As readers of this blog know, estate planning is not a quick process because it is about designing how one’s entire accumulated life will be delt with after death. However, this slow and methodical approach is often hard for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
Why is it harder for those with ADHD?
Those with ADHD often prefer quicker, sometimes impulsive, decisions that bring immediate rewards, in lieu of long-term, strategic planning. It is because estate planning is entirely long-term, strategic planning that can make it harder for those with ADHD to estate plan. Unfortunately, this can lead to inaction, which leads to the state and federal government making decisions for them after they pass.
Risky behavior versus sub-optimal decision-making
Understanding the difference between risky behavior and sub-optimal decision-making is key for this population because it is not that those with ADHD engage in risky behavior. Instead, that is the opposite as those with ADHD are more risk adverse when compared to the general population. Though, due to the impulse to make quick, snap decisions, in the estate planning process, this can lead to sub-optimal decision-making.
Planning to create optimal decision making
The key for those with ADHD to tackle the estate planning process is planning to create optimal decision making. Of course, this means, usually, bringing in an expert, but there are things that they will need to outline to help with that process.
First, define what one wants out of the process. In other words, what are the goals of one’s estate plan? Then, define what is needed to get one to those goals. This is when an expert may be of help. Third, decide if that strategy is sufficient and necessary to achieve those goals, and whether the strategy is practical under current (and future) circumstances. This often requires revisiting an estate plan periodically to ensure new laws have not changed the effectiveness of the estate plan. Finally, set up a deadline. This may mean setting up calendar reminders or asking someone to periodically remind them, but this is extremely important because inaction leads to more inaction.
Write it down
It is not enough to just think through these things. Write. It. Down. Remember, if it is not written down, it will not happen. Plus, when one meets with their Godfrey, Illinois, attorney, having their plan written out will make the lawyer’s job much easier.