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Most Common Estate Planning Misunderstandings

Posted on in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyersHaving a will, trust, and other estate planning documents in place can give you the peace of mind that if something happens to you, your final wishes will be fulfilled. Furthermore, comprehensive estate planning allows you to make decisions about your property and healthcare so that your family will not be burdened with making these decisions on your behalf. There are so many benefits to creating an estate plan, that it may surprise that only about 40 percent of Americans have created a will or trust. There are many myths and misunderstandings about estate planning which contribute to this.

Misunderstanding 1: You Need to Be Wealthy to Have a Will

One of the greatest misunderstandings about estate planning is that people assume it is only for the wealthy. On the contrary, anyone over age 18 can benefit from estate planning. Even if you do not have high-value assets, you probably own sentimental items which you would like given to a certain family member or friend upon your death.

Even if you do not personally care what happens to your property and debt upon your death, there are other benefits to having a will or trust. When people die without a will, it often leaves a great deal of work for surviving loved ones. An estate plan saves your friends and family the burdensome task of guessing what you would have wanted regarding your property, debt, funeral arrangements, and more.

Misunderstanding 2: Estate Planning Only Involves What Happens After You Die

While most estate planning documents dictate what happens to property upon a person’s death, this is by far not the only issue estate planning documents can address. One valuable estate planning instrument which is often overlooked is a living will. Many people can still remember the tragic Teri Schiavo case involving the 26-year-old woman in a persistent vegetative. A fierce legal battle between Schiavo’s husband, who believed she would not have wanted to be kept alive via a feeding tube, and her parents made national news. Through a living will, you can decide what types of end-of-life care you do and do not want should you become incapacitated by illness or injury.

Misunderstanding 3: I Should Not Worry About Estate Planning Until I Am Elderly

We generally think of estate planning or writing a will as something that older adults do. However, there are many reasons not to put off estate planning until an advanced age. If you currently have children under age 18, some estate planning tools allow you to nominate a person to act as a legal guardian for your children should you become incapacitated or pass away. Without a legal document addressing guardianship, the decision about who will care for your children will be left entirely to the courts.

Contact a DuPage County Wills and Trusts Attorney

Unfortunately, life is unpredictable and a tragedy could happen at any moment. It is better to have estate plans in place and not need them than to not have these crucial documents in place when they are needed. Contact a Lombard estate planning lawyer from A. Traub & Associates by calling 630-426-0196 today.

 

Sources:

https://www.aarp.org/money/investing/info-2017/half-of-adults-do-not-have-wills.html

https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/look-back-in-history-terri-schiavo-death/


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