As estate planning attorneys for nearly 30 years, we have created our fair share of estate plans. During this time, we have come across some clients with estate planning misconceptions that hinder them from beginning their estate plans. We believe in empowering our clients with knowledge regarding their future. In this blog, we will debunk some of the most common myths and misconceptions about wills and trusts.
“I’m Too Young for Estate Planning!”
We have heard this one time and time again, and the reality is: life is unpredictable. It’s not something people like to think about, but accidents and unexpected illnesses can happen at any age. In case this were to happen, you would want to have your wishes stipulated for your and your family’s peace of mind.
By starting your estate planning early, you ensure your wishes are noted and protect your assets. However, keep in mind that you should update your estate plan after major life events. It is not a one-time event; we will deep dive into this topic later on.
“Estate Planning is Only for the Wealthy”
The truth is that anyone who has assets or a family should create an estate plan, meaning it is not exclusively for wealthy folks. While we commonly think about estate planning as a way to transfer assets, such as real estate, bank accounts, and retirement accounts, an estate plan also ensures your minor children are cared for, such as who would take care of them if you and your partner are unable to.
In addition, a well-crafted estate plan provides your loved one with a clear roadmap for the future.
“A Will is Sufficient for Estate Planning”
The term “will” is commonly used to refer to estate planning, but the truth is, it is only one of the many estate planning documents. Other documents to think about include revocable living trusts, power of attorneys, and advance directives.
This is not to dilute the importance of a will, it is still a crucial component of an estate plan, but it has limitations that can be filled in with other legal documents. This ensures that the probate process and court are more seamless for your loved ones.
“Estate Planning Is a One-Time Event”
Life changes, and so should your estate plan. As mentioned previously, life events such as marriage, the addition of family members, the adoption or the birth of a child, or changes in financial status should trigger an update to your estate plan.
Please keep in mind: the listed are simply suggested review times. Even if there are no major life events, it is a great idea to regularly review your documents with an attorney to ensure your plan reflects your current wishes.
While we understand that estate planning can be an intimidating process, we hope that our debunking of these common myths has eased some of the stress. If you are ready to state your estate planning, our attorneys at Edge & Kimbell Law are prepared to help! Reach out today.