Estate planning has some myths and misconceptions. Being sure to understand the myths of estate planning will help you as you create your plan in a way that will work as you expect. Below are the top three myths.
Myth #1 – Your spouse will inherit everything, so an estate plan is not needed
Most believe that their spouse will inherit everything upon their death. This is not always true. It depends on several factors including the state laws where you have property, how the property is titled, and if you have any beneficiaries listed. The way to guarantee your spouse inherits all your estate is to document it with an estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you set up a plan that will best meet your needs and protect your spouse.
Myth #2 – Your family knows your wishes, so an estate plan is not needed
Just because you have shared your final wishes with your family does not guarantee it will happen. Your family may be completely trustworthy but may not be able to fulfill your wants because of legal reasons. The way your property is titled will determine who inherits it even if you wanted something different. Designations for beneficiaries on bank accounts and life insurance policies needs to be updated to allow your family to have authority to carry out your desires. State laws can also effect who inherits your estate after probate. Having an estate planning attorney create your estate plan will ensure your goals are followed.
Myth #3 – Your estate plan is done once it has been created
Even if you have taken the time with an estate planning attorney to create the perfect estate plan, you cannot just sit back and leave it alone. Because laws and your life situation may change, your plan needs to be checked every few years with your estate planning attorney for any adjustments. Changes in laws can cause your plan to be hindered or invalid. Changes in your personal life like a new baby, grandchild or property, need to be reflected in your plan.
The above myths are only a few of the myths regarding estate planning. The only way to ensure you know the difference between myth and reality is to seek the services of an experienced estate planning attorney and create your estate plan. Call our office so we can help you create that plan!