Misconceptions are very common with complex topics like estate planning. Unfortunately, myths can be damaging and can prevent you from taking the proper steps to protect your family and your assets. Here are some common estate planning myths that you should not believe.
1 – A Will Is Enough to Protect My Assets
A will is only one component of an estate plan. It allows you to designate heirs and guardians, but that’s certainly not enough to protect your assets and achieve your overall estate planning goals. For instance, you may want to avoid a lengthy probate process, reduce taxes, or have some control over disbursement of funds over time. Other estate planning instruments are available and work hand-in-hand with your will to protect you in different ways. It should always be customized to fit your circumstances and preferences.
2 – An Estate Plan Is Too Expensive
This is one of the main reasons people avoid creating an estate plan. Although a plan will cost you money, it is far less than what it could cost your heirs to settle your estate. You can spend a little money now or your heirs can spend a lot of money later. It’s ultimately still your money at stake. An estate plan is the best way to protect your lifelong and hard-earned assets for the benefit of your heirs.
3 – Only the Elderly Need an Estate Plan
This is another common estate planning myth that is absolutely not true. Basically, if you are an adult, you need an estate plan. Estate planning goes well beyond distribution of assets. It includes selecting someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf or to handle your finances if you’re incapacitated. Whether you’re single or married, have children or not, you need an estate plan!
4 – Estate Plans Aren’t Needed Once My Kids Become Adults
Estate planning is also about more than selecting guardians and supporting your children. Your children becoming adults does not avoid the need for a good plan. Imagine you have a life insurance policy and your kids are in their twenties. What might a twenty-year-old do with a huge lump sum of money? You could delay the distribution to them until they are older. Even if they are in their thirties and forties, you’ll want to save your children from an expensive and lengthy legal process.
More on Common Estate Planning Myths
All of these myths tend to discourage estate planning, leaving families without protection and forcing heirs to navigate a complicated process to resolve issues. By understanding the full scope and benefits of an estate plan, you can find ways to protect yourself and your family while you are living and after you are gone, to ensure that your wishes are honored, and to avoid legal mishaps. Contact our team to learn more about estate planning and its many benefits.