Estate planning is easy to put off. One reason that people procrastinate on making an estate plan is that they are reluctant to think about death. This is understandable, but it is crucial that you not allow it to hold you back from creating an estate plan. Another reason that people tend to delay estate planning is that they feel as though they do not need an estate plan for one or more reasons. Unfortunately, these “reasons” are often based on common misconceptions. Today, you will learn about four widespread misunderstandings regarding estate planning and why you should not let any of them stop you from making an estate plan right away.
Young adults often believe that they are too young to need an estate plan. However, young adults do have things going on in their lives that make having an estate plan worthwhile. If you are married, have one or more children, own property, or own a business, your family and friends can benefit from you having an estate plan. Death or incapacity due to accidents, severe illnesses, or other unexpected events can leave your loved ones in a challenging set of circumstances, simultaneously mourning your loss and attempting to sort out your affairs, if you die without an estate plan. Conversely, if you have an estate plan, your loved ones will be able to mourn your loss while working their way step by step as they are able through the instructions that you have provided for sorting your affairs.
There is plenty of incorrect information circulating in society regarding who needs an estate plan and who doesn’t, based upon the size of their estate. What you need to know is that size doesn’t matter when it comes to estate planning. Planning for a smaller estate is likely to be simpler and less costly than for a larger estate. However, any person with any size estate will benefit from having an estate plan, as will their loved ones. This estate planning myth is closely connected to the next myth because people mistakenly conclude that if they don’t have much to put in a will, they don’t need an estate plan.
A will is just one piece of a comprehensive estate plan. Unfortunately, some people believe that a will is all that there is to estate planning. In doing so, they miss out on multiple opportunities to safeguard their health and well-being during their lifetime and the well-being of their loved ones both before and after they pass away. No one wants to be in a position of making life-altering and possibly life-ending decisions about someone they love. However, this is what happens when a person becomes so sick, injured, or incapacitated that they cannot make their wishes for their care known, and they have not provided instructions and authority for others to speak for them to health care providers or rescue workers. A health care directive is just one estate planning document that protects you and your loved ones during your lifetime. Financial powers of attorney, trusts, and other estate planning tools can help your loved ones have the peace of mind and authority to manage your care and affairs during a crisis with the confidence that they are acting on your desires.
If you have a question or you need information about estate planning, Wichita attorney J. Joseph Weber is here to serve you. Please call our office at (316) 265-7802, or contact us online to arrange a consultation to discuss your Kansas estate planning questions.