For most individuals estate planning is like a very complex puzzle that is only made worse by the preponderance of conflicting statements and descriptions about what estate planning is all about. For some, many of these misconceptions are deemed to be true simply because many think of them as such. Others have the courage to find out and ascertain the truth in order to dispel such myths. You too, can equip yourself with the correct knowledge about certain estate planning truths by looking closely at the 3 myths that are closely associated with estate planning.
Myth 1 – Your Spouse Inherits Everything
There are many factors that need to be considered in planning your Scottsdale estate. It is very important to understand that estate planning requires you to identify who will get what and how much of your estate upon your demise. Many individuals believe that spouses automatically get everything so that there clearly is no need for estate planning. Movies are partly to blame because of their portrayal of spouses as getting everything from the estate. You should understand that you are effectively in charge of your estate. You will have to consider how your properties are titled, however. Additionally, you will have to be clear on your choice of beneficiaries as well as the existing laws and statutes that govern the creation and development of estate planning.
Myth 2 – Your Family is Very Aware of Your Final Wishes
There are instances, quite many actually, when family members are made to vow on the deathbed of their family member to perform some things for their loved one. However, the sad truth is that not all men are true to their promise and often have difficulty keeping their promises. So believing that your family already knows your final wishes is often fatalistic. As such, it is very important to clearly define what you want to achieve in your estate. This often means writing very detailed instructions as to how your estate will be divided among your designated beneficiaries. For example, while you may have told your son that he gets to inherit your house but you failed to put this in writing, then your other children can rightfully contest such instructions because there is simply no written evidence to support such claims. This is true for all of your assets so it is always a lot better to really spend the time to spell it out for everyone concerned. Additionally, if you fail to plan your estate and it goes into probate, then the state will be the one to administer your estate. In such cases, your creditors will have to get first dibs on your assets before your family.
Myth 3 – An Estate Plan is Eternal
If you think planning an estate now is enough, think again. Laws and statutes continuously evolve. What you may have written today may no longer be relevant tomorrow. As such, as long as you are alive, you need to continuously revisit and reevaluate your Scottsdale estate plan to reflect the changes in the estate and probate landscape.
Dispelling these estate planning myths require a solid understanding of the value of estate planning. For better understanding however, a discussion with Pamela Virtue, your Arizona estate attorney should do the trick.
Virtue Law Firm
Scottsdale, AZ 85251