5 Common Estate Planning Myths

Don't be lulled into a false sense of security.  There are many myths associated with estate planning.  Discover the myths and replace them with facts. 5 Common Estate Planning Myths 5 Common Estate Planning Myths

I Don't Need a Will...I Don't Have Anything 

This is an all too common myth.  The amount of assets you possess should not determine whether or not you need a Last Will and Testament.  If nothing else, your Will nominates a person to be the legal representative of your estate.  In essence, the legal represenative is the person you want to do your final bidding after you pass away.  Furthermore, the cost to create a Last Will and Testament is minimal compared to the fees and expenses associated with the appointment of a legal representative without a Last Will and Testament.

I Don't Need a Will...My Kids Will Get Everything 

Ohio law known as the Statute of Descent and Distribution provides for the distribution of a deceased person's assets when there is not a Last Will and Testament.  However, there are other factors to consider.  For instance, do all or any of your children live in Ohio?  Is one of your children more suitable, perhaps one who is more responsible and financially savvy,  to act as your personal representative?  Or, perhaps, you want to assure certain property passes to specific individuals.  A Last Will and Testament ensures your personal desires are fulfilled.

I Don't Need a Will...My Child Is On All My Accounts

If you only have one child, and your assets and accounts designate your sole child as the beneficiary, you may still need a Last Will and Testament.  Preparing a Last Will and Testament can spare your estate time and money in the future.  For instance, what if your estate owns real property?  There are specific laws concerning the sale of real property from an estate which create strict legal requirements that can become very costly to your estate without a Last Will and Testament. 

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I Don't Need A Will...Everything Is In My Trust

This myth often leads to a false sense of security and legal fees which could have been prevented.  We have seen people who have had trusts created many years ago, which were never updated, amended or revised to meet their current and/or future needs.  Furthermore, time passes, original documents are lost, assets change and suddenly the simple estate is no longer simple.  Lastly, all or some of your assets are still in your individual name.  Any assets not in the name of the trust at your passing become subject to distribution under the authority of the local Probate Court, according to Ohio law. A Pour-Over Will can effectively distribute any assets that pass through your estate directly to your trust.  

I Need A Trust...My Friend Told Me I Should Have A Trust

Just because your friend says you need something, does not mean your friend knows what is right for you, your situation, or your family.  There are basic factors for determining whether a trust is right for anyone.  Before assuming your friend knows best (unless he or she is an attorney), take inventory of your assets, debts, family situation, and goals.  Then speak with an attorney to determine if a trust is a good fit for your estate planning goals.

If you would like to learn more about estate planning and the importance of completing your estate planning documents call (440) 530-3605 to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney at The DiCello Law Firm.

REFERENCE: Ohio Revised Code Section 2105.06 - Statute of Descent and Distribution

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