Putting an estate plan together doesn't have to be difficult to do, but it does require some thought and care. Estate planning is about making sure one is properly protected in the event of incapacitation, and ensuring wishes are known and assets are passed on to the appropriate parties upon one's death. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things people in Louisiana and elsewhere believe about estate planning that keep them from getting it done or creating plans that are in line with what they really want.
A recently published article discussed the most common estate planning myths that far too many people believe. The first is: everything must be passed on to one's children. It is okay if beneficiaries are not one's children. They can be friends, other family members or charitable organizations -- among other things. Children may not be happy if they are left out of the will, but at the end of the day, it is not about what they want.
Myth number two is: an estate plan is only necessary for tax purposes. Yes, certain tax benefits can accompany having an estate plan in place, but there are plenty of other reasons to create one. As previously said, an estate plan is for personal and asset protection, but it is also for family protection. The tax benefits are just a bonus.
Myth number three is: a trust is a must and will offer the most protection. Not everyone needs a trust. Legal counsel can help one decide if it's appropriate for one's situation. Just remember that, if a trust is the best option, it doesn't do any good if it is never funded.
Estate planning is personal. The final product should not be something one is just okay with. It should be something that truly reflects one's wishes. Louisiana residents who are interested in creating estate plans that fit their needs and wants can turn to an experienced estate planning attorney for assistance.