Estate planning may not be on your radar. It can often feel like a mysterious and complex legal process only reserved for the ultra-rich or elderly. But these are just a few myths surrounding the estate planning process. Many people have misconceptions about estate planning that can lead to mistakes and regret down the road.
Debunking estate planning myths is a good way to start thinking about the process so you can start it sooner rather than later and protect your loved ones in the process.
What Isn’t True About Estate Planning?
There are a few common untruths about estate planning that people often buy into. A few include:
- A will is enough of an estate plan
- Estate planning only concerns my assets or finances
- Only rich people need to create an estate plan
- Once I make my plan, I’ll be set forever
Each one of these myths can be harmful to believe for a variety of reasons.
What Should I Know About Estate Planning?
Crafting a secure estate plan has multiple benefits, for all types of people, in all types of situations. Estate planning is not just about distributing your assets or passing on money, which is also why it’s not just about having a will.
A good estate plan accounts for distribution of assets as well as your end-of-life wishes and protection and care for your loved ones. It ensures that your family will not have to make difficult decisions about your health or finances and helps avoid a costly and time-consuming probate process.
An estate plan can encompass a will, trusts, health care directives, power of attorney, beneficiaries and any other guidelines you may want to include. Secure estate planning benefits everyone, at any level of wealth or stature.
Similarly, a good estate plan should be reviewed periodically and updated when necessary. Once you’ve created your plan, you cannot let it sit forever without checking it again. An estate plan that is outdated may be ineffective when the time comes to put it in practice.
Estate planning may seem daunting, especially when there is misleading information circulating about the topic, but a good estate planning attorney can help you figure things out and create a plan that works for and protects you and your loved ones.