You’ve likely heard once or twice that only people with a large estate benefit from making estate plans. This idea is only a myth. Estate planning has a lot of benefits besides distributing assets. For example, parents can make estate plans that name child guardians. A child guardian could take over the care of a child if the child’s parents suddenly pass away.
Now that you know that you can make an estate plan no matter the size of your estate, you may need to avoid these other common estate planning myths:
Myth #1: It’s cheaper to die without an estate plan
Truth: Many people die without a valid will. If a testator dies without a valid will, they have died “intestate.” Intestate means the state would have to administer the distribution of the deceased’s estate. When the state administers an estate, assets are distributed according to law, not according to the testator’s wishes (since there was no record of said wishes). That doesn’t decrease the expenses to your estate, however.
Myth #2: You only need an estate plan when you’re older
Truth: Many people plan to live a long life. With this in mind, many people may not plan their estate until they’re much older. However, tragedy can strike at the worst times. People who make estate plans early may be more likely to have their last wishes fulfilled if they suddenly pass away at a young age.
Myth #3: You can’t update your estate plans
Truth: Another reason some people put off making estate plans is because they believe an estate plan can’t be updated. Estate plans can be updated and many people do so regularly to include new assets. Many people also update their estate plans after big life events, such as marriage or childbirth.
Myth #4: Estate planning is easy
Truth: Estate planning is a complex legal matter. People who are planning their estate may need to reach out for help to understand their legal options and how current laws could affect their plans.