have to complete a lawsuit      to pull the plug.  
  6.    Since if you don't have a Will you won't have a Power of Attorney, there is a chance you'll be incompetent or unconscious with no way      for anyone to pay your bills, manage your affairs, or take care of things, unless they complete a lawsuit.

So, what are the Reasons?

About one third blame procrastination.  Bottom line, these people are just lazy and procrastinating to the detriment of their loved ones and themselves.

About one fifth blame cost and it is too expensive.  As noted above, the additional cost of a proceeding without a Will should be 10 to 20 times more expensive than the cost of paying for a Will in the first place.  Good job being cost conscious.

About one fifth are just clueless and don't even understand they need a will.  I'm not sure what to say here.

And then there is my Uncle Harry who was a tough old Irish bird.  So tough, he couldn't even think about his own death and believed that if he wrote a Will, he would shortly die.  In other words, that tough old bird was afraid.

 There are many Reasons not to Write a Will, but there are no Good Excuses.

Elder, Wills, Estates, Trusts, Special Needs Tax & Business Law; Attorney John Sweeney

Sweeney Legal, LLC, provides legal, practical, and business counsel to Seniors, families, and businesses in the Fairfield, Connecticut area, including the communities of Bridgeport, Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, New Canaan, Newtown, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton. John is also licensed in New York serving Westchester County including the towns of Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge, and Somers.