Estate planning is a straightforward process, however many people are still unsure of what the plans and estate documents actually entails and they blindly allow this common estate planning myths influence their decisions. Estate planning is a process of making many important decisions and plans over your future and that of your loved ones. specifically, estate plans, concerns what happen to your assets both while you are alive and well or dead, how you want to share your assets to family, children or spouse, who takes over making certain important decisions for you in cases of mental incapability and lastly transfer of ownership of a property. It is just as important to recognize common estate planning myths and misconceptions so that you would not be victim.
There are several estate planning myths and misconceptions and here are frequent ones the populace are usually fall victim of:
My estate is not big enough, I don’t need to plan
This is the most common myth about estate planning. Often, people believe that estate planning only benefits the extremely wealth, but this is so far from the truth. The reality, however, is that you need an estate plan no matter how much property you have. Planning now for the future with an estate lawyer would never be regretted. Preparing now for the future over your financial and medical affairs would save you and your loved ones a whole deal of stress and troubles.
No matter the financial or medical situation you are in today, contact an estate planning attorney to help you solve one of your most important task in life, which is planning for the future, yours and that of your family. Without a plan, you lose the ability to determine who gets you property and assets upon you death. An estate plan can help you accomplish these and other important goals like:
- name a guardian for minor children.
- avoid probate.
- document the persons who handles making important financial and medical decisions for you when you become ill or incapacitated.
- name executor or trustee in settling your estate and distributing your property.
- transfer property to desired even while you are still alive. Etc.
Estate planning is not all about property and asset distribution
Estate plan is not just about distributing properties. It deals with other important matter that are intimately personal. Incapacity planning is an area of estate plan that details with more than just managing assets during or after one’s lifetime. Incapacity planning helps prepare for unexpected events at every stage of life. It includes naming who handles medical care for you when you become incapacitated, naming a guardian for your minor children etc.
I only need a last Will and testament for all my estate plans
This is another myth that is misleading and could be very costly. A will is a legal document that instructs how your property would be shared after your death. It allows you name an executioner, who would oversee the implementation of the will and also through probate process. It is however important to note that certain assets may sit outside your Will and that your will does not cover other areas of your life while you are still alive. In addition to a Will, you should consult an estate attorney to draw up other legal estate document like the living trust. With a living trust document, you can transfer assets to desired beneficiaries both while you are alive and when you pass on. Once the trust has been funded or the assets placed into the trust, probate process won’t be needed anymore.
I don’t need to revisit and review my prepared estate plans
One mistake could prove costly and debunking this misleading myth would help prevent that. Life changes, laws changes and so also estate plans should be revised to fit these new changes. Estate planning is never a once and settled thing. With the help of an estate planning attorney, you can constantly revisit and upgrade your estate plans. Cases like, you need to add or remove a beneficiary, your assets or properties changed, your minor children becomes adult, or you remarry, new addition to your family, you moved to a new state, etc. all require you contact an estate attorney to make proper amendment to your existing estate plans.
The above are common myth that could revoke or make your estate plans invalid as well as prevent you from enjoying to maximum advantage, your estate plans. Contact an estate planning attorney to clear any other doubts about estate planning.