There are so many rumors out there about estate planning. These stem from misconceptions that people have about it. Estate planning can be complex and confusing, especially without the assistance of an attorney. That’s why a lot of people get the wrong idea and can even end up messing up their estates.
But one of the most common rumours about estate planning is that it’s just for the rich. People think that in order to plan the management and distribution of their assets, they first need to have a lot of money or a lot of properties. But that’s not true.
Estate Planning is for Everyone
Estate planning matters for everyone — regardless of how much money they have in their bank accounts or how many real properties they own. It’s beneficial for everyone to write up their will or open a revocable trust to make sure that they have control over what happens with their properties when they pass away.
A lot of issues and components involved in estate planning have nothing to do with wealth. People need to consider, for example, how they feel about their assets going to probate. Even if a person only has one house, estate planning still matters if they want to control who the house goes to. At the very least, they should have a will that determines the beneficiary of the property. Or if they want to avoid probate, they can have a revocable trust to skip the process altogether.
The Purpose of Estate Planning
The only time when wealth comes into play is with regards to estate taxes. The more money a person has, the more estate planning documents they may need to have to effectively manage their estate taxes.
However, when it comes to estate planning itself, it doesn’t matter how much money or how many properties a person has. The mere purpose of it is to give them control over how their assets, regardless of the value, will be divided to their loved ones.
It’s a means to make sure that the right people get the assets at the right time and in the right way. Without an estate plan, intestacy statutes will determine the distribution of property — and this may not be aligned with the wishes of the deceased.