For far too many people, their knowledge of estate planning comes from what they see on television or what they hear from friends or relatives. Because of this, it’s very common to come across myths and misperceptions about estate planning laws. While these myths may be widely held, if they prevent you from taking adequate estate planning steps they can be detrimental to you and your legacy.
Myth 1: Your will is read before your family before it takes effect.
Reality: This myth largely comes from fiction, movies and television. The moment when a deceased relative’s attorney sits down before the family and reads the terms of the will aloud, though often dramatic, is purely a fictitious creation. No state requires that you read your will aloud before it takes effect. You must, however, have your will submitted to a court so the court can determine if it meets the legal requirements.
Myth 2: Only rich people need an estate plan.
Reality: This is one of the more damaging estate planning myths. Though wealthy people typically have more options available to them when creating an estate plan, everyone can benefit by having some type of estate plan. Whether it is a simple will or an advance medical directive, every adult should create an estate plan as soon as possible. If you’re not sure where to begin, you should start by talking to an estate planning attorney today.