It seems that there are a variety of myths surrounding the concept – and practice – of estate planning. In an effort to dispel these myths, and help people provide for their family once they’re gone, this article addresses some of the most common harmful estate planning myths.
1st Myth: You have to be wealthy to make an estate plan
If you own any property, you’ll have an estate when you die. If you fail to make a plan about what to do with it when you die, then whatever property you have will pass by intestate succession. Intestate succession is the legislatively determined method for distributing the property of someone who dies without a Will, or who dies with an invalid Will. Intestate succession may result in your property going to someone you do not want, instead of someone you do.
2nd Myth: I’m not old enough to worry about an estate plan
The disconcerting truth is that we never know when our time is up. It may be tomorrow or it may be 80 years from now. Faced with that kind of uncertainty, it’s nonsensical to delay implementing an estate plan because, just as with the first myth, if you own any property than you have an estate for which you can plan.
3rd Myth: I wrote out my Will so I’ve taken care of that
Sorry, but most states do not accept handwritten Wills. This means that despite your carefully written Will, the court will deem your Will to be invalid, and your estate will be distributed by intestate succession.