2021 Estate Resolutions List

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” -Psalm 90:12

2020 was a year unlike any other. Our collective consciousness changed. Our needs changed and our awareness changed. We began to understand the finite timeline of life and the importance of protecting one another. As we enter 2021, think about your New Year’s resolutions a bit different this time. Think about how you can restore peace back into your mindset, goals, and life. As you contemplate your resolutions, place a new one at the top of the list: making a Will or Trust.

You may be surprised to know that more than half of all resolutions fail. But yours don’t have to. We can help you create and achieve your goals, through our simplified estate planning process. Our team will seamlessly work with you to plan what’s right for your legacy and your budget. You are more likely to keep your resolution if it is meaningful and achievable, and we’ll help you get there. This year, spark optimism back into your life by creating goals that help you achieve peace of mind and secure your family’s future. With your determination and our simple process, achieving your dream estate plan just became so much easier. Keeping your resolution might be as simple as a small change in describing your resolution as an “approach goal.”

According to Psychology Today, “Researchers from Stockholm University and Linköping University in Sweden published a study they describe as ‘probably the largest and most comprehensive study on New Year’s resolutions conducted thus far.’ These findings (Oscarsson, Carlbring, Andersson, & Rozental, 2020) were published on December 9, 2020. Over the course of 12 months, the researchers examined how “approach” vs. “avoidance” goal-setting affected the likelihood of long-term success.

In general, avoidance goals are about stopping, quitting, and forbidding behaviors. On the flip side, approach goals are about seeking a fresh start, new beginnings, and proactively getting out of a rut. Participants who made approach-oriented New Year’s resolutions had a higher success rate (59 percent) than those who made avoidance-oriented resolutions (47 percent). This research suggests that flipping the script from an avoidance-oriented resolution that uses language such as “I will stop _______” to an approach-oriented script that states “I will start _______,” may increase one’s odds of sticking to a New Year’s resolution.”

That simple shift in thinking is all you need to help make a goal achievable. We can help you fill in your estate planning “approach goals.” We’ll help you ensure they are achieved and protected thoroughly. Contact our experienced estate planning attorneys today to take the first step in building your customized estate plan. Or visit some of our resolution ideas below for inspiration!


10 Estate Planning Resolution Ideas

  • Make the call or appointment to learn more about estate planning – We offer a free consultation! Read or fill out our e-planner so you feel empowered about estate planning and your own wishes to consider. This is a great planning tool for beginners!


  • Set up a POA, Guardianship, and/or Advance Healthcare Directive at a minimum.


  • Learn the differences between a Will and Trust. Think about the level of protection you might need for your family.


  • Finalize beneficiaries and update pertinent documents for them.


  • Tell your beneficiaries or family members about your plan and where to find it.


  • If you have an estate plan already, double check your plans are funded properly.


  • Think about next steps for your digital assets (social media, photographs, etc.). Who will handle those when you pass?


  • Write a legacy letter to your family or heirs to let them know your wishes for the next generation.


  • Set aside a budget to make your estate plan possible this year. At Wiles, we charge a flat rate and will help you avoid the most estate taxes possible.


  • Give peace of mind as a gift back to you and your loved ones this new year. At Wiles Law, we’ll help you Protect More than you thought possible. Contact us today!



Martin Oscarsson, Per Carlbring ,Gerhard Andersson, Alexander Rozental. “A Large-Scale Experiment on New Year’s Resolutions: Approach-Oriented Goals Are More Successful Than Avoidance-Oriented Goals.” PLOS ONE (First published: December 09, 2020) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0234097

Hengchen Dai, Katherine L. Milkman, Jason Riis. “The Fresh Start Effect: Temporal Landmarks Motivate Aspirational Behavior.” Management Science (First published online: June 23, 2014) DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2014.1901