If you have heard of estate planning but have not taken any steps to create your own plan, you might be one of those who believe in a few common myths. You should not let these myths keep you from creating a will or trust to protect and distribute your assets.
Myth #1: Estate planning is only for the wealthy.
The truth is that if you have any assets or property, an estate plan is the only way to ensure they are distributed according to your wishes. While those with wealth are concerned about minimizing taxes, basic estate planning is for everyone.
Myth #2: I am single, so there is no need to create an estate plan.
Even if you are single, you will want to designate which heirs will receive your property. This can include siblings, parents, charities and even close friends.
Myth #3: If I don’t make an estate plan, my family will still inherit all of my assets.
While this may be true under intestate laws, you may not like the way those statutes distribute the percentage to certain family members who you are not close to or may not even know.
Myth #4: I can use joint accounts and ownership with my spouse to transfer our assets to each other.
Joint accounts for spouses are a good tool for passing on title to certain asset types such as bank accounts or vehicles. But if both you and your spouse pass away you will still need a plan to distribute those assets to other heirs.
Myth #5: I don’t need to worry about estate planning until I am older.
It is easy to put off something like estate planning when you are in the prime of life, thinking that there is still time. However, unexpected accidents or illnesses happen every day and then it may be too late.
Myth #6: I don’t need an attorney do make as estate plan and can just download a will or trust form and do it myself.
That is one option. While a will or trust does not have to be drafted by an attorney, it is important that all of the legal requirements are met. If you use an attorney, then you will have the peace of mind in knowing that your estate plan is valid and drafted under the experienced eye of a professional and meets all of the legal criteria.
If you have questions about whether estate planning is right for you, please contact the attorneys at Shoup Legal, A Professional Law Corporation at 951-445-4114 or visit their website at www.ShoupLegal.com.