The top 3 misconceptions about estate planning

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Estate Planning & Probate

Estate planning is an important process that many adults intentionally avoid. They don’t want to think about what may happen when they die and tell themselves that it isn’t time to draft a will yet.

It is often misconceptions about estate planning that lull people into a false sense of security about their procrastination. Those who believe misinformation about estate planning, including the three myths introduced below, may leave themselves and the people they love in an unnecessarily vulnerable position.

Myth one: Estate planning is for the wealthy

Obviously, those with millions of dollars in personal holdings have plenty to protect. Wealthier individuals often have more incentive to engage in estate planning. They recognize that their property could be vulnerable to taxes or that their family members might fight over their resources after they die. Middle-class and working-class adults also require estate plans. They need to address their debts, choose beneficiaries for their assets and think about the needs of their children if anything happens to them.

Myth two: Estate planning is all about death

People sometimes tell themselves that estate planning isn’t very important because it only affects what happens after they die. However, estate planning is also about times when someone is vulnerable. Living documents are an important part of modern estate plans. People include powers of attorney so that someone they trust can handle their finances or make medical choices for them. They draft advance directives talking about their health care preferences. Even those who hope that they are years from actually dying could benefit from an estate planning in case they have some kind of medical emergency.

Myth three: Estate planning is only for seniors or those retiring

In theory, older adults getting ready for retirement or enjoying their golden years are those closest to death. In reality, people don’t really know when they could have some kind of accident. An incident doesn’t need to prove fatal for someone to need an estate plan. 18-year-olds who have just started college or a job could get into a car crash and have no one to make medical choices on their behalf. Anyone who is a legal adult, especially those without spouses, may require estate planning documents. Those with significant resources and dependent family members also need estate plans regardless of age.

People who learn the truth behind common estate planning myths can take the steps necessary to protect themselves and others. Drafting estate planning documents is a smart choice for adults in many different circumstances and stages of life.