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Estate Planning Myths

Over the years, there have been many misconceptions and ru-mors about estate planning. In reality, the process is straight-forward and easily understandable. The trouble is, without express written instructions concerning your final wishes, you could have unintended consequences with Florida Statutes dictating who your beneficiaries are.

Timing And Family Ties  
Some people believe effective estate planning is only for the very wealthy or for those who are older. The fact is, you can and should execute an estate plan no matter your assets or age. The reality is that none of us know when our time will come. Why risk leaving your loved ones without financial protection?
Another common thought is that marriage somehow automatically designates assets to a spouse. Others rely on family members to “do the right thing.” Unfortunately, without express instructions regarding your final wishes, loved ones may be legally incapable of claiming your assets. Despite your best intentions, all or the bulk of your estate could become the subject of a complex and needlessly drawn-out process.

Insufficient Assets
Another misconception about estate planning is that you must possess a wealth of funds and physical assets. Some people think because they don’t have retirement accounts, insurance policies, and other financial assets, then they are ineligible to craft a comprehensive estate plan. In reality, most people own more assets than they can immediately think of. This includes your home, vehicles, bank accounts (checking /savings), physical assets, and more.

Wills And Asset Distribution  
Estate planning experts often tout the importance of a detailed will. This essential document details your express wishes for what should happen with your assets after you pass away. However, one rumor that some have heard is that without a will, the government automatically owns all your assets. That’s simply untrue. Each state has its own specific laws of intestacy. Still, that doesn’t mean going without a will is a good idea.

Legal Representation  
Some individuals have tackled the sometimes-complex estate planning process on their own. The trouble is that you set yourself up for errors and unnecessarily-complicated procedures. That’s why it’s important to partner with a dependable attorney who can help you navigate the best approach to comprehensive estate planning.

Please call Wendy A. Mara of Mara Law, P.A. at 386-672-8081. We offer consultations in our offices in Ormond Beach and Palm Coast.