Fear Can Be a Great Motivator

I am often surprised by the number of situations where professionals use fear to spur people to take action.  Action which is often in that person’s best interest to take.  There are a number of examples in our everyday world: dentists who shock you with photos of a diseased mouth; doctors who quote statistics of how many people have died from cancer; insurance agents who tell you horrible stories of homes destroyed by disaster; and even attorneys who dramatically recount tragedies to prove their point. 

I’m not suggesting that those tales are untrue.  What I am suggesting is that using fear as a motivator to get you to do something is unnecessary and can be construed as condescending.  Making someone afraid assumes that if you educate them about a situation they won’t make the right choice.  I myself, believe that most people are competent and when enlightened by the facts will make an informed decision that is in their best interest.

The majority of professionals are great advocates for their clients.  Most dentists, doctors, insurance agents and attorneys study a particular area at length because it interests them and they genuinely want to use their knowledge to make people’s lives better.  And when given the chance, those are the types of specialists I prefer to work with.  The one’s who take the time to explain the situation to me, help me understand my options and treat me with respect.

So rather than scare you with horrific images about what happens when you don’t have an Estate Plan, let me explain some of the benefits of what an Estate Plan can accomplish. 


  • If you have a Guardian Appointment your children will be cared for by the person of your choosing and not that of the courts.
  • If you have a Power of Attorney then you will choose who will be responsible for your assets, how they will manage them and when the time comes they will be able to access those assets without delay.
  • If you have a Will your personal belongings will be directed to the person you want to receive them and any of the smaller incidents of your Estate can be seamlessly transferred to your Living Trust.
  • If you have a Health Care Directive you can appoint someone to act in your stead and make health care decisions for you when you are unable to do so for yourself.  
  • If you have a Living Trust you can help your loved ones avoid dealing with the courts to manage your affairs, your assets and your Estate the way you would want it handled if you were able to do so yourself. 
  • An Estate Plan enables you to protect your loved ones and your assets.

While fear may be a great motivator, you deserve better.  Get working on your Estate Plan now because it’s the smart and right thing to do.   If you have questions about how Estate Planning works, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We will spend time getting to know you, your particular situation and your goals.  We are interested in helping you learn how to help yourself and your family. 

Brian Chew, the managing partner of OC Wills & Trust Attorneys, has extensive experience in the areas of estate planning, asset protection planning, business succession planning, long-term care planning, and veterans’ benefits. By devoting his practice to estate planning matters, he has founded a firm that strives to provide exceptional service to their clients by working closely with individuals and their families to create comprehensive and customized estate plans. For the past twenty five years, Brian has served thousands of clients in the matters of estate planning, wills and trusts. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Brian Chew here.