Common Estate Planning Myths We Wish People Would Stop Believing

As Estate Planning attorneys, we understand how important it is to properly plan for both the future and the here and now. While most of the general population would tend to agree with this statement, most people often overlook the importance of Estate Planning and the crucial role it can play in their individual planning. 

We’re hoping to help shed some light on some common myths and misconceptions people have that often prevents them from taking that first step towards creating their Estate Plan.

“Estate Planning is only for people who are very wealthy.”

Estate Planning is more than estate tax avoidance and protection. While that can be a large part of an individual’s plan, it’s not the sole purpose. Anyone who has assets, both liquid and tangible, needs an Estate Plan. It determines how one’s assets would be managed and distributed if they were to become incapacitated or passed away in the manner they would have wanted. Moreover, an Estate Plan ensures what someone has worked hard to earn is protected. 

Bottom line: you don’t have to be rich to want to exercise your voice!

“Estate Planning is for older individuals, I’m too young.”

Estate Planning is for older individuals, I’m too young.We should probably just blame the media on this one for focusing on older generations when it comes to Estate Plans. But contrary to popular belief in the land of mainstream media, younger generations need an Estate Plan just as much as older generations. Too often we see stories about younger people passing away, and the sad truth is, they probably didn’t have a plan put in place because they didn’t think they needed one. Even more, they may not have known what an Estate Plan is. But anyone who has assets and wants the people they love and care about to be protected and cared for, needs an Estate Plan. This is true whether someone is in their 20s, 50s or 80s. 

“Estate Planning is only about my assets after I’ve passed away.”

Estate planning is often viewed as a strategy for controlling a person’s assets once they’ve passed away. This isn’t wrong by any means, but Estate Planning is so much more than just your future – it’s the here and now. We often ask our clients, who they would want to be in control if they were to become ill or incapacitated right now. Who would they want to make decisions regarding their health? Who would they want to be in control of their finances? These questions aren’t easy, and the answers may not always come to you right away. That’s because they’re hard decisions to make because they’re hard jobs to do. But, if a person creates a plan where the people they trust are in these significant roles, they will gain peace of mind knowing that they, and their family, will be cared for even when they are no longer able.