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5 estate planning myths debunked

On Behalf of | May 18, 2023 | Estate Planning

What you understand about estate planning may be wrong. Many sites misinform people about how estate planning works. 

To help ensure you understand your legal option when planning your estate, you may need to read the following:

Myth 1: You don’t need to worry about it until you’re at least 50 years of age.

Truth: The only age limit that restricts who can make an estate plan is whether the testator is a legal adult. Once you become an adult, there’s nothing stopping you from making your estate plan — and every adult should have one. 

Myth 2: You can only name blood relatives in your will.

Truth: Unfortunately, many people don’t have good relations with their siblings or cousins. If this is the case for you, you don’t have to name anyone that’s genetically related as your beneficiary. Instead, you could name a friend or loved one as an heir or plan a charity trust.

Myth 3: You can only make a trust or a will, but not both.

Truth: A will is a legal document that names your heirs and last wishes. A trust is a similar document that puts assets in the hands of a trustee who will distribute assets to beneficiaries. You must make a will when planning your estate, but trust is optional. There are benefits to making a trust, such as avoiding estate taxes and probate.

Myth 4: An executor only distributes assets.

Truth: The biggest role of an executor is to distribute assets, but they can handle much more than that. They’ll have to collect death certificates to give to interested parties. They may also have to pay your taxes and mortgage. 

Myth 5: Your estate plans must be drafted by you.

Truth: While you can write your will by hand without help, you may not understand the intricacies of the law. By getting legal help, you may learn what options you have and how you can make a valid estate plan.