Common Myths About Estate Planning

Estate planning is an essential aspect of financial planning that people often ignore or avoid. There are various misconceptions regarding estate planning that discourage people from planning their estate. This article aims to debunk some of the most common myths about estate planning.

Myth #1: Estate Planning Is Only for the Wealthy

A common misconception with estate planning is that it is only meant for the wealthy individuals. It is a misconception because everyone can do estate planning regardless of their wealth.

Estate planning involves a lot more than just financial assets distribution. It includes the protection of your healthcare decisions, your guardian for your children, and many other essential documents that can benefit everyone at any income level. It is also important to note that even if you do not consider yourself wealthy, you likely have assets to distribute, such as:

  • Pets
  • Clothing
  • Vehicles
  • Furniture
  • Savings
  • Personal benefits

Myth #2: Estate Planning is Only for Elderly or Ill People

People often associate estate planning with senior citizens or those who are suffering from a serious illness. However, estate planning is for everyone, irrespective of age or health status.

Being young and healthy does not guarantee you will live forever. Estate planning involves creating an advance medical directive to ensure your healthcare decisions are respected if you cannot make them yourself. As soon as you turn 18, you should create a will so your wishes are honored. Also, having a will and a trust can benefit your heirs at an early age.

Myth #3: Writing a Will is Sufficient

A common myth about estate planning is that writing a will is sufficient to pass on your assets to your heirs and that a will is the only estate planning document you need. However, having a will is just one aspect of estate planning.

Advanced directives like a healthcare power of attorney, durable power of attorney, and other trust documents can protect you while alive and death while ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes. By working with an experienced estate planning attorney, you can receive valuable counsel concerning what documents you need for your plan.

Myth #4: Estate Planning Is Only Necessary for People with Kids

Another common misconception about estate planning is that it is only necessary for couples with kids. Without children, people think there is no need for an estate plan. However, regardless of whether or not you have kids, having an estate plan that protects your assets, family, and expresses your end-of-life wishes is essential.

Myth #5: Estate Planning Is a One-Time Event

Estate planning is not a one-time event; it is an ongoing process that requires periodic review and update. Every major life event such as marriage, divorce, or changes in your assets can affect your estate plan. It is essential to revisit your estate planning documents with a qualified attorney to ensure they remain up-to-date.

Myth #6: If I Die Without a Will, the State Gets My Assets

If you die without a will in the state of Georgia, your estate will be distributed according to the intestate laws. This means that if you have no close family members, your assets will be distributed to the state. If you are married and have no living descendants, such as children or grandchildren, then your spouse will inherit everything.

However, if you do have living descendants, then your spouse and descendants will share the estate. In some cases, other relatives may also be entitled to a portion of the estate depending on the circumstances. It is important to understand how these laws work in order to ensure that your wishes are carried out after death.

Myth #7: There Will Be a Reading of My Will

When it comes to will readings, Hollywood has been known to amp up the drama with emotional outbursts and jaw-dropping revelations. However, in reality, will readings are not actually a common place occurrence. Unless you set up a reading of your will or read it yourself before your passing, a will reading will likely not happen. So, what really happens once the will is filed away?

Well, after the person passes, their appointed executor takes on the duty of submitting the will to the probate court in the county where the person passed away. It may not be as thrilling as a movie scene, but it is an important step in ensuring the decedent's wishes are carried out properly.

Trusted & Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys

Regardless of your income or age, having a plan to protect your assets, family members, and your healthcare decisions is necessary. Writing an estate plan is not only about assets distribution; it involves a consideration of many other aspects of your life. You can contact a qualified estate planning attorney to help you create, review, and update your estate plan.

At Busch, Reed, Jones & Leeper, P.C., we pride ourselves on providing our clients with high-quality representation, and we have helped countless clients with their estate planning needs. Whether it be drafting a will, reviewing existing estate planning documents, or altering them in accordance with your wishes, we ensure that the process is meticulously carried out with full compliance to regulations. You can trust our firm to safeguard your estate and bring peace of mind to you and your loved ones.

Schedule a complimentary initial consultation today by calling (770) 629-0154.