1) Myth: My spouse can make all of my healthcare and financial decisions because he/she is my spouse.
Reality: This is not always the case. To make sure your spouse can indeed make important medical decisions on your behalf, you should sign durable financial and medical powers of attorney.
2) Myth: I’ve told my family how I want my affairs handled after I die. They’ll divide everything the way I want it divided.
Reality: Informal discussions about your affairs have no legal enforceability. Even if your immediate family does carry out your wishes, if there is a remarriage or divorce, for instance, your estate could end up in the hands of people you never intended to be beneficiaries. A properly structured estate plan, including a revocable living trust and/or a will, is the only way you can ensure your estate ends up where you want it to go. With a revocable living trust, you can ensure that your estate never has to go through probate court proceedings.
3) Myth: I signed a will before, so I don’t need to do it again.
Reality: An old will may not reflect your current goals. You or your children may have married, remarried, or divorced. Your property holdings may have changed. A trust is the preferred method to safeguard your legacy and property without the need for probate court proceedings. The only way to know for sure is to have a comprehensive estate plan review.
4) Myth: I am not wealthy enough to need an estate plan.
Almost everyone will benefit from estate planning, which addresses non-wealth aspects of your legacy along with the financial aspects. Estate planning can ensure someone you trust will care for your children and pets after your death, and make sure treasured family heirlooms end up where you want them to go. Estate planning can also help pass along your values, not just financial wealth or property.
Trusts are not just for the wealthy. In states that practice Medicaid recovery, for instance, your survivors may receive a large bill for Medicaid-funded nursing home care after your death, which can force the sale of assets like the family home. Some states even seize life insurance proceeds. Depending on your situation, a special kind of trust can prevent all of this from happening. The only way to know for sure is to schedule a consult. Call us today, 501-221-7776.