Misinformation can result in complications when planning your estate. Before you start the process of drafting a will, reviewing these common myths can help inform smart choices for your finances.
These are the facts behind four often-repeated estate-planning misconceptions.
The age myth
Most people think they can wait until middle age to create a will and estate plan. In fact, if you own assets or have a child, you should have an estate plan in place regardless of your age.
The permanence myth
Contrary to popular belief, your estate plan is not set in stone. In fact, except for certain vehicles such as irrevocable trusts, you can update your will and other documents at any time. Generally, you should review your estate plan and make adjustments as needed every few years and anytime you experience a major life change, such as marriage, a new baby or a new grandchild.
The tax myth
You might enter the estate planning process with the goal of mitigating the tax burden of inheritance for your survivors. However, your estate will only owe federal tax after the first $11.7 million in value, which does not include assets held in trust or owned along with someone else. Florida does not charge a state-level inheritance tax.
The template myth
Too many people rely on wills made from do-it-yourself online kits or fill-in templates from an office supply store. These documents do not necessarily cover the full scope of your estate planning needs and may ignore important legal considerations.
Now that you have the facts, you can begin the process of creating an estate plan that fits your unique financial and familial situation.