A proper estate plan can ensure your property will go to the people you want, the way you want, and when you want. Done properly, it can enable you to save on taxes, court costs and legal fees.
The following are some common myths about estate planning:
- My estate isn’t big enough. Even if you have few assets, your estate plan directs where those assets go. Estate planning is more than a will. A thorough estate plan includes a power of attorney and a health care proxy, both of which protect you while you’re still alive. A power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to handle your finances if you are unable to do so. A health care proxy appoints someone to make medical decisions for you are unable to do so.
- I’m too young for an estate plan. One of the largest benefits for young couples is that your will allows you to name a guardian for your children in addition to directing where your assets go.
- My will takes care of everything. A will is a directs who will receive your property at your death. However, wills only cover probate property. Many types of property pass outside of probate. Jointly-owned property, property in trust, life insurance proceeds and property with a named beneficiary, all pass outside of probate. A good estate plan will devise and confirm a plan for all of your assets, regardless of whether they are probate or non-probate property.
- It is cheaper to create a will on my own. It is tempting to try to save money by using a do-it-yourself will service or just writing something yourself, but these documents may cost additional money in the end. In my personal experience as an estate administration attorney, the matters that involved drawn out litigation and courtroom battles tend to be matters where the family tried to save money on having an attorney a will only to expend much more time and money in litigation.
- Once a plan is in place, I’m done. You need to review it every few years or whenever you have major life changes. Circumstances change and your estate plan needs to keep up with these changes. Major changes that may affect your plan include getting married or divorced, having children, or experiencing an increase or decrease in assets.
Call our team at Luschas, Naparsteck, & Crane, LLP 17 570-784-4654 to schedule your estate planning consultation today!