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Estate Planning: Is It Only for the Wealthy?

As experienced estate planning attorneys, one of the questions that we typically receive revolve around whether or not estate planning is specifically for the wealthy. The answer to this question is an easy one: no. Estate planning can benefit any person regardless of the size of their estate or wealth. In fact, when you fail to plan for your estate, you put your family in a difficult position of having to clean up the pieces and undue stress after you pass away.

Misconceptions About Estate Planning

There are several misconceptions that people typically have when it comes to estate planning. While it’s true that if you have substantial wealth, you should always take time to plan your estate, it doesn’t mean that estate planning is strictly for the wealthy. Here are a few examples of other misconceptions that people usually have when it comes to estate planning:

• I don’t have a lot of money, so I don’t need to have an estate plan
This is something that many people believe. However, if you have any assets that are in your name, even just a few dollars in a bank account, your family will need to go through a formal court process called administrator to access those funds. Administration is something that can be costly and put further stress on your loved ones.

• My family will just figure things out
Trying to grapple with the death of a loved one is never something that is easy. When you compound that grief with trying to navigate figuring out the estate of a loved one that has died without any guidance, it’s a recipe for disaster.

• I don’t need a full estate plan
It would be foolish to try to cherry pick the type of estate planning documents that you need. One of the mistakes that many people make when it comes to estate planning is thinking that they can put together a plan on their own by using a program such as LegalZoom. To ensure that your estate plan is up to par, you should always partner with an estate planning attorney.

What Estate Planning Documents Do You Need?

There are many people who make the mistake of thinking that all they need as part of their estate plan is a Last Will & Testament. The reality is that there is not a “one size fits all” answer when it comes to the answer to the type of estate planning documents that you need for your estate plan. The best thing that you can do is to sit down with an experienced estate planning attorney so that they can guide you through the options that you have when it comes to what you need for your estate plan. Keep in mind that when you put together an estate plan, remember that you also need to update your beneficiary forms for different retirement accounts or other payable on death accounts that you may have. This will help to distribute these assets after your death without having to go through the probate period and make things more streamlined and straightforward.

Schedule Your Estate Planning Appointment Today

When you’re ready to plan for your estate, our team is here to help you. We will assist you in putting together a comprehensive estate plan that provides you with the peace of mind that your affairs will be in order when you pass away and that your estate will be administered according to your wishes. For more information about our estate planning services or to book a consultation, please get in touch with us today.

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