While most people don’t feel comfortable discussing incapacitation or death, estate planning can prevent discord in the family and make sure that your loved ones are provided for.
An estate attorney can also help you appoint a power of attorney and create an advance directive outlining end-of-life care. A comprehensive estate plan prevents your assets from being mishandled or going to the wrong people.
Continue reading to learn the five myths that prevent people from scheduling an appointment with an estate planning attorney.
1. Estate planning is for the wealthy
It’s a misconception that only wealthy people benefit from estate plans. In reality, anyone can benefit from getting an estate plan, regardless of their age or financial status. Estate planning documents make sure your final wishes are honored in the event of incapacitation or death. For example, an estate plan can outline what life-saving procedures you want.
2. I’m too young to make an estate plan
Don’t put off scheduling a consultation with an estate planning lawyer until the last minute. If you are of sound mind and body, this is your best opportunity to create an ironclad legal will. Keep in mind that estate plans aren’t just for the elderly. For example, if you are a parent, you may decide to create an estate plan to designate a guardian for your young children if something ever happens to you.
3. Estate plans are only for people with complex finances
While some people have simple finances, it’s more likely that you’re too close to your situation to see potential complications. An estate planning attorney can help walk you through the steps of how to create an estate plan that is as simple or complex as your financial situation.
An attorney honors your wishes by helping you create an estate plan that ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes. They can also make sure that your assets are protected from creditors (and predators) in the meantime.
4. I’ll never have to change my estate plan
Your estate plan should be a fluid document that changes with your life circumstances. This means that every time there is a birth, death, or divorce in your family, you’ll need to re-evaluate your estate plan. You may also need to change your estate plan if your financial situation changes at all. Thankfully, an estate planning lawyer can help you make the necessary changes to your estate plan so it stays current and relevant.
5. Who I name as my trustee or personal representative isn’t important
Your trustee or personal representative will be in charge of handling your estate once you pass away or become incapacitated. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure you choose someone who is competent and reliable enough for this responsibility. Who among your close family members can you trust to handle your estate and honor your wishes? This is a question you should carefully consider before appointing a personal representative.