Wealthy people who do not have estate plans, are making a risky bet that nothing will happen to them and that they will have time to make plans later.
It is commonly assumed that people delay getting estate plans because they prefer not to think about their own deaths or they think the process of getting a plan is too complicated. Other people do not get estate plans, because they think they do not have enough assets to need a plan.
For many people these assumptions are undoubtedly the primary reason that they delay getting estate plans. These may not be the reasons why everyone delays getting plans, however.
Many wealthy people cite an entirely different reason as Barron's discusses in "Don't Delay Planning Your Estate."
Wealthy people often put off estate planning because of indecision. They are not sure what to do and to whom they should leave different assets. They also often have doubts about how much wealth they should leave to their children and how much they should leave to charity.
This uncertainty causes them to delay going to an estate planning attorney. They believe what they should do will become clearer later.
The problem is that it really does not matter why someone delays getting an estate plan. Whatever the reason, not getting an estate plan is risky, especially for the wealthy.
No amount of wealth can guarantee that a person will not have an accident before he or she gets around to estate planning.
Reference: Barron's (Feb. 10, 2017) "Don't Delay Planning Your Estate."