7 Common Myths About Estate Planning in Lee County, FL

There are many misconceptions that individuals in the state of Florida have about estate planning. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help individuals create powerful estate planning tools. This article will review some of the most common myths that individuals believe about the estate planning process.

Myth #1: Some Estates Are So Small That Estate Planning Is Not Needed

Any individual with property including bank accounts, homes, furniture, jewelry, life insurance, or motor vehicles should review their estate planning options. Proper planning will help to ensure that the intended persons receive assets at death.

Myth #2: A Spouse Receives All Assets After Death

Usually, a spouse will only automatically receive all of a deceased person’s assets if the couple jointly owns all assets. For any separate assets, a spouse might not automatically receive these benefits. Florida law dictates that particular types of property should automatically pass to other individuals including one’s children.

Myth #3: A Will Can Avoid the Probate Process

A Will is intended to provide a set of specific instructions to a probate court regarding how an individual’s estate and assets should be administered. After someone dies, the person who is nominated as the personal representative or executor will petition the probate court to have the deceased individual’s Will admitted to probate. The fact that a Will exists does not automatically mean that the Probate process can be avoided after death.

Myth #4: One Individual Will Properly Distribute All Assets

Some people believe that they can avoid complications if they leave all of their assets to one family member or loved one to distribute to others at death. However, there is always a risk that the designated individual will not distribute assets in the proper way. If a person does not explicitly state in a Will who should receive their property, a family member who is left with assets has no legal obligation to distribute the assets to other loved ones.

Myth #5: Estate Planning Is Only For the Elderly

Young people often think that they do not have to worry about estate planning. Unfortunately, accidents do occur. If a young person becomes incapacitated or passes away, it is important to have estate planning documents in order. This is especially true if there is a spouse, partner, or children.

Myth #6: Individuals Should Estate Plan Without an Attorney

Estate planning is particularly complicated and involves a complex body of law. There are numerous documents that must be created to work together to make sure that the desires of a person are properly carried out. The assistance of a skilled attorney can prove vital to making sure that an individual’s Will, Trust, Health Care Surrogate, Power Of Attorney, Living Will, and other documents are properly crafted.

Myth #7: An Individual Need Not Update Estate Planning Documents

Individuals should not think that estate planning tools can be forgotten about once written. There are a variety of life situations such as divorce, death or disability, that may require individuals to make updates and changes to their estate plan. Without properly updated estate tools, there is always a risk that an individual’s estate, health care decisions, or financial decisions will not be properly executed.

Consult with a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer

If you require assistance with estate planning or have any questions about estate planning tools, do not hesitate to contact me today at (239) 997-0078.