Cona Elder Law


Are You Avoiding Estate Planning? Procrastinate No More!


By Jennifer Cona, Esq. Originally published in the June 2024 issue of the Long Island Press, Power of Your Attorney.

If you have an Estate Plan, congratulations! You are one of the few. In fact, only 32% of all Americans have a Will. Knowing how very important it is to plan ahead to protect your loved ones and preserve your assets, why haven’t more adults taken care of this critical life necessity?

One reason people avoid estate planning is because they think it is complicated. Others think it is costly. For some, it is simply a matter of procrastination; they intend to get around to it and may or may not until it is too late – due to incapacity or death.

The best way to push past those barriers is by asking for a referral to a reputable estate planning attorney. A good attorney makes the process very easy and straightforward. Yes, you will be tasked with making some tough choices, such as appointing fiduciaries (executors, trustees), guardians if you have minor children, and decisions regarding when family members should have access to funds versus when monies should be held in trusts. But a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney will guide you through this process, taking the time to learn about your family, the extended family dynamics, blended family issues (if any), and make suggestions based on their years of experience.  It is a “joint effort”, and you are not alone in the process if you are working with the right attorney.

The next biggest mistake people make is to “set it and forget it”. Many people execute their estate planning documents once and forget to update them. Estate planning documents are akin to living agreements; they should be reviewed every 5 years or so and sooner if there are major life events for you or in the lives of your beneficiaries.  For example, if you get divorced, you likely need to update your Will and Advance Directives (Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Living Will). If a beneficiary passes before you, you may need to update your Will.

It is easy to see the harm that can befall a person in this situation: failure to update your estate plan can mean your ex-spouse inherits all of your assets! Probably not what you intended. If a beneficiary passes before you, depending on the terms of your Will, you may unintentionally disinherit grandchildren. A quick review with your attorney can avoid these huge and consequential mishaps.

Estate Planning can be complex and does require serious thought. The experienced Estate Planning attorneys at Cona Elder Law make the process easy and streamlined to ensure you, your loved ones, and your legacy are protected.

Jennifer B. Cona, Esq. is the Founder and Managing Partner of Cona Elder Law, an award-winning law firm concentrating in the areas of elder law, estate planning, special needs planning, estate administration and litigation, and health care law. The firm has been ranked the #1 Elder Law Firm by Long Island Business News for eight consecutive years.  For additional information, visit

About the Author Cona Elder Law

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