Common Misconceptions You May Have About Estate Planning
Saving money on taxes and avoiding probate are the only reasons to do estate planning.
When true estate planning is understood, the financial benefits it produces are least important. Of much bigger significance is the management of personal purpose and family or social guidance.
Estate Planning is only for the rich.
Estate Planning is about the responsible transfer of wealth from generation to generation. What matters is what you do with what you have, regardless of how big or small that may be and how it affects those that you love.
Estate Planning is a morbid process.
Just the opposite is true. When fully understood and structured, estate planning is perhaps the most positive family experience anyone can engage in.
Estate planning is just for the elderly.
Not so. People die who are young, as well. Leaving your loved ones with emotional and financial chaos that could have been avoided or lessened can be avoided with proper planning. Give yourself piece of mind.
All you need is a simple will.
This can be a mistake. While a simple will can be sufficient for some, for most people – a will may actually be the least beneficial of all estate planning documents.
All trusts are the same. You can find the same protection from an online source or bargain-basement attorney
Every year, attorneys are hired to deal with lawsuits generated from the use of cheap living trusts or other inadequate estate planning. The difference between a custom estate plan from an attorney who concentrates in that field and an online vender or from and attorney that does not concentrate in estate planning – is tremendous. It’s similar to the difference between using a specialist or a general practitioner for brain surgery. There is no such thing as a one size fits all document or planning strategy.
Living Trusts gives less control of your assets.
If you don’t have a trust and become temporarily incapacitated, your assets and affairs will likely be placed under the control of a judge for a conservatorship. With a properly structured trust, you have the right to do anything and everything you want to do with your assets while you’re living. Then if you die or become incapacitated, your affairs stay out of the court system, remain private and are managed by persons you personally select.
After you’re dead and gone, what happens to your estate is no longer your responsibility.
Your journey after death is really no different than any trip you take while still alive. If you go away for a weekend or on a two week vacation, you generally leave instructions and guidance for the people you love. It’s simply the responsible thing to do. This responsibility is even greater when you take the trip from which you are never going to return. Your family needs your love and direction even more.
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