When you start to think about estate planning, it’s very natural to think about the things that you need to do. You need to write a will or you need to pick an estate executor. It is very important to consider the whole process from this side.
At the same time, though, it’s also wise to think about the things you should not do and the myths that you want to avoid. You can keep yourself out of a lot of potentially damaging situations if you do this. Below are three different myths that people often repeat, and you want to know what they are in advance so that you never fall for them.
You are too young to create an estate plan
You can’t be too young to create an estate plan. No matter how many assets you own or how old you are, you can benefit from having a plan. One of the biggest reasons that people think they’re too young is just that they assume they’re going to live into their seventies, since this is the life expectancy in the United States. Unfortunately, no one knows exactly how long they have, so it’s risky to put off estate planning until you retire or at some other advanced age. Do it early and then update the plan if you need to.
All you really need is a will
A will is a good place to start because it gives your heirs some direction. It helps them know what you wanted and it tells them who gets specific assets. But that is far from all that you need. For instance, you may want to use a trust so that you can set aside money for a specific purpose, which you can’t really do in a will. You may also want to consider giving money to charities or other organizations that you like, and this is also sometimes better done through trusts and other devices, rather than just writing it in the will.
Estate planning is all financial
Finances are a big part of estate planning, but it also needs to cover things like medical care, business succession planning, end-of-life decisions, and much more. You’re also going to be distributing assets that have little to no financial value, but that may have a lot of sentimental value, so you need to give equal consideration to these types of assets.
As you start to put your plan together, take the time to really consider all of your legal options. If you avoid the myths and take all the proper steps, you can create a useful plan.