10 common estate planning myths that can be detrimental to your family

By Erik Carter

Forbes

In a recent blog post, my colleague, Nancy Anderson, writes about “Three Common Estate Planning Mistakes That You Can Easily Avoid.” It’s not surprising that these mistakes are so common since in my experience, estate planning is the area with the most widespread confusion and unfortunately, this confusion can lead to those very mistakes, costing so much in time, money, and stress to people’s families. In particular, here are ten estate planning myths I hear most often:

1) Estate planning is just for the wealthy. This myth comes from the focus of so many attorneys and financial advisers on the estate tax, which may not be an issue this year until your estate surpasses $5,120,000, an amount that most of us would characterize as pretty well-off, if not downright rich. This focus makes sense for estate planning professionals since they make so much more money dealing with that issue, but estate planning is about so much more than that. It’s also about making sure that your finances are taken care of if you’re incapacitated, that decisions about your health care are carried out the way you’d like even if you’re not able to make them, and that your children and other heirs are taken care of when that time eventually comes. That’s why estate planning isn’t just for the Donald Trumps of the world. Estate planning is for anyone who may become seriously ill or pass away. In other words, it’s for everyone.

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If interested in discussing estate planning/asset protection, you can contact Laura Bianchi, Chair of RLG’s Estate Planning/Asset Protection Department, @ lbianchi@roselawgroup.com

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