Captain’s Blog: 010
Part V: Procrastination
Congratulations! You’ve reached the last installment of our five-part series, Overcoming the Five Roadblocks to Legal Planning. In our previous blogs, we’ve examined obstacles that prevent people from taking the plunge into estate planning, and we’ve presented different perspectives to help you move past these impediments. We’ve discussed Unawareness, Time, Money, and Perception. Our last roadblock, Procrastination, is simply the by-product of all these other deterrents.
The obstacles of Unawareness, Time, Money, or Perception dissuade you from taking action. When you procrastinate, you purposefully choose inaction. Quite literally, procrastination is “to put off till another day; to defer to a future time.”
In our introduction to this series, we discussed how estate planning falls under the notorious category of Adult Tasks That Have No Apparent Deadline. You know you should learn more about estate planning, and you should execute those documents, but man, you just don’t wanna, at least not today. That pretty much nails the textbook definition of “procrastination.”
If you don’t really know what estate planning is, or if you believe that estate planning doesn’t apply to your life circumstances, then you won’t consciously make the time to prioritize it on your never-ending Grown-Up To Do list. If executing legal documents isn’t at the top of your To Do, then budgeting for the expense won’t appear on your radar, either. Because contemplating your own mortality is a huge downer in this already stressful world, it’s a thought that you’ve likely pushed to the back burner of your mind. When you combine all these roadblocks, it’s no mystery that estate planning hits the Top 10 on your Procrastination Chart. How do we break through the inaction of procrastination?
The real question to ask yourself is: What is the key reason that will finally motivate me to act? In other words: What ultimate reason will tip the balance of my current Sitting-On-It-Indefinitely approach to estate planning? What will it take to move me to action? What will it take to start learning about estate planning and start making concrete steps toward executing estate planning documents?
Sadly, far too many people don’t get to choose their key reason. The key reason chooses them. Typically, the key reason is a sudden health crisis.
It could be your own health crisis or your loved one’s health crisis. Because our Baby Boomer population is growing exponentially each year, it may be the health crisis of a parent. Is your family ready for a health crisis? I typed “health crisis” four times in this paragraph because I need you to remember: Your key reason DOESN'T need to happen in the storm of an emergency.
You might've heard me mention, oh, once or maybe twice (or about a hundred times by now), that the absolute worst time to plan for an emergency is during the emergency. Truth be told, it's not really “planning” at all at that point. It’s “reacting.” Please, don’t let it get to that point. As an elder law attorney, it’s an occupational hazard to witness the anguish that comes with emergency legal planning, and I can attest that it can be both heart-wrenching and heart-breaking. Please decide that proactive planning will be your key reason.
At Beach Barrister, we understand why people procrastinate the execution of estate planning documents. We understand that unawareness, time, money, and perception can cause procrastination, even in the best of us. However, in this series, Overcoming the Five Roadblocks to Legal Planning, we’ve touched upon the importance of executing estate planning documents. We hope we've encouraged you to dip your toe in the water of learning law. Sure, law can feel imposing...and kinda boring...but it doesn’t have to be!
Throughout our Beach Barrister.com website, we have short videos, articles, and blogs that allow you to gently wade into the waters of estate planning, so you can better understand the function of each estate planning document. We design each video to relax and engage you, so the sensitive topics of ill-health, dying, and death don’t stop you from moving forward with legal planning. We take law to the beach to encourage learning! So let’s keep learning. Let’s check-off one of the most important To Dos of your life.
Until next time…
Plan Early. Plan Often. Plan Well.
Beach Barrister is NOT a law firm. We are an educational forum. We do NOT legally counsel individuals based upon their specific life circumstances or planning goals.
Beach Barrister is NOT a substitute for legal counsel. We highly encourage every viewer of this site to seek a local, licensed, reputable attorney to assist you with your state-specific laws, planning goals, and execution of documents.
 Etymonline.com, https://www.etymonline.com/word/procrastinate (last visited May 3, 2022).