In this new series, I’d like to spend some time addressing common myths and misconceptions about your personal finances.
This month let’s smack down 3 myths about having a will and other estate planning!
Keep in mind, I’m not an attorney. Every state’s laws are different, so I highly recommend working with an attorney licensed in your state. I’m happy to help recommend ones I trust!
Myth 1: I don’t need an attorney to get my will done.
Facts: Sure, you can use software or a website to draft a will. It’s slightly better than not having a will.
But I’ve seen many examples from attorneys where vagueness in those types of wills cost money, cause frustration, and create stress for heirs. Lots of situations benefit from a properly drawn will by a professional. In some cases, a will isn’t even the best document for you to have!
Bottom line: often the cost of having an attorney draft your will is much less than the costs associated with fixing a mistake after you die.
Myth 2: All I need to take care of my “estate planning” is to get my will completed.
Facts: The days of only needing a will are long gone. To properly protect yourself and your loved ones, you need to go further.
These are just a couple of examples. Some situations require more planning. Only a trusted attorney can help make sure you’re in good shape!
Myth 3: I can put off getting my will and estate planning done until I get older.
Facts: If you have any property, a spouse, or a child, you need to get this done NOW.
I know facing our own mortality isn’t a lot of fun. But if you have loved ones, you owe it to them to be responsible. None of us know when our time will come, or when we might become incapacitated and unable to make decisions.
Don’t feel bad if you haven’t done this yet. Most of my clients haven’t done this when I start working with them. But I’ll tell you what I tell my clients: get this done so YOU get to write your own final chapter in your biography. Keep control and make life better for your loved ones.
I hope you found this helpful and re-framed some of your perspectives on the legal documents you need to have in place!