Estate Planning Myths

Breanne Gordon Estate Planning

Myth #1: When you die, your beneficiaries have to file a probate for your estate. 

Truth: If you have a properly funded trust, your beneficiaries will not have to file a probate with the court. Instead, the appointed successor trustee will carry out your wishes regarding your property pursuant to your instructions contained in the trust. 

Myth #2: Estate planning is only for the wealthy. 

Truth: Estate Planning is an important consideration for everyone. If you own any assets and want to ensure that certain individuals or entities receive those assets, then you need an estate plan. Even if you do not own any assets, it is still important to obtain a Durable Power of Attorney and an Advanced Healthcare Directive. 

Myth #3: Estate planning is expensive. 

Truth: Estate Planning can be done for anyone at any budget. Instead of looking at estate planning as a burdensome expense, look at it as an investment for your beneficiaries. Without a will or trust, your beneficiaries will have to probate your estate, which costs thousands of dollars and takes many months, if not years, to complete. Having an estate plan will provide you peace of mind. Our firm offers various estate planning packages and payment plans to suit every individual or family. 

Myth #4: Estate planning is time-consuming and complicated. 

Truth: We have simplified the estate planning process to account for our client’s busy lives. Our intake form helps clients inventory and asses their assets and debts. An initial meeting, either in person or by phone, allows our attorneys to explain the process, ask clarifying questions about the intake form responses, and answer any questions from the client. Next, the attorney will draft the estate planning documents and send to the client for review. The final step is to schedule your signing appointment where you will execute your estate planning documents. You will be provided your estate plan in a binder, which contains a digital copy on a flash drive. 

Myth #5: Estate planning is only for the elderly. 

Truth: It is never too early to consider estate planning. A good rule of thumb is that you should obtain an estate plan if you (1) have children or (2) own any assets. Estate planning is the best way to provide for your children and establish guardianship. 

Myth #6: Once you have a trust executed, you can “set it and forget it”. 

Truth: If you have a trust, that trust is essentially useless unless it is properly funded. This means that all of your assets have been transferred into your trust. If you buy any assets after executing your trust, you must make sure those assets are transferred into your trust. If an asset remains in your individual name, your beneficiaries will have to file a probate regarding that asset. It is a good idea to review your trust at least every five years, or when you obtain a new asset.