Common misconceptions about estate planning

by | Apr 1, 2024 | Estate Planning

Estate planning encompasses all of the land, money and heirlooms a person has. When people get incorrect information, they may accidentally make poor choices with these assets.

Part of being a responsible individual means learning about common misconceptions related to estate planning.

Myth 1: Estate planning is only for rich people

Many think that only wealthy individuals need to worry about estate planning. However, estate planning is not just about money. These documents can include healthcare directives and the distribution of personal belongings. Regardless of a person’s financial status, having a solid estate plan in place is important.

Myth 2: Wills are the only option

A will is not the only choice people have. Trusts can be useful in avoiding probate and ensuring people get specific assets. This is particularly helpful because probate is often a time-consuming and expensive process.

Myth 3: Estate planning is just for older people

People might think estate planning is something they only need to worry about when they are old, but that is not true. Creating a plan early allows individuals with minor children to specify their wishes regarding appointing guardians if needed. It also provides peace of mind knowing that affairs are in order should the unexpected occur.

Myth 4: Plans do not require updates

Some people assume that once they make an estate plan, they can forget about it, but this is false. Marriage, births, deaths and changes in financial status are all reasons to review a plan regularly. Failing to update an estate plan means it will not reflect a person’s current wishes.

People may not like contemplating what happens to their assets after their death if they never have thought about it before. However, by understanding these estate planning myths, people can craft a better plan and help their loved ones and beneficiaries avoid trouble.