Many times my biggest competition is not other attorneys - it's inertia. It isn't that people are meeting with other attorneys and getting their estate plans in order, it's that they just aren't doing them.
The biggest excuses I hear are usually "I don't have any thing to leave to people and my family knows how to divide my stuff" or "I won't care what happens to my stuff, I won't be around then anyway." These excuses focus solely on the "death" part of planning. But what about all the things that happen to people while they are alive?
Like Christian and Stephanie Nielson, parents of 4 young children, who were in a plane crash and survived. They were in the hospital for months while their families took care of their children, their house, their lives. I have no idea whether they had any legal planning in place, but it would have been one less thing for their family to worry about. (Set aside some time to read Stephanie's blog, and have some tissues handy.)
Or the young person who was in a car accident (or the older person who had a fall) and spent a couple of months in the hospital and then rehab. When family members need to pay bills or deal with an apartment or home or get information about schooling - having a power of attorney in place allows this to start happening right away rather than spending the time and money to get the Court's permission to do these things. Or worse - just letting those things slide. Recovering is hard enough without having to deal with late bills, credit card interest rates that sky-rocketed due to the late payments, bills being reported to collection agencies because they weren't being paid, or telephones and other utilities being shut off. You get the picture.
Or making sure that the person of your choosing is the one making health care decisions for you when you are unable. Planning not only legalizes that authority, it is usually what prompts people to have the discussion about medical care in critical circumstances and end of life wishes.
I can't drag people in off the street to my office to get these things I place. And I don't usually spend a lot of time trying to convince people that they need them, because people know they need them. What I can do is make it easy for you to come in and talk about it, I can let you know up front what the fees are so you can fit it into your budget, and I can help you with any decisions you are struggling with.
But, like with most things in life, the first step is up to you.
Estate Planning, Probate and Trusts involve complex areas of law. Individual circumstances must be considered before any advice can be given. The general information above is not to be construed as legal advice, which can only be given after consideration of the unique facts of each matter. Please seek the advice or counsel of your attorney, financial advisor or CPA as it may be appropriate.