estate planning

Will This Be the Year?

Writing a will probably isn’t top of anyone’s list of New Year’s Resolutions – who wants to start 2017 with such a grim project?

Indeed, according to a 2011 poll in the US, 60% of Americans would rather undergo root canal treatment, do their taxes or abstain from sex for a month than set down their final wishes. However, a US psychologist has suggested that we’re all lying to ourselves by procrastinating over writing our wills; instead, sitting down and planning our estates could empower us...

Considering death is one of the few certainties of life, why do so many of us put off writing a will? Apparently, it’s all to do with the very human instinct to deceive ourselves. In doing so, we avoid uncomfortable realities – a coping mechanism that Dr. Cortney S. Warren, a psychologist at the University of Nevada, covers in her book Lies We Tell Ourselves: The Psychology of Self-Deception.

“Humans are masters of self-deception,’ Dr Warren writes. ‘We don’t like to think of ourselves as liars; it hurts us too much to admit. So we lie to ourselves about that, too. As a clinical psychologist, I am frequently confronted with the fact that we all lie to ourselves. I believe that it is our biggest obstacle to living a fulfilling life.”

According to Warren, avoiding writing a will is a good example of us lying to ourselves. By the very act of writing one, we are acknowledging something we find very difficult to face; our own mortality.

In an article for Psychology Today however, Warren does highlight the feeling of empowerment which writing a will provides us with. “The main reason to write a will is to give yourself a voice,” she says. “It is actually a wonderful gift to those you love to have a will in place so that they can celebrate your life after you die—not become engrossed in legal battles over your stuff.”

If you want to add writing a will to your To Do List for 2017 please contact me using the Contact Us button at the top of this web page.