An estate plan allows testators to prepare their assets for distribution in anticipation of their passing. While nobody likes to contemplate their own mortality, it’s a necessary process if you want to make sure your loved ones are protected after you’re gone.
If you’re making an estate plan for the first time and have questions, you should be aware that there are a ton of factual errors online that can mislead you. Here are a few you should know about:
Myth #1: Estate planning is just for the wealthy.
Truth: While there are a number of advantages to making an estate plan if you’re wealthy, anyone can benefit from an estate plan. For starters, an estate plan can help grieving families by having everything planned out before the testator passes away.
Myth #2: Estate planning is for the elderly.
Truth: It’s often believed that estate planning is only useful after a certain age, such as 80 or 90 years of age. However, even young, single people should have a basic estate plan in place so that if something terrible happens their families know their wishes. Parents of young children, also, need estate plans to designate guardians for their children.
Myth #3: It’s better to die without an estate plan.
Truth: Dying intestate, or dying without an estate plan, would mean that the state would step in to administer your assets. This may mean that some beneficiaries inherit from your estate.
Myth #4: Online estate planning templates are your best option.
Truth: There are many cheap and easy estate planning tools online. However, what you pay for is what you get. In other words, many of these estate planning templates aren’t legally sound.
Myth #5: Once an estate plan is made, you can’t change it.
Truth: You can update an estate plan as many times as you want or need. Many people update their estate plans yearly, while others update them after big life events, such as marriage or childbirth.
Myth #6: Testators don’t need to know about the law.
Estate planning is a complicated matter. Even the slightest error could create issues for a testator’s family. Learning more about your legal options when making an estate plan can help you make critical decisions.