Five Common Myths Around Estate Planning
Estate planning can benefit almost anyone. You may have a lot of questions about the best way to divide up your assets, what kind of health care requests you can make, and whether you can legally ensure that your children are taken care of if you were to unexpectedly pass away. Speaking with an estate lawyer in Fort Collins, CO like W.B. Moore Law can provide you with clarity on your unique situation. Some common misconceptions around estate planning include:
I am young so I don’t need to do estate planning.
While most people will live to a nice old age, the unexpected can happen to everyone. This doesn’t just include outright dying. You could be in a car accident and be unresponsive after. Rather than leave all of the medical decisions to your family, you can provide a framework for how you would like to be taken care of? Do you want to be on a ventilator? If so, how long do you want to be? What do you want to happen if it is determined that you are brain dead? Estate planning also allows you to decide who will handle your affairs if this kind of scenario does occur.
I don’t have much money so it isn’t necessary.
You don’t need money for estate planning to be useful. Everything that you own following your death will be divided up and given to someone or something. An estate plan will determine ahead of time where it will go so others don’t have to. If you don’t leave a plan behind, many times a court will make this decision on your behalf.
My loved ones know what I want.
Thinking that this is true, isn’t the same as it is true. Everyone has a different perspective, and your loved ones might have different thoughts on what you really want. Even if they do know what you want, leaving it up to multiple people to decide how to divide up your items can lead to disagreements and strife that would have been avoided had you left behind a will.
I’m married so everything will just go to my spouse.
While this is a logical statement, it isn’t necessarily true. If you were to die, you wouldn’t want someone to contest your spouse’s claim to what you want them to have in court, yet this happens more often than you think. If it isn’t expressly written in a legal document, the court could divide up your assets or give them to someone else completely. Having an estate plan will help protect your partner from loss.
Once I write my estate plan, I am done.
It is important that you review your estate plan every so often. Life changes. Perhaps you have a child, purchase some property, or start a business with a partner. You will want to make sure that your estate plan reflects these life changes so there is no confusion if you unexpectedly die.