Dispelling Estate Planning Myths
Dec. 29, 2022
At its core, estate planning is about deciding how your property and finances will be handled after you pass. Because of its association with assets and death, many people often assume that being wealthy or retired are prerequisite to taking part in the process. But that notion — like many common misconceptions about estate planning — is completely false.
As an estate planning attorney, I’m invested in educating you so you can navigate the process with confidence. Contact my office in Corpus Christi, Texas, to learn more about my services. I proudly serve those throughout South Texas and the Coastal Bend area.
Unpacking Estate Planning Myths & Misconceptions
“Estate planning isn’t necessary until you retire.”
Estate planning is necessary for every adult, regardless of your age. Actually, it’s not only necessary — it’s essential.
Accidents, death, and illness are not exclusive to retirees and elders. If you don’t have an estate plan, passing away unexpectedly could catapult your already-grieving loved ones into a messy probate process or financial distress. But, while it's impossible to predict the future, it is possible to plan for it. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Schedule an estate planning consultation today.
“I don’t have enough assets to necessitate an estate plan.”
The size of your estate plays no part in your right and need to make a plan for it.
I cannot reiterate this enough: everyone needs an estate plan. Whether your estate is small, large, straightforward, or complex, crafting a comprehensive estate plan is completely necessary.
“If I don’t have a will, then it's up to my family to decide who gets what.”
You may not have a firm opinion on who gets what from your estate, but it’s in the best interests of your family to have the appropriate estate planning documents in place. If you die intestate (without a will), the fate of your assets will be in the hands of the state government, who will use a preset formula to determine who receives what.
“If I have a will, my estate won’t have to go through probate.”
A will provides the court with guidance on your wishes, but it does not shield your estate from the probate process. However, there are multiple strategies available for avoiding probate — like creating a trust, for example — that you can explore with your attorney.
“An estate plan is only to establish who gets what when I die.”
In addition to creating an outline of who gets your possessions, crafting your estate plan also involves decisions about:
Guardianship for your minor children
Estate and inheritance taxes
End-of-life medical care
What happens to your body after death
Estate planning is more than the sum of its parts. Through its technical purpose of laying out instructions for your assets, it allows you to make the most of the life you’ve worked hard to build. Discover how to maximize your impact via estate planning when you schedule a consultation with me today.
“A will is the only thing that I need in my estate plan.”
For some, a will may be all you need to include in your estate plan. But depending on your individual goals and the needs of your beneficiaries, you may benefit from other documents like trusts, advanced healthcare directives, powers of attorney, or a combination of those.
“I created an estate plan years ago so there is nothing left for me to do.”
If you already have an estate plan in place, that’s great. But, the process does not stop there.
Just as you grow and evolve, so do your future goals. Your estate plan should follow suit. As a general rule of thumb, I recommend reviewing and updating your plan every three to five years and after any major life events.
“Using an online form is just as effective as hiring an experienced attorney.”
While a low-cost method for estate planning, online forms are not nearly as effective as working with an attorney.
Online forms offer a general approach to a process that is deeply personal. They will not advocate for your best interests, nor will they educate you on strategies that fit your individual situation. Sure, this method could save you money now, but it could end up costing you and your family much more down the road.
In reality, the most cost-effective and valuable decision you can make is hiring an experienced lawyer who takes the time to learn about you and your goals. I became an attorney because I love to help people, and through my estate planning practice, I seek to empower my clients with the tools and information they need to build the futures they envision for their legacies. Reach out to me today to experience the difference I can make.
Legal Guidance You Can Trust
At Russell Manning Attorney at Law, I’ve helped hundreds of clients craft estate plans in Corpus Christi, South Texas, and the Coastal Bend area, as well as the surrounding communities of Bee County, Kleberg County, Nueces County, Live Oak County, Jim Wells County, Aransas County, and Victoria County.
If you’re ready to draft or revise your estate plan, or if you have any questions about the process, I'm here to help. I have offices in Corpus Christi and Fort Worth. Reach out today to schedule a consultation with a trusted attorney.