Embarking on the process of estate planning isn’t easy for anyone… but add to that the misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding the field, it’s no wonder that many still don’t understand estate planning and its purpose. Being familiar with estate planning (and, of course, developing a plan yourself) is just as important as life’s other big decisions—where to live, when to start a family, where you’ll work, etc.
Today, we’re clearing up three estate planning misconceptions, and offering tips for those new to the process.
1. Estate planning is for later on in life.
Estate planning (and the more specific processes of will writing and advance directives) is often associated with old age, which is why many adults will “put off” thinking about their estate until later on in life. In reality, however, there is no age requirement for adults who want to decide how their life’s wishes will be carried out.
It’s a part of life we don’t want to think about, but one of the key tenets of estate planning is to “expect the unexpected.” By thinking about estate planning now, no matter how old or young you are, you can help your loved ones avoid stress and confusion in the event that something happens.
2. You can’t make changes to your plan over time.
Many people may be hesitant about planning their estate “too early,” since they fear that they won’t be able to change it later on. But this idea is, fortunately, quite misdirected. Not only are you able to make changes to your estate plan later on—you are actually encouraged to do so! While there’s no need to change your plan regularly, there is a need (and option) for you to change it if your life circumstances change over time. For example, the birth of a child, divorce, remarriage, stepchildren, and other major life events often warrant a reconsideration of your estate plan. We can work with you to update your estate plan to accurately reflect your new circumstances.
3. I’m not wealthy enough.
Estate planning isn’t just for those with sizeable estates—it’s for anyone who wants a say in how their property (however large or small that may be) is executed. Additionally, it’s vital for those who have children or dependent adults in their lives, so that they may be cared for even if you’re not able to.
It’s also worth noting that you can include other important factors in your estate plan—namely, decisions regarding your health and end of life choices. These considerations are important for everyone, no matter your estate size or income level.
4. Planning your estate is too difficult or time consuming.
We understand that planning your estate and end of life decisions can be emotionally taxing. Fortunately, the legal side of the process is not always as difficult. With the help of a dedicated will and trust attorney, you will be able to create tangible, concrete (and legally binding) decisions about your life and estate… and once all is said and done, there’s really no better peace of mind than that.
We can help you develop an estate plan that fits your needs. Please contact us at 386-868-3083 if you have questions or needs we can assist you with.