Exploring Social Security Cases and Outcomes

Five Myths That Surround Estate Planning

by Marie Caldwell

Making plans for a time when you will no longer be around is, of course, not always fun and can be slightly depressing. However, it is necessary. This is because, too many times, family members will claim that they had a close relationship with you in order to gain some of the assets left behind. This usually leads to drama within families and it usually doesn't end up going how the deceased person would have wished. Estate planning, for this reason, is very necessary, but people don't often take it seriously because of these five myths that surround it:

  1. Estate Planning is Only Necessary for the Wealthy: Many times people believe that estate planning is only for those who are wealthy. However, this is not the case. If you have any kind of assets, even if you own a home at all, estate planning is going to be helpful to ensure that your assets are distributed in a way that meets your wishes. 
  2. Estate Planning Only Needs to be Done Once: If you have made an estate plan before, it's a common misconception that it's not something you have to worry about again. This is because life circumstances change, including relationships with family and friends, the owning of assets, and more. All of this will need to be adjusted when it comes up. 
  3. ​Wills Cannot be Changed by Anyone: It's another common misconception that once you make your will, it needs to be abided by your whole family upon your passing. However, if you did not place a non-contested clause to your will, then it can be contested by anyone and changes could potentially be made. This is why it's important to keep it up to date and add this. 
  4. Old Wills are Canceled Out: If you have an old will upon your passing, it is going to be used if there is no will that has come after it. This is the most recent, so therefore, it must have everything listed. Wills do not cancel after a certain number of years, which is what many people believe to be true. 
  5. Thorough Documentation is Not Necessary: When you have your will signed, it's best to have your lawyer video tape it being done. This is because it can be fought later on that you were in a poor state of mind to create the will or that it was influenced by someone else. However, with video documentation, it shows that you were in a state to sign the will willingly and, therefore, it does meet your wishes. 

When you know the truth behind these five myths that surround estate planning, you can better understand why it's so important to keep it up to date and pay attention to it. If you still have questions, contact your local law firm, like Doug Newborn Law Firm, PLLC.