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4 Myths About Estate Planning

Many people avoid the estate planning conversation because it’s uncomfortable to think about what will happen when they are no longer here. Unfortunately, this also means that many people who pass away suddenly leave behind no guidance for their loved ones. In this informative blog, we will be breaking down some of the most common myths about estate planning so that you can be fully informed when starting the process.


Only the Wealthy Need Estate Planning


One of the most common myths about estate planning that we encounter on a regular basis is that only rich people need to worry about estate planning. This misconception arises from the assumption that the estate planning process is solely about asset distribution. In reality, the estate planning process also involves your financial and legal affairs in the event that you are incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself. It also includes provisions for what you want for end-of-life care and any life-saving measures that you do or do not want to be taken.


You Don’t Need a Will If You Have Beneficiary Forms Completed


Another one of the most common myths about estate planning is that you don’t need to worry about creating a will as long as you have up-to-date beneficiary forms. However, this is not the case. It’s always a good thing to keep your beneficiary forms updated, but many different situations might arise where assets cannot be distributed right away. For example, if the beneficiary on your policy is not of legal age yet and can’t inherit the money, your will can include provisions for this situation.


Estate Planning Is Prohibitively Expensive


Sadly, some people who could benefit from estate planning pass away without doing so because they assume that the process is too expensive. While you will need to spend money to hire an estate planning attorney and complete all of the documents, it can save you a tremendous amount of money and stress in the long run.


The probate process alone can cost a great deal of cash, and your estate planning attorney will be able to help you focus on preserving as many of your assets as possible and minimizing the tax implications for your loved ones. Additionally, they can walk you through all of your options for estate distribution, including some that people do not necessarily think of themselves.


You Can Tell Family and Friends What You Want


Another one of the most prevalent myths about estate planning is that you can simply tell your loved ones what you want to give them and what your wishes are. While this is technically true, it strips you of legal protection and can lead to prolonged, emotional court battles. It’s easy for loved ones to forget your wishes, and what you tell one person might be totally different from what you tell another later down the road. Additionally, Maryland does not recognize oral wills, as your will must be written and signed by you and two other witnesses.


Partner with Atkinson Law. We’ll Take Care of You Like Family


At Atkinson Law, we listen to all our clients and protect their interests so they can receive a positive legal outcome.  We’ll work with you and give you the best possible recommendation for your future. To learn more about veterans and criminal justice, contact us today by calling (410) 882-9595 or visiting our website.