Estate Planning Myth #1 – Can You Protect Yourself While Alive!

Avoid Scarlett O’Hara’s Bad Estate Plan: ‘I’ll think about it tomorrow’ Overcome The Myth and Find the Reason to Plan

Taking that first step to putting your affairs in order is a challenge. Why is that so many of us work our entire lives to make sure that we are secure and that our families are well provided for yet put so little thought into what would happen if we become disabled or die.

Even Houdini could not escape death.

It is normal to avoid dealing with disability or death; yet vital that we push forward and take the necessary steps to safeguard what we have accomplished during our lives. Many of us rely on common myth that “Estate Planning I Only People Who are Richer than We Are” to prevent us to do what it takes to take that first step towards planning. That is not true.

Putting an estate in place is important no matter what your net worth is.

MYTH 1: Estate Planning is only to Protect Your Family When You Die.

Reason to Plan: Estate Planning Will Also Protect You While You Are Alive.

Estate planning today is far more than a Will. It addresses what happens if you become disabled or incapacitated. For most couples, their most significant assets will be frozen if they become disabled or incapacitated.  If a husband and wife own their home jointly with a right of survivorship at the death of the first spouse the ownership of that home will pass to the surviving spouse.  If instead, one of them becomes disabled or incapacitated and is unable to handle their financial affairs then the house is frozen-both signatures are required to transfer, sell, mortgage or deed the home. At death a retirement planning asset is paid to the named beneficiary-normally the spouse.  If instead, the plan holder becomes disabled or incapacitated that retirement plan is frozen as only the plan holder has the ability during lifetime to make decisions concerning investments, hardship withdrawals and emergency loans.  If you are single all of the assets in your name alone are frozen.

With proper estate planning you can select who should be in charge of your assets if you are alive and lose the ability to handle your own financial affairs.

You can put appropriate legal documents, such as a durable power of attorney and living trust in place with necessary safeguards.

Check back next week for Myth #2 Begin When You’re Young!  Having a challenge with the ins and outs of estate planning?  Just ask by leaving a comment below.

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