Estate planning is vital to have in place at any age. If you don’t have the correct facts, you could be steered in the wrong direction and become vulnerable to additional financial and personal stresses. To help you get back on the right path, below are the top 4 common myths people believe about estate planning.
#1 Myth: Estate planning is for the rich – NOT TRUE. If you have assets, property, provide care for loved ones, and have an estate, you need an estate plan. Your age, wealth, marital status, or estate size doesn’t matter. An estate plan is custom-designed to reflect your needs now and in the future, to help protect the ones you love and ensure your wishes followed.
#2 Myth: Once I establish an estate plan, I don’t need to review it again – NOT TRUE. Throughout your life, your personal needs, concerns, and lifestyle will change, and so should your estate plan. Your estate plan needs to reflect any new life changes, maybe you want to change the beneficiary designations, or you need to address new tax laws or estate laws that will affect your estate.
#3 Myth: An estate plan is used only to distribute my assets– NOT TRUE. Estate plans don’t just allocate your assets. Because you can make your estate plan custom to you, you can include what is called a legacy or incapacity plan. These plans go a bit further than just diving up your assets.
- A legacy plan: Reflects your beliefs, values, morals, and ideas. It also outlines your life passions and visions for future generations, such as Charitable donations, charitable trusts, and developing a charitable foundation.
- Incapacity planning: Outlines in detail the type of care you will need, who will be responsible for your care, who is the guardian of your children is, and protect against unexpected life events.
#4 Myth: Your will designates the distribution of all your assets– NOT TRUE. There are specific assets that are not distributed by the will, which include:
- Pay-on-death (POD)
- Transfer-on-death (TOD)
- 401 (k)s, IRAs,
- Life insurance
These assets have named beneficiaries and do not go through probate.
Estate planning can be challenging to navigate, but if you have the correct facts and legal representation, you can create a custom estate plan that’s right for you.