6 Myths and Misconceptions About Estate Planning
Estate planning is not what many think it to be. There is a plethora of estate planning myths and misconceptions that have beclouded the minds of several citizens, preventing them from doing the needful. Doing some research on your own is often helpful, but nothing beats consulting with an estate planning lawyer. With years of experience handling estate planning for clients in New York, the estate planning attorney NYC will guide you in creating the right estate plan that leaves no room for uncertainties or confusions.
Some of the myths and misconceptions of estate planning includes the following:
1. I can use a will to distribute all my property
With this myth in the heart of many, they create only a Will in their estate plan, thinking it would suffice to handle every of their assets. But this is not true. A will only controls how assets “in your name ONLY” will be distributed. Assets which are jointly owned such as joint accounts, as well as retirement plan and life insurance proceeds with beneficiary designations, will all pass outside the will.
2. It's better I draft my will when I'm much older
People hold on so much to this fallacy that they end up not creating a will at all because death or mental incapacity showed up. Laying out guidelines now that you can, will go a long way in helping your surviving family know what to do in the event something bad happens to you. If you have minors, it is good you name a guardian for them in your will now. While it is good to be positive, bad things still happen unexpectedly. Mourning the death of a loved one is traumatic enough, not to talk of adding the headache of having no clue as regards the deceased last wishes.
3. Estate planning is only about asset distribution after death
While estate planning revolves around protecting your property and deciding what happens to them after your death, it also entails planning for what happens to your estate when you become old and unable to run your own affairs. In that light, there are estate planning documents which offer great importance during your lifetime such as:
- A Durable Power of Attorney with which you appoint who makes financial decisions on your behalf when you’re unable to do so yourself
- A revocable living trust with which you can transfer assets to beneficiaries during your lifetime, as well as appoint a trustee who can act as your conservator when you become incapacitated
- An advance health care directive in which you express your wishes for the kind of medical treatment you would want
- A health care proxy to appoint someone who would make medical decisions on your behalf.
4. Estate planning is too expensive and complicated
This is just another estate planning misconception. While naming beneficiaries, creating trusts and Powers of attorneys as well as tax planning can seem like a daunting affair, failure to do these things would incur more cost for you in the future. Not creating a trust would mean your estate losing money for probate expenses and estate tax. Not creating powers of attorney would mean having to go through Guardianship and Conservator-ship process in court, and your business may suffer huge losses when you fail to appoint a trusted and competent hand. The estate planning attorney NY does not make his fees the priority, but ensuring that your desires are met.
5. Estate planning is for the wealthy
There is need for you to set up certain protocols by which your assets — no matter how small — would be passed down to your heirs, ensuring that confusion and strife do not arise among them. When you leave your loved ones without stating who gets the car or the house, they may end up contesting for it, leading to unnecessary court cases. A proper estate plan gives you the chance to plan for your end-of-life situations and ensuring that your loved ones obtain financial security from your assets when you pass away.
6. I won't be able to change my estate plan later, so let me just wait till later
A lot of people think that estate planning is a “once and for all” affair but that is untrue. It is certain that as you grow older, situations would change and new events may occur that would need to be addressed in the estate plan, and so estate laws allows for the updating of estate plans. You might desire to add to or remove beneficiaries from your will or IRAs, add new assets to or take away from your revocable trusts. While these things are simple, you may also consider seeking counsel from the estate attorney New York so as to ensure that your estate plan is always in line with NY laws.
Estate Planning Attorney near me 10004
Estate plans are not a one-size-fit-all affair. Hiring an experienced estate attorney near you is highly crucial as he certainly would be well-versed in the common problems in your area. Do you live within zip code 10004? Are you looking for an estate planning attorney near you? Then contact the NYC estate planning attorney 11004 today for the best customized estate planning services.