Myths About Estate PlanningPosted March 17, 2015 by Trusts & Estates Blog in
Myth: Estate planning is too expensive and not that important.
Truth: Estate planning does not have to be expensive at all. There are cost effective ways to do comprehensive planning and maximize the benefit to you and your loved ones. It is important that everyone, regardless of the value of your assets, establish a custom estate plan. A comprehensive estate plan will provide control of your assets during and after death, and is critically important to your overall financial plan.
Myth: Trusts are only for wealthy folks.
Truth: You do not need to be a millionaire to have a trust. If fact, trusts are simply instruments for holding, managing and distributing property both during one’s life time, and after death. A trust can solve a myriad of problems. It allows you to specify what assets will be distributed to whom, when, how and for what purpose. Another unique benefit of trusts is that unlike wills, trusts generally do not go through probate. This therefore allows for the transfer of property and assets held in the trust to be transferred immediately to the beneficiaries. There are several different types of trusts and each have specific benefits including, protecting assets from creditors and tax benefits.
Myth: My next of kin will know what to do if I ever become disabled, medically declared in a vegetative state or mentally incompetent.
Truth: Often times loved ones do not know what to do under the above circumstances. It is vital to execute an advanced health care directive and appoint an agent to make health care decisions on your behalf in accordance with your requests, when you are incapable to act on your own. Such decisions include, organ donation, administration of pain medication, administration of artificial nutrition and under what circumstances to (as most commonly put) “pull the plug.”
Cecilia Jones, a partner at Press & Dozier LLC is the firm’s lead attorney on estate matters. With over 20 years of legal experience and with a particular expertise in tax law, she has successfully helped many clients with wealth management and estate planning. For more information or to schedule a consultation click here.