Becky Cholewka: Today, I want to go over the three biggest misconceptions about estate planning.
Misconception number one, estate planning is only for rich people. That is not true. Everyone has an estate. More importantly, most people have friends or family that they love and they want to ensure that they are taken care of, or avoid court when they die.
If you have, especially, minor children estate planning, especially, is important for you even if you don’t have that many assets, and that’s because your estate plan can consider who’s going to raise your children if something should happen to you and the other parent.
Just thinking it’s for people with a lot of money, definitely a misconception.
Misconception number two, estate planning is only for people who are older. Again, also not true. There are things called car accidents, unfortunately, that we see and hear all of the time.
In fact, here in Gilbert, we’ve had some recent tragedies with a bicyclist being killed, as well as a pedestrian being killed recently within the last 30 to 60 days. Each of these also had small young children, from what I understand.
Just because you are young does not mean you don’t need estate planning documents. These documents are for anyone who is over the age of 18 years old, and it’s because it takes care of things of not only what happens if you die, but who can make medical decisions for you if you are in an accident, or you are hurt.
Misconception number three, well, you only have to do an estate plan once. Again, not true. Estate planning documents are fluid documents. Your life is going to change over the course of 5, 10, or 20 years. You may have different children or different people in your life that you want to be decision makers for you in a time of crisis.
Also, rules change. State law, federal law, those also change consistently, and so even if you have done an estate plan once, it’s always good to have it reviewed by an estate planning attorney every couple of years just to make sure, number one, nothing has changed from your end, or number two, nothing has changed from a legal end to make your documents need to have an update to them.
Again, three misconceptions, don’t fall into the trap of believing them. We hope you get your documents updated, or put into place, if you haven’t already done so.