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Estate planning fatigue: A real problem

The wealthiest individuals in the United States tend to be well-educated and have a great deal of business savvy, but this does not seem to be helping complete the basic elements of estate planning. According to the CNBC Millionaire Survey, 38 percent of individuals who own $1 million or more in assets have failed to employ a financial planner to create an estate plan.

The poll, which was carried out by Spectrum Group, interviewed 750 high net worth individuals. Among these millionaires, those with $5 million or more in assets had a higher likelihood of completing their estate plans than those with between $1 and $5 million worth of assets. Interestingly, Republican millionaires were slightly more likely to have employed a financial advisor for estate planning than Democrats and independents.

According to the national director of wealth-planning strategies at U.S. Trust, the failure of individuals to finalize their estate planning is not surprising -- especially if one considers the constantly changing nature of federal estate-tax laws over the last 10 years. He says that the shifting legal environment surrounding estate planning has left people in a state of "estate-planning fatigue" and it is preventing them from taking the vital steps necessary to protect their assets and ensure their families are well-taken care of after they are gone.

What many people do not realize is that estate planning attorneys, financial advisors, accountants and other professionals are available to prevent them from feeling the affects of estate planning fatigue. Indeed, by leaving one's estate planning in the hands of professionals who have been trained to complete the process effectively, New York estate planners can rest assured that the interests of themselves and their families will be protected following their deaths.

Source: CNBC, "Wealthy suffer from 'estate-planning fatigue'," Shelly Schwartz, accessed July 22, 2015

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