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Estate Planning Myths 

Perhaps you also have some ideas about estate planning which have left you unsure about whether or not it is a good time to begin your own estate plan. The following myths and realities might give you a better understanding of this subject matter; therefore, pointing you in the right direction. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to call an estate planning lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer in Sacramento, CA, today. 

Only Wealthy People Need an Estate Plan

This is perhaps the most common misconception. In truth, anyone with assets can benefit from an estate plan. In fact, even people who have no assets should have estate planning tools such as a medical directive or power of attorney. Failure to have any kind of estate plan will mean that the court will decide upon the following matters if or when they arise:

  • What happens to you should you become incapacitated.
  • How you are taken care of if you are no longer able to make decisions.
  • What will happen to your minor or disabled adult children if you are incapacitated or die? 
  • Who will receive your assets after your death?
  • How your death is handled (i.e. whether you are buried, cremated, etc.).

Without planning your estate, many of the most important matters will be overseen by a judge who will make decisions according to the laws of the state. 

You Don’t Need an Estate Plan If You Are Young

It is common for a younger person to believe they don’t need an estate plan – especially if they are not married and do not have any children. As an estate planning lawyer might tell you, it is never too early to do estate planning. Consider this — what if you are involved in an accident and are left in a coma? Who will make your medical decisions? As you get older or do get married and have children, it becomes more important to think about all of these issues as early as possible. 

The State Will Get Everything Without an Estate Plan

Although it is possible for the state to inherit assets, it is actually very rare for this to happen. If you die intestate (without a will), your property will go to your spouse if you are married. If you are unmarried or your spouse has already died, it will go to your surviving children. If this is not applicable, your parents, siblings, or extended family may receive your assets. In general, the only way that the state can inherit your assets is when there are no surviving family members. 

You Cannot Redo an Estate Plan

Many people believe that once an estate plan has been created, it cannot be redone. This isn’t so. You can modify or redo your estate plan as often as you like; however, this would be time-consuming and costly. It might also increase the chances of a dispute. Therefore, it is recommended that you really think about your estate plan to ensure everything you include is really what you want. After, it should be updated whenever there are major life events. 

If you are thinking about creating an estate plan, it may be a good idea to speak with an estate planning lawyer as soon as possible. Call an attorney today. 

Thanks to Yee Law Group, PC for their insight into debunking some estate planning myths.