We don’t give a second thought (nor should we) to pay out thousands of dollars in insurance every year to address possible crises that might happen each year. Here are a few examples of what we pay in annual insurance:
- The average annual car insurance premium is over $1,200;
- Homeowners pay over $1,300 per year in fire and casualty insurance to protect their investment;
- The average annual premium for $500,000 in 20-year life insurance for a 55-year-old non-smoker is over $1,700;
- Long-term disability annual premiums can be over $3,000 per year.
- The average annual premium for family health insurance is over $15,000.
However, many times we don’t give a first thought – let alone a second thought – to issues surrounding our potential incapacity or our eventual death.
Whether we are in our twenties, forties, sixties, or eighties, whether we are married or single, whether we have small children or none, we likely do not have basic legal documents in place to make your financial and medical decisions if you become incapacitated or to make your financial and legal decisions after you pass away.
Why not invest some limited time and limited money now to get some legal death and disability assurance in the form of a basic estate plan (i.e., will, durable power of attorney, health care proxy, and disposition of remains)? It will likely be a one-time cost (about the amount you pay for one year of homeowners insurance) for that peace of mind. Otherwise, you leave those decisions to be made by a stranger in a black robe, unnecessary legal costs for your family, and legal fog and confusion for your family in the midst of what would already be an emotional time for them.