Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Nudge: What Pushes Us to Update or Create an Estate Plan

The Nudge: What Pushes Us to Update or Create an Estate Plan
By Melinda Gustafson Gervasi
March 24, 2020

An estate plan, it's something most American adults know they should have.  Yet, many put it off.  From what I've read it is less about embracing the idea of illness and death, and more of an inability to wrap their minds around the financial pieces of their life.  What pushes them over the hump from having it on their mental to-do list and actually have one signed and tucked away?  A nudge.

Until recently those nudges fell into certain groups for clients:

  • Travel, especially international travel;
  • Stage 4 cancer diagnosis;
  • Birth of a child;
  • Imminent retirement; or
  • Watching the mess unfold from a loved one who had died without a plan.
As of this week I can add:
  • Pandemic.
My heart goes out to the various callers I have talked to this week.  From those with parents in their 80s who do not have plans, to those expecting a first child, to those on the front lines of medical services, I hear the concern.  I am doing all I can to assist via phone and video meetings.  And I'm not alone.  The cooperation of estate planners all over Wisconsin on list serves about how we can serve those with urgent needs, and still comply with witnessing requirements as well as social distancing, has been inspiring.  

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