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Do you still believe in these estate planning myths?

by | May 9, 2019 | Estate Planning

Thinking about what will happen later in life or after death is uncomfortable for most people. Dealing with emotionally uncomfortable things is not easy, and some people in Lake Charles may feel better by avoiding the subject altogether. However, this is not helpful, and skipping out on estate planning can even help fuel myths about the process.

One of the biggest misconceptions about estate planning is that it is only for people who have a lot of wealth. The truth is that anyone who owns property or who has family members depending on them needs an estate plan. This means that virtually all adults need to have at least a basic estate plan in place. Having an estate plan means that a person can protect people who rely on him or her, establish guardians for any minor children, decide how property will be distributed and much more.

That “much more” is especially important, dispelling another common myth. It is still commonly believed that estate planning is only used to distribute a person’s property after one’s death. In fact, some people choose to establish a legacy of charitable giving that goes far beyond just passing on property. Estate planning also protects people before death by making sure that their medical wishes are fully respected and that a trusted individual can make medical decisions if necessary.

Dispelling these myths might encourage some people to take a step forward and create an estate plan. However, this means that one more myth needs to be taken down. Despite what some people think, estate planning is not a once-and-done ordeal. Acquiring new property, getting married, getting divorced, having children and even changes to the tax laws can mean that it is time for an update. Revisiting an estate plan at least once a year is usually a good idea for most people.

Estate planning is a process that encompasses much more than what happens to a person’s stuff after his or her death. A well-constructed plan can pass on property to loved ones, protect a person’s wishes before and after death and can even establish an important legacy. Those living in Lake Charles who have yet to take their first step towards creating an estate plan may want to consider whether speaking with an attorney might help them get started with the process.