PLEASE NOTE: We are still open for business and accepting new clients. To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering new and current clients the ability to meet with us in person, via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.

Experience you can trust.
A reputation you can be proud of.
A team you can depend on.

Estate planning: Exploring the common myths

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | PROBATE & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION - Estate Planning

One misconception about estate planning is that the process is only for people who have a large amount of wealth. However, anyone can benefit from an estate plan. Even if a person has very little assets, they could create an estate plan for health care decisions and child custody. 

The myth that estate planning is only for the rich is just one of many misconceptions. Here are a few more to avoid if you are making an estate plan:

Myth 1: A will is not necessary for an estate plan

Truth: The main document in an estate plan is the will. Without a will, a testator would die intestate and their assets would be distributed by the state. A will is also typically necessary for people who want to make trusts.

Myth 2: You must reveal your will to beneficiaries 

Truth: The testator does not have to disclose any of their estate plans to anyone. However, it is beneficial to discuss the details of an estate plan with the executor so they are aware of the location of the will and what responsibilities would be required of them.

Myth 3: A beneficiary must be a family member

Truth: A beneficiary is anyone who could benefit from an estate plan. The testator can name anyone as a beneficiary, such as a spouse, sibling, adopted child, friend, godparent or charity. Multiple beneficiaries could also be named. 

Myth 4: An estate plan must be handwritten

Truth: While many people have written their estate plans by hand, it is not the only option. Writing an estate by hand could also lead to challenges, such as if the will did not follow state laws or had a grammatical mistake.

Testators may benefit from reaching out for legal help to discuss their estate planning options.