Part of the unintended blowback observed in the aftermath of a global pandemic is the realization that everyone, no matter how much or little you have, needs to set aside legal directives in case of their sudden death. Most people simply don’t like to think about mortality, and that is understandable. Sometimes it takes something to shock us out of complacent thinking, and COVID-19 certainly did that for many Americans. The question remains, if something so simple as a handful of documents is all that really stands between our families having peace or chaos during a sudden death in the family, why aren’t more people protected with a will? Sadly, the incorrect assumption that it is expensive to put together an estate plan with an attorney seems to be the culprit.
According to CNBC, a study of 2,400 people conducted by Caring.Com found that only about a third of Americans have any form of legally binding directives in place, be that in the form of a power of attorney, a will, or a full blow estate plan. “The perception of cost is clearly one of those things that keeps people from doing it,” said Steve Parrish, the Director of the Center for Retirement Income at The American College of Financial Services.
Many people think that because they don’t have a lot of hard assets or money tucked away that they don’t need a will. Ironically, the less complicated a will or estate is, the less they cost. A very simple will that plainly states your wishes regarding your children, spouse, partner, belongings and money can cost way less than you think. In fact, not having a will can cost more than an attorney’s fees to draw one up. Consider the court costs you can incur if your case ends up in court, where a judge will often decide what happens to everything you have ever worked for.
In celebration of the return of Festival International de Louisiane, The Law Office of Stephen Gaubert is offering $100 off of estate planning services to festival supporters for the entire month of April. Past Board President Stephen Gaubert is a longtime supporter and advocate for both downtown Lafayette and Festival International. He and his staff can help you affordably put a plan in place that protects your family and gives you peace of mind.