Common estate planning misconceptions

| Sep 21, 2020 | Estate Planning |

Putting together an estate plan is not the hardest thing to do in the world, but it isn’t necessarily the simplest thing to do either. Common misconceptions about estate planning certainly don’t make the process any easier. So, let’s clear up some well-known myths that prevent Michigan residents from creating estate plans that best serve their interests.

Myth number one: Assets must be left to children. While a lot of people choose to name their children as their beneficiaries, they certainly do not have to. Some people choose friends, extended family members, parents, pet or charitable organizations as their beneficiaries. It is a personal choice.

Myth number two: If assets go to children, they must be divided evenly. While it may make one child feel slighted to receive less than his or her siblings, there is nothing that says all of one’s children have a right to an equal inheritance. Sometimes it makes sense to give more or less to one child than the others.

Myth number three: A trust will cover everything. A trust can offer some great protection, and it is certainly worth looking into. However, not all trusts are created equal, and not everyone needs one. Legal counsel can help determine if a trust is a good fit for one’s goals.

Myth number four: The main benefit of having an estate plan is the tax benefits. While the tax advantages are nice, there are plenty of other reasons to have an estate plan in place. It offers personal, asset and family protections. It can help prevent long legal battles. It can also help keep the peace among family members.

Estate planning is something everyone may want to consider doing at some point. Usually the earlier the better. Michigan residents who need some clarification as to what may be included in their estate plans and how they can personalize them to fit their needs can turn to legal counsel to ask questions. When ready, further help can be provided putting a plan down on paper.