5 myths about estate planning

As with many topics, myths abound when you talk about estate planning. You may even hear them from well-intentioned friends and family members. People repeat them without realizing that they're spreading misinformation.

To help you avoid any issues down the road, here are a few myths to watch out for:

  1. You don't need a plan if you're married. People assume their spouse just gets everything, so the plan doesn't matter, but this ignores important issues like passing assets to your children directly or what to do if the same event -- a car accident, for instance -- takes both of your lives.
  2. You're too young to think about it. Estate planning isn't just for the elderly. You can pass away in an accident any day, at any age.
  3. You only do it if you're rich. While the wealthy may have more assets to worry about, don't ignore your assets just because you're not a millionaire. You still need to pass them on effectively.
  4. It's a personal decision, and you don't need to talk to anyone. While you do have that right, the reality is that communication is important. Talking to your spouse and your heirs while you do your estate planning can help avoid many issues.
  5. Once you're done, you're done for good. You may not be. You have to update your documents after major life events like the birth of a child or the end of a marriage.

Now that you know what myths to avoid, take a moment to look into all the options you do have and the steps you need to take.

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