Because many people do not want to think about the prospect of their or their loved one’s death, they avoid thinking about estate planning. However, this leads to many misconceptions about the topic. Planning your or your loved one’s estate is crucial to ensuring that an estate goes to the desired recipients. The more you know about estate planning, the better. Here, we will address several common falsehoods about the subject.
- I’m not elderly—I don’t need an estate plan
One of the most common myths about estate planning is that it is solely for the elderly. Adults of every age need an estate plan. Life is unpredictable; if something unfortunate happens, you must have an estate plan in place.
- We don’t have many significant assets, so we don’t need a plan
Perhaps you believe that because you do not own many expensive items or hold additional real estate other than your home, that you do not need an estate plan. But everyone, whether they own a mansion or rent an apartment, drive a Bentley or a broken-down Gremlin, needs a legal document stating how they want their assets to be handled.
- I trust my family members to do the right thing
Your family members are the people you love and trust the most. You feel that, if you pass away, they will divide your assets evenly, without any quarreling. This misconception is sometimes painful to address, but leaving an estate behind without an estate plan can lead to family in-fighting, messy legal battles and a long probate process. It is usually much simpler to create a will in advance.
- Who needs a lawyer? I can write my own will
Many people attempt to write their own estate plans. After all, there is a plethora of free templates for wills and other legal documents online. However, these documents do not always hold up in court. If the court rules that your self-created will is not valid, then your loved ones will have little to no influence in how the court distributes your assets in probate. It is far wiser to work with a professional who understands how to create a sound estate plan that addresses your individual needs.