When it comes to estate planning in New Jersey, misconceptions abound. These myths can deter people from creating an estate plan, leaving them and their families vulnerable to potential legal and financial complications. In fact, Caring.com reported that only about 30% of Americans have an estate plan.
Having the right information empowers you to make informed decisions that will protect your assets and ensure your family’s security.
Only wealthy people need estate planning
Estate planning is not exclusively for the rich. Regardless of the size of your estate, having a plan ensures that your loved ones will distribute your assets according to your wishes. Without a plan, the state determines the distribution, which may not align with your desired intentions.
A will covers everything
While a will is an important component of an estate plan, it does not cover everything. For instance, certain assets, like life insurance or retirement accounts, pass directly to the named beneficiaries and do not go through your will. Also, a will does not provide directives in case of incapacity.
Estate planning is only about distributing assets
Estate planning involves more than just deciding who gets your assets. It can also provide for guardianship decisions if you have minor children, end-of-life care directives and powers of attorney in case of incapacity.
Once completed, you never have to revisit your estate plan
You should review your estate plan regularly, especially after significant life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child or a substantial change in financial status. These changes can significantly impact your estate plan.
Estate planning requires a lot of time
While estate planning requires careful thought, it does not have to be overwhelmingly complicated or time-consuming. Resources are available to guide you through the process, answer all of your questions and make it manageable.
By understanding the truths behind these myths, you can take proactive steps to secure your assets and provide for your family’s future.