Estate planning is common nowadays. No one can escape death and, therefore, there is a need to ensure that you plan well for your estate to help your family and relatives while you are alive. However, there have been a lot of myths regarding estate planning. Some are as a result of society exaggerations and false reports. Below is a list of myths that we will debunk with reasons.
1) Without a will, my estate goes to the state
This is totally wrong. When you die without writing a will or having a trust, your assets and property automatically go to your relatives, your spouse, your children your parents etc. However, this all depends on different states rules in different countries across the world. Your estate property only goes to the state if you have no surviving relatives or very close friends. That not withstanding, it is important that you have a will or trust so that you can leave your estate property to your loved ones or charities you loved participating in.
As I said before, it is safe to have a will. But your will is not fool proof and can be contested by your relatives if they feel that it is not right. You may write your will allocating property to your family members but later they may feel that there is no equal or fair distribution. This can cause court contesting of your will during the probate process. This is a win or lose situation depending on the court’s decision. Therefore, it is important to agree with your family members and relatives before estate planning to prevent conflicts.
This is not true. Many people believe that having a trust will ensure that your estate and property will not be taxed. Trusts do not avoid payment of estate tax. It might seem simple but I suggest seeking legal advice from a qualified lawyer during your estate planning.
4) Probate process is costly and takes time
The probate process is a legal process that involves proving of a will in a court. Probate costs include court legal fees, attorney fees and other costs but they are not that high compared to costs one incurs when you avoid the probate process. Dealing with it early can reduce the amount of time taken battling it in court.
5) Estate planning is for the old
This is another great myth that fills people’s minds. This is basically not true because there are young people who, unfortunately, die early interstate. It is, therefore, very important for any person regardless of age to plan well for their estate (see the website) to prevent conflicts in courts after they have kicked the bucket. Age is just a number and death does not recognize that number.
6) Estate planning does not require a lawyer
There is a notion that those who are not very rich do not require an attorney while those with extensive estates definitely need one. However, problems can arise regarding your estate no matter how large or small it is. You will automatically need an attorney at that point. Therefore, finding an attorney for legal advice regarding your estate early on can help you to avoid hiring one later on.
There you have it, folks! Writing a will does not have to be shrouded in mystery and myths. We have busted some of them for you. Now it’s your turn to talk to a professional who will explain the process to you in greater detail.