Estate Planning is
something no one
wants to think about,
until you have no
choice. Let us help
protect what you have
worked so hard to
provide for your family.
Common Estate Planning myths:
Myth 1 – I am not wealthy enough to need an estate plan
Estate planning is for everyone, not just the wealthy. Estate planning encompasses much more than just the distribution of your assets. For example, planning for incapacity ensures that your wishes are carried out regarding decisions about your health care. An estate plan is critical for protecting the interests and future needs of a spouse or minor children.
Myth 2 – An estate plan only matters when you die
Estate planning is not just about distributing your assets in the event of your death. Estate planning can encompass charitable giving and legacy planning. A permanent disability or incapacity can leave loved ones and your property vulnerable if no estate plan or advance directives exist. For example, you can designate a health care agent to ensure your health care wishes are followed. You can designate an agent to make financial decisions on your behalf. You can designate successor trustees to administer trust assets on your behalf and designate guardians of any minor children if both parents are lost or incapacitated.
Myth 3 – I have a Will, so I am covered
Having a Will allows you to name an executor to be appointed by the court to oversee the proper distribution of your estate during probate. However, certain assets may not be controlled by the terms of your Will, such as life insurance or retirement accounts. There are several other legal documents just as important for you to consider for the protection of your interests in the event of death or a permanent disability. These include a “durable” power of attorney over your financial matters; a “health care” power of attorney to make health care decisions for you if you are incapacitated; a “Living Will” to express your wishes regarding withholding or terminating life support measures; “revocable” trust agreements to protect assets from creditors or from long term care needs; “buy-sell” agreements and other protections for business owners; and instructions for the protection of digital assets, online assets, crypto-currency, software, or other intellectual property rights.
Myth 4 – Even if I don’t have a Will, my spouse will receive my assets
This is not necessarily true. If you die without a Will, your estate assets will be distributed according to the “laws of intestacy” which determine what individuals receive particular funds or assets. This could result in assets being distributed to individuals other than your spouse. Such unintended beneficiaries could consist of an estranged relative, financially irresponsible children, or even a spouse from a prior marriage if you have children together.