You probably already know how important estate planning is to protecting your assets. It is equally important to understand what the facts are when it comes to will creation and other steps.
There are quite a few myths surrounding the estate planning process, and believing misinformation can derail your best efforts. U.S. News & World Report goes over a few of the most common myths, so you can separate fact from fiction.
You do not need an estate plan until you are older
People with families should develop estate plans as soon as possible. Keep in mind that wills not only provide directions on how your assets should be distributed, but they can also be used to name guardians for minor children. If the unthinkable were to happen, you want to rest assured that your children have loving and responsible guardians in their corner. You also do not want to leave this decision to the court, as there is no guarantee it will use the same decision-making criteria as you.
You cannot make changes to your estate plan
You can and must make changes to wills and other documents when warranted. Estate plans should be updated after marriages and divorces, upon the birth of a new child, after moving to a new state, along with many other situations. It is recommended that you review your plan every three years or so to make sure it still meets your needs.
Wills cover all your assets
It is true that wills cover all the assets and properties you own. However, things like life insurance policies and retirement accounts are actually independent of wills. This is because these assets allow for beneficiary designations, which override any information contained within your will. Along with updating your estate plan as needed, make sure you are also reviewing designations to verify they are correct.