Contrast these numbers with the number of airline accidents and fatalities each year. According to the Air Crash Record Office (ACRO), in 2009 there were 122 airplane crashes resulting in 1,103 fatalities.
So why is it that many parents wait until just before they get on an airplane to review estate plans or prepare these documents for the first time?
Perhaps our anxiety comes from the fact that airline crashes are well publicized. Since airline catastrophes are rare, they are likely to be big news.
Or perhaps it is because they are so tragic. Rarely do airline accidents end up as well the recent miracle involving a US Airways flight piloted by Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger, which crashed into the Hudson River without a single fatality. Usually, most or all of the passengers perish.
But the fact of the matter is that tragedy is more likely to strike while driving to work or running your errands. Statistically, there is a 1 in 5000 chance you will be killed in a car accident, but only a 1 in 11 million chance you’ll be involved in an airplane crash.
We owe it to our families to be prepared. If you would get your wills, trusts, and estate plans in order before getting on an airplane, doesn’t it make sense to do it now?