5 minute read

Top 7 Estate Planning Myths...Busted!

Have yet to start your Will or Trust because you keep making excuses? We bust the most common estate planning myths to put you at ease.

Let’s be real. People can be spooked by the concept of Estate Planning. This is completely understandable - no one is overjoyed when being forced to think about their end-of-life planning. That’s why it’s so easy to come up with excuses. 

However, we’re here to tell you that Estate Planning isn’t scary at all. At its core, setting up a Trust or Will is all about preparedness and setting measures in place to protect your loved ones. Further, it’s the only surefire way for you to protect and pass on the legacy that you’ve built up in this life. If you think of it this way - there’s nothing spooky about Estate Planning. Keep reading to find out how we challenge 7 of the most deadly Estate Planning excuses.

7 Deadly Estate Planning Excuses

Estate Planning is at the top of many people’s procrastination lists, and for many reasons. If you identify with this, then we encourage you to pause and examine why you’ve been putting it off for so long. Are you sure your reasons are valid? Are you going based off of an assumption of what you think Estate Planning is about? Have you taken the time to do a little research?

At Trust & Will, we find that people are pleasantly surprised when they take their first steps toward putting their estate plan into place. We hear all too often, “oh wow, I would have done this much sooner if I knew it was going to be this painless!”

We’ve rounded up some of the most textbook excuses that we’ve heard for why people have put off their Estate Planning: 

  1. “It sounds time-consuming and I’m too busy.”

  2. “Estate Planning sounds like an expensive legal process, and I don’t have that kind of money.” 

  3. “I’m young and healthy; I’ll get to it later.”

  4. “Estate Planning is only for the wealthy.” 

  5. “My family already knows how to split up what little assets I do have.”

  6. “I have a spouse who’ll inherit everything.” 

  7. “I don’t care what happens to me.” 

On examining these popular statements, it turns out that they are all based out of misconception. Below, we’ll bust each of these common myths. You’ll soon find that Estate Planning is your friend, not your foe. If you have a beating heart, then you’ll want to set up your estate plan before it’s too late. The real horror stories happen when you don’t have an estate plan in place. 

“It sounds time-consuming and I’m too busy.”

Thanks to mainstream media, or perhaps even from hearing anecdotes from prior generations, there is a common notion that setting up a Trust or Will is a lengthy, painstaking process. Although this may have been true in the past, technology and online platforms have proved to be a major time-saver. Like here at Trust & Will, we put the customer experience at the forefront, and are investing in making Estate Planning as quick and painless as possible. Although you will need to invest a little bit of time in collecting documents and thinking through your arrangements, the actual act of setting up a Trust or Will is quick and easy. In addition, online services allow you to do so from the comfort of your own home!

“Estate Planning sounds like an expensive legal process, and I don’t have that kind of money.” 

Like any process, Estate Planning can be expensive if you set it up to be. For example, you could hire a top-rate attorney who could bill you for many hours for their time. Depending on their rate, this could constitute a wide range between hundreds to thousands of dollars. However, if you go with a company like Trust & Will, you’ll be surprised to find how affordable Estate Planning can be! Instead of taking our word for it, why not get real insights? Check out this article on BusinessInsider.com from a millennial who procrastinated getting a Will for years, and was shocked at how affordable it was when they finally did it. 

“I’m young and healthy; I’ll get to it later.”

The whole essence of Estate Planning is to have protection measures into place, in the case that something unexpected occurs. All too-often, the unexpected occurs to individuals who kicked the can too far down the road and had never put a Trust or Will into place. When you are young and healthy, you can feel invincible, and you can feel that nothing would ever happen to you. However, this unfortunately does not exclude you from unexpected events. None of us would ever want anything unfortunate to happen, but if you have people in your life that you care about, then you must have a plan in place.

“Estate Planning is for wealthy people.” 

The protection and division of assets do play a large role in Estate Planning, but it covers many other areas that people often don’t think about. For instance, what are your wishes for care if you were to suddenly become incapacitated? Who would you want to be in charge of carrying out your healthcare?

Do you have an idea of what you’d want your end-of-life process to look like? Would you like to be buried or cremated? Would you want to set aside a fund to ensure that your family doesn’t have a financial burden so that they can properly grieve? 

Who would you want to be in charge of taking care of your pets? How about childcare? Do you have a life insurance policy to help out with finances?

These are all questions you should be asking yourself while setting up an estate plan. You should see from the nature of these questions that Estate Planning is so much more than just the division of assets. A good plan helps communicate instructions and an action plan to carry out your wishes in different areas, such as healthcare or childcare.

“My family already knows how to split up what little assets I do have.”

It’s best never to assume that your loved ones will know what to do if anything were to happen. A Trust or Will is the only surefire way to ensure that your personal belongings, whether they are assets or belongings with sentimental value, are delivered to the hands for which they were intended. In addition, grief brings about a lot of emotional stress; a legally-binding document that clearly lays out a plan will not only help your family avoid any possible conflict, it will help them avoid uncertainty or confusion. Furthermore, this can be your way to ensure that your loved ones will have proper access to what you wish to pass along, in case any of them are hidden, or require passcodes or security to access.

“I have a spouse who’ll inherit everything.” 

If you want all of your belongings and assets to go to just one person, then the task at hand is simpler. However, you still need a Trust or Will. Because it is legally-binding, Estate Planning is the only way to ensure that your spouse truly inherits everything as intended. In addition, you’ll want to put back-up plans into place, in the case that something were to happen to you both simultaneously. Your best plan of action is for both you and your spouse to have estate plans in place, and to keep them routinely updated. It’s also important to consider whether or not you and your spouse live in a community property state

“I don’t care what happens to me.” 

You should have realized by now that an estate plan really isn’t about you. What they’re really about is creating a plan to protect and provide comfort to your loved ones. If anything, you can think of setting up an estate plan as an ultimate act of love and care for your friends and family. If something were to ever happen, think of the amount of relief your family will experience, knowing that you had a plan in place for them to carry out without confusion. In addition, you’re making sure that your legacy is placed into the rightful hands, without any barriers. That way, they can focus on what really matters - healing and honoring your memory.

Now that we’ve busted the most common excuses, and the misconceptions that lead to them, we hope that you can see why it is so important to set up a Trust or Will today. We promise that it’s a painless process. All of it can be done online from the comfort of your home, our systems will coach you through the process, and it is affordable. There’s also nothing wrong with setting up a basic plan now, and improving it over time. All that matters is that you get some kind of plan in place - before it’s too late.

Not sure which plan is right for you? Trust & Will is here to help! Just take our simple quiz and we’ll show you your perfect plan. 

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