Four Common Estate Planning Myths
1. “I have a Will so I don’t need to worry about Probate.”
If you only have a Will in place (i.e. you die “testate”), your estate will most definitely go through the Probate process. So, why create a Will in the first place? Well, the Court will be nice enough to read your Will and use it as a guide when determining distribution of your assets…but at the end of the day, your estate will still go through the expensive, lengthy and public court process called Probate.
2. “If I die without a Will, all of my assets will be given to the state or charity.”
If you die without a Will (i.e. you die “intestate”), your estate will again go through the Probate process. However, because you left nothing that gives the Court guidance with respect to your wishes, the Court will look to the Probate Code and intestacy laws to determine who gets your estate. What does the Probate Code say about who gets what? Well, you can check out Probate Code sections 6400-6414 (by clicking here) to make sure it is in line with your wishes…or you can get started on creating your estate plan and guarantee that your wishes will be followed.
3. “ I’m too young for an estate plan.”
All too often individuals and couples avoid preparing their estate plans because, of course, youth makes you feel invincible. Wrong. We know accidents happen and illness strike at any age, so why gamble when you can create an estate plan and rest easy at nights.
4. “Estate planning is just for the wealthy.”
Estate planning is about much more then preserving your wealth for your loved ones. A good estate plan will cover not only death, but your incapacity as well. It will provide for what happens if you are incapacitated, who will make your medical decisions, who will act as guardian for your minor children and much more. Estate planning is for anyone that wants to ease the burden their death or illness may have on their loved ones. So, if you care at all about your loved ones, you need an estate plan, no exceptions.