No one likes to think about what will happen when they’re gone, but it can be an important part of life. After all, you deserve to be in control when it comes to your assets and the things you worked hard for in your life. One of the reasons many people shy away from completing their estate planning is due to a number of myths. The following will dispel some of the most common untruths about estate planning.
Your Spouse Inherits Everything
Some individuals fail to put together a will or trust because they mistakenly believe their spouse will inherit everything when they pass away. Unfortunately, this isn’t often the case, especially if you have children or you were previously married. It all depends on a number of factors, including property titles, state laws and beneficiary designations. In most cases, you will still need a will to ensure your spouse gets exactly what you want them to.
Your Family Knows What You Want
It’s easier to feel like you can trust your family with your estate planning needs. After all, if you’ve discussed your wishes with them, they should carry it out, no questions asked. However, death can often bring out the worst in people. Also, local laws can dictate how certain property is dispersed upon your death, which may conflict with what you wanted. In these situations, your family won’t have any recourse to follow your instructions to the letter without a proper will or trust in place. It’s up to you to make sure you have the legal paperwork in place to allow your family to distribute your property the way you want it done.
Your Estate Plan Is Done
Once you take the steps to create your estate plan, you may feel like you’ve done all the work and you don’t have to touch it again. However, these documents will need to be updated as time passes. You may acquire more assets or have to change designations for beneficiaries due to additions to the family or even deaths. It’s always important to review your estate plan with an experienced lawyer on a regular basis to determine if any changes need to be made. These adjustments will ensure your estate plan is completely up-to-date when it is needed, removing the guesswork and ensuring your wishes are followed precisely.
Estate planning isn’t something easy to think about. In fact, many people struggle with the idea and put it off for far too long. Others believe some of the common myths and as a result, make serious mistakes that can affect their families after they are gone. Once you are able to approach this process with a clear head, you will be able to set things up in a way that helps your family members after you pass.