There are many misconceptions and myths about estate planning. When people get started writing theirs, it can be easy to make mistakes if they are not receiving guidance from a lawyer. There are a handful of estate planning software available on the internet, however, this doesn’t provide the opportunity for personalizations.
Furthermore, only a lawyer will be as interested in protecting your assets as you are. It is their job to watch out for potential complications, and then make corrections to prevent them. Here are just a few examples of myths that many people have about estate planning:
- MYTH: All you have to do it once and you’re done. As life changes and people move in and out of your life, you may need to make edits to your estate planning documents. In fact, it is recommended that people revisit their estate plan every five years or so, and as life events happen. For example, births, deaths, change in relationships, marriage, and divorce are all common reasons for needing to do estate planning edits.
- MYTH: You don’t need to talk with you appointees or beneficiaries. It is important that if you are appointing someone to have a role in your estate, that you ask them if they are okay with performing their duties. For instance, if you appoint your trusted friend to be an executor of your will, make sure they are comfortable with it before solidifying the documents.
Secondly, it can help to give your beneficiaries some insight into how your estate plan includes them. You may not want to divulge exactly how much money or what they are inheriting, but give them a heads up that something is left for them and how to get a copy of the will in the future, after your passing.
- MYTH: If I don’t have a ton of assets, I don’t need an estate plan. It doesn’t matter how much or how little money or assets you have. Everyone has something they want to pass onto their loved ones after departing from this life. An estate plan can also include instructions for guardianship of children, medical directives for end of life, funeral preferences, and more.