Common Myths of Estate Planning

The term "estate planning" has the potential to make many families run the other direction, assuming that the option is only for those who are rich and famous in order to protect all of their valuable assets. And yet, according to Forbes Magazine, planning for the future by means of estate planning is important for those ordinal people out there, too. Estate planning is how people and their families have the opportunity of protecting their assets in the event of a serious illness or accident and death. It allows parents to rest assured that their children will not only be cared for, but also that they will receive what is rightfully theirs when they are the proper ages. Estate planning also allows estate owners to see to it that their assets and property are used and handed down in the fashion they desire. Whether this means a close friend receiving a piece of art work, or you children obtaining rights to the home when they are of age, estate planning will allow people to get all of their ducks in order just in case tomorrow never comes.

Especially for those families with younger children, estate planning will name who their guardians will be in the event that something happens to both parents. Why is this important? What if you kids are almost of adult age? What many do not understand is the fact that if an 18 year old child is still under their parents healthcare plan at the time of their parents death, they will still need the help of an attorney to obtain permission for medical decisions, or to name someone as responsible for them. All that said, there are many obvious reasons for why estate planning is so crucial; and yet there are many individuals who are still hesitant to pursue that end. Here are a few common myths about estate planning that once you understand may help how you feel about the process.

As stated previously, the assumption that estate planning is only for the wealthy is entirely false. Estate planning is for anyone who wants to protect their assets and estate in the event of a death. This process includes caring for what happens with your money and how it is distributed to your loved ones at the time you want them to receive it. For example, you may establish that when your child marries they inherit the house, or certain amount of money, etc. It gives you the veto power to determine what you want to do with what is yours after you die. Many individuals also believe that they are too young to start the process; however that is not true either. Estate planning is for anyone who wants to protect their assets and estate, and seeing as we never when our last day on earth will be; it is never too soon.

It is also important to realize that if you die without establishing a will your assets will NOT go to the state you live in. The state will however determine how the assets are distributed, while taking into account any debt that may exist. However, by choosing to establish a will you will make sure that it is distributed to whom you so please. The state will not know that you are refusing to let one of your children to inherit assets unless you state it specifically, etc. It is also essential to realize that a will and probate (estate planning) are different things, because there are many individuals who believe that there is no need to have a concern for estate planning if they have completed the first step. This too, is untrue.

Probate is a delicate process, and somewhat lengthy, that establishes a set in stone way for your estate to be distributed after your death; whereas a will only shows the court your preferences. Depending on the circumstance, the court can chose to overlook your will after it has been contested in court and therefore probate will have a greater likelihood of protecting this from occurring. While it would be nice at times to avoid state taxes, it is important to realize that trusts do not mean they are taxed. By establishing a trust, there are certain options that may help you with estate tax liability; however it cannot be entirely avoided. Contact a lawyer to answer specific questions regarding the certain trusts you have in your family.

Lastly, one of the biggest myths is thinking that you do not need a lawyer to help you with the estate planning process. When it comes to your future and the future of your loved ones, you want to take matters as seriously as possible. By hiring an estate planning attorney they can help you make wise decisions on what is best for you as well as guide you through the many legal factors included in the process. The attorney can help you from start to finish with the estate planning process, and as they are trained individuals with drafting contracts you can rest assured that your finances, your estate and your loved ones future are in good and capable hands. Specifically when it comes to drafting a trust, you will want to have the oversight of the attorney; even if for some reason you choose to not go all the way through with the estate planning process. Nevertheless, if you would like to feel the comfort and security knowing that your estate and the future or your children and loved ones are secure, estate planning is the method for you. Contact an estate planning attorney near you today!