10 Jul 3 Common Estate Planning Myths Debunked
Estate plans may look like unassuming pieces of paper, but for being made of something simple, they’re shrouded in mystery. In order to clear up some of the mystery surrounding estate planning, we’re debunking three common estate planning myths and seeing if an estate planning lawyer is the right fit for you.
1. Myth: All you need is a last will and testament.
One common misconception that many people have about estate planning is that all you need is a last will and testament. While the last will enables you to cover a lot of ground when estate planning, it can’t do it all. For example, your last will won’t be able to help you and your loved ones in the event you become incapacitated. You need a durable and medical power of attorney (POA) in this type of situation. This is because POA documents enable you to name an individual to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf. For this reason, creating a last will and testament is a great place to start your plan, but it’s important to cover all the bases with other documents. Your estate planning attorney should discuss which documents are best for you and your plan.
2. Myth: There’ll always be time to create a plan later.
Another common myth that many people believe about estate planning is that there’ll always be time to create a plan later. It’s easy to push your estate plan to the side and say you’ll take care of it when you’re older. However, procrastinating can land you in hot water. This is because creating an estate plan provides a variety of benefits, such as:
- the ability to protect you and your loved ones from the unforeseeable.
- the ability to plan for the distribution of your assets.
- the opportunity to appoint representatives, such as a personal representative and/or legal guardian for your children, in your documents.
If you become incapacitated or die before creating your plan, you could leave your loved ones facing many challenging decisions. Plus, your assets will be subject to the probate process and probably won’t be distributed as you would’ve liked. For this reason, it’s best to create a plan now so you’ll be protected in the future.
3. Myth: Once you create a plan, it’s set in stone.
Finally, a third common estate planning myth is that once you create an estate plan, it’s set in stone. The truth is, estate plans are flexible and can be updated at anytime. Whether a relationship has changed within your family or your original personal representative has died and you need to appoint a new one, you can update your plan by meeting with your attorney and drafting new documents. An important side note, however, is that using an attorney to create your estate plan is important if you want to be able to update it. Specific language has to be included in your documents stating that old drafts are void with the creation of a new one. Do-it-yourself services might not include this specific language, which is why you should always hire an estate planner to create your estate plan.
How can Boyum Law Firm help you?
Boyum Law Firm can help you with your estate planning, Medicaid planning, and probate law needs. To contact Boyum Law Firm, click here.