There is a very good chance that you either don’t have any estate planning in place or your planning is outdated. I can say this based on the fact that about 60% of the people in the U.S. don’t have an estate plan in place. Laws and lives may have changed for those that did put some planning in place so those people need to get updated.
Do you fall into either one of those categories?
Here are some of the major misconceptions about estate planning that lead to people not having it:
The reality is that none of these reasons hold any water for not having your planning in place. I recall the story about the shoe shine man at Penn Station inside Pennsylvania Plaza on the edge of Midtown Manhattan. This shoe shine man worked very hard for many years shining shoes to save up enough money to buy a house for he and his wife. That house represented everything the man and his wife owned. Do you think that house was important to them? Of course it was. So they created a proper Will & Trust to be able to pass that house along to their child in an organized and efficient way. They were not rich, they had a simple life.
Imagine you are the director of a play that is all about your life. The actors on stage are all the close friends and family in your life. As the director you get to decide the roles the people play in your life and how your personal story unfolds.
Estate planning works much the same way. Having an estate plan in place gives you control over important decisions that impact you right now and into the future. If you don’t take control over your own planning, then the courts will step in and make decisions about your life for you. This can even happen if you do have planning in place due to the fact that your planning is outdated.
Probate is a process where the courts step in to figure out your affairs because you do not have a proper plan in place. Probate can be very expensive and take years to sort out. Probate can have automatic fees based on the total value of your estate. A pricey home on its own can lead to huge amounts of fees in probate.
Do you understand how probate works? Many people do not. Yet so many people get nailed with probate all across the country because they just don’t realize how it works and how to avoid it. We love putting out incredibly useful planning information that you can use. I recently sat down with my colleague and estate planning expert Brian Chou to ask him how probate works and the pitfalls to avoid. I hope you can take a minute to watch our discussion by clicking below and let me know what you think. We always love the feedback here at our firm.
If you have any questions about your own planning that you would like to get answered right away, then we encourage you to take advantage of our complimentary planning assessment. The whole idea behind the assessment is to help you to get organized, updated and protected. Sign up to discover how the assessment works by clicking below: