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Make 2014 Your Year to Begin Estate Planning

With the new year comes a new opportunity for everyone in the Greensboro, North Carolina area who has not begun estate planning to meet with a lawyer and get started. Having a good estate plan in place should be a top priority for you if you have procrastinated, put it off, or have only made bits and pieces.

Unfortunately, like any other New Year’s resolution, it can be very difficult to follow through on your commitment to make an estate plan in 2014. To help you stick to your goal and accomplish your task, here are some tips you can use.

Tip 1. Make it a family affair.

Research has shown that people who participate in something with others are much more likely to follow through with their goals than if they go it alone. Even the simple act of announcing your intention to make an estate plan can help you complete the task because it subjects you to social pressures.

Additionally, if you and some of your family members agree to make your plans together, you will get ongoing support from people who are in the same position as you. You can talk about any questions you have, your experiences, your concerns, and share how each of you have managed to go about the process.

Tip 2. Give yourself a deadline.

Procrastination is a common trait amongst even the most responsible people. If you give yourself a deadline by which you must have an estate plan in place, you will give yourself a ticking clock that will constantly remind you that you need to act. This is much better than, for example, stating a more general goal of creating an estate plan. Without a specific deadline in place, you run the risk of continually putting off the process.

Tip 3. Use an estate planning role model.

Scientists who study motivation say that one of the best tools people can use to keep their resolutions and stick to their goals is to have a behavioral model. A behavioral model is basically a role model; it’s someone you can look at who has already done what you want to do. By using that person’s example, you give yourself a roadmap on how to accomplish the task.

For example, let’s say you know that a close friend of yours created an estate plan in recent years. Simply by talking to that person and asking questions about how he or she got started, what steps were involved, and what problems popped up, you will mentally prepare yourself for doing the exact same thing. With a road map in place, you will be much more likely to complete your estate planning goals.

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