Estate planning may be on the back of your mind, or maybe its not even on your radar at all. It is something that you may think you do not need to worry about. However, everyone in the Herndon area can benefit from having a well-rounded estate plan. It is important, if you are considering executing an estate plan, not to fall for the following myths.

Myth 1: Estate planning is only for the elderly

It may be easy for young adults to assume that they do not need an estate plan. After all, they may just be starting out in their careers with few assets to their name and they may be in relatively good health. However, good health and a long life is no guarantee. You can protect your interests at any age by having a living will, power of attorney and a will or trust in place.

Myth 2: Boilerplate documents from the Internet are all I need

When a person starts Googling estate planning, a litany of websites will show up that allow a person to download and fill out their own estate planning documents. And while this may seem simple, boilerplate documents do not always survive legal challenges and may not include all the provisions necessary to make sure your wishes will be met. Estate planning is a legal process that should be handled by professionals.

Myth 3: If I have a will, my estate will avoid probate

It is easy to understand why we want to avoid probate. It can be a long and costly process, which we do not want to burden our loved ones with. However, even if you have a will, that will still needs to be probated. The advantage of a will is that it provides guidance on how to distribute the assets of your estate, rather than leaving the matter up to state law.

Myth 4: Trusts are the only way to avoid probate

While trusts do bypass the probate process, there are other estate planning vehicles that can accomplish the same goal. For example, certain types of jointly owned property (for example, between spouses) passes on to the other owner instead of being probated. In addition, life insurance and retirement plans are also not probated, as long as they list a living beneficiary.

Those thinking about estate planning can seek advice

As this shows, estate planning may seem like something that is only for the elderly, or simple or too complex, depending on the circumstances. However, an estate plan can be beneficial for people of any age and wealth. Those in Herndon who are ready to start estate planning may want to seek legal advice, which this post does not provide.