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Common myths about wills and probate

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2023 | Probate | 0 comments

Wills and probate are subjects that often come with a fair share of myths and misconceptions. These myths can lead to confusion and misunderstandings about the process of distributing a person’s assets after their passing.

Understanding the truth behind these myths is important for effective estate planning in Florida. It will assist you in making informed decisions and ensuring that you distribute your assets according to your desires when the time comes.

You do not need a will if you do not have many assets

Some believe that if they have few assets or their estate is small, they do not need a will. However, a will serves a purpose beyond solely considering the value of your assets; it involves planning what happens after you pass.

Writing a will means you avoid probate

While having a will is important for estate planning, it does not automatically bypass the probate process. A will must go through probate to be legally recognized and executed. You can use specific strategies to reduce the complexity and duration of probate.

Probate always takes a long time

Probate can take some time, but it is not always a lengthy process. The duration of probate depends on various factors including the complexity of the estate, the presence of a will and local laws. Often, probate can be relatively straightforward and completed within a few months.

Probate is always expensive

While probate can involve fees such as court costs and legal expenses, the actual costs of probate can vary widely based on the complexity of the estate and the location. Additionally, proper estate planning, including the use of trusts, can help reduce probate costs.

Wills and probate are only for the elderly

80% of adults under the age of 30 do not have a will; but estate planning, wills and probate are not exclusive to older individuals. Life’s uncertainties can manifest at any stage, underscoring the significance of comprehensive planning for individuals of all age groups. Young parents, in particular, should prioritize establishing a will to designate guardians for their children in the event of unexpected circumstances.

You cannot change a will

Wills are not set in stone, and you have the right to update or revise your will as your circumstances change. Life events like marriage, divorce, the birth of children or acquiring new assets may necessitate changes to your will so it reflects your wishes.