As Depeche Mode says in their iconic song, “people are people.” There is still an enormous emotional barrier to getting even basic estate planning in place (e.g. will). The reasons for procrastination have not changed much over the decades. One of the major reasons for putting it off relates to family dynamics. Conversely, “not leaving a will can actually escalate family tension and cause outright disputes as to how the intestate individual’s assets are to be distributed.”
Look at Prince (he just keeps on giving). His estate (buildings, music catalog, royalties, etc.) are being split up and divided among his siblings all under public scrutiny. Is that what’s best for the estate, is that what he wanted? We’ll never know because he did not have any governing document in place, so the laws of Minnesota determine what happens to his assets. Is that how you’d like your assets managed?
A Will is not a static document. It can be updated, amended, or replaced as your circumstances warrant. There is enough uncertainty in the world right now that we can’t ‘fix.’ This is something we can control and fix. Let’s make this a goal for 2017!