Today, in honor of National Estate Planning Awareness Week, we’re tackling 3 Common Estate Planning myths.
- “I don’t need an estate plan.” You may think you don’t have enough money, or “things,” to merit an estate plan. But, as the old saying goes, “you can’t take it with you.” A thoughtful estate plan will handle the distribution of all of your assets – ranging from personal belongings to real estate, automobiles, investments, life insurance, and bank accounts. Planning can also weave in tax considerations, prevent family disputes, and provide for a smooth and simple distribution of assets in the context of state and federal laws.
- “It’s just a will, right?” Not so fast. There are other documents, besides a will, to consider when planning for the end of your life. Medical directives will outline your preferences for end-of-life medical care, life-prolonging treatments, and life support decisions. Health care and financial powers of attorney will enable your loved ones to make decisions on your behalf, according to your wishes, when you are unable to do so. Finally, some situations merit the drafting of a Trust document for specific handling of assets or maximization of tax benefits.
- “I did mine already. I don’t need to do it again.” As time passes, things change: laws, tax code, family dynamic, and the complexity of your financial life. It is important to periodically revisit your estate plan to ensure that it continues to reflect your wishes, minimize confusion, and reduce tax burden.
Questions? Talk to your attorney or Certified Financial Planner to determine what level of planning suits your needs.