Most people don’t like to think about death but it is inevitable for all of us. When we die, our “stuff” doesn’t die with us. Wills and trusts guide families in the division of the estate. Since most people want to avoid the subject of death altogether, they don’t determine what will happen to their assets and may believe some falsehoods or make excuses. Here are a few of the top fallacies about wills and trust.
- I don’t need a lawyer to create my will. I will download a form from the Internet, fill it out and have someone witness it.
- Even before the Internet there were people trying to do their own will. Even if you think you don’t have a complicated estate, you need to seek the advice of an attorney. An attorney will be able to guide you through the complicated estate laws and protect your assets for your loved ones.
- I don’t have enough assets to have an “estate.”
- Estate planning does not focus solely on distributing your assets when you die. Estate planning answers several important questions including who will handle your finances when you die and the provisions for your children.
- I am in my twenties or thirties. I don’t need to think about estate planning.
- The truth is death doesn’t care how old you are. The local obituaries list several people each week who probably thought they would live for decades. Even if you are single and have no children, it’s a good idea to decide what happens to your finances and assets when you die.
- I am writing a will so my friends and family don’t have to deal with the probate court.
- You can’t avoid probate just because you have a will. The probate court will help your loved ones clear the title to any assets you own in your name only when you die.
- I am setting up a trust so there will be no estate taxes.
- Remember the old saying only two things in life are sure—death and taxes. Even setting up a trust will not let you avoid any taxes that will have to be paid. You can create a strategy that will help you reduce how much you pay. This is where the lawyer can help.
Thinking about death and setting up your estate is not a pleasant task. But planning your estate properly can help your loved ones avoid problems after you are gone.