Estate planning protects the property and assets you worked so hard for during your life. It can also support your loved ones after you are gone.
As explained by U.S. News & World Report, estate plans are not only for the wealthy. They benefit people with moderate wealth as well, provided your steer clear of the following misconceptions.
Estate planning can wait until you are older
If you have children, a retirement account, or a home, estate planning should occur as soon as possible. Waiting until you are older can jeopardize your assets should the unthinkable happen. Planning now also ensures your family members are in the loop regarding your decisions. You even specify a guardian for minor children within your will, which prevents the court from making a decision on its own.
Most people only require a will
It is true that wills are an important part of estate planning. However, they are just one of many components you can use. Trusts allow you to avoid probate and set terms for the distribution of assets. For example, you can stagger an inheritance for a younger heir, so they do not receive a lump sum of money at once.
Estate plans never change
Your estate plan will change along with your life. A new marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, or even moving to a new state all warrant a review of your will and other documents. Even if a significant change does not occur, you should still review your plan every three years or so.
Your estate plan should reflect your wishes about what you would like to happen to your assets after you are gone. Estate planning can also ensure your family honors wishes regarding end-of-life medical care, which is the purpose of a living will.