Friends, family, acquaintances, and the internet are a breeding ground for estate planning myths. These myths can lead to a failure to plan or a plan that fails. To set the record straight, we are dispelling 7 estate planning myths in this three part article.
5. I don’t need a trust because I have a will. Myth!!!
Most people would benefit from having a revocable living trust in addition to a pour-over-will. While your will is necessary, it is only effective after you’re dead. Therefore, it can do nothing to help you or your loved ones while you are alive.
A revocable living trust allows you to remain in control and provide instruction for what you want to happen should you become disabled. For example, it gives instruction as to how you will be deemed disabled, who will serve as disability trustees, and what your disability trustees are authorized to do.
Even with a will, many persons whose estate exceeds $150,000 will have to endure the costs, delay and public scrutiny of formal probate proceedings.
6. If you have a revocable living trust, you need not take further action. Myth!!
A revocable living trust is not a magic document, you still need people to take action and follow trust instructions in the event the trust maker becomes disabled or dies. If a trust maker becomes disabled or dies, be sure to contact a qualified, experienced estate planning attorney immediately.
In addition, your revocable living trust and all estate planning documents should be reviewed every few years or if a significant life event occurs.
7. I am too Young to Need Estate Planning. Myth!!
Unless you’re a teenager or a child, this is a myth. Everyone age 18 or older needs an estate plan. Those who are younger and have modest assets may not need a comprehensive trust-based plan. However, to avoid the devastating consequences that could accompany an unexpected death or disability, basic planning documents should be in place.
And, if you have any questions or concerns, consult with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney.