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Top 5 Myths and Facts About Estate Planning

Posted on in Estate Planning and Probate

San Antonio estate planning lawyerThere are alarming many, very common misconceptions about estate planning - what it is and how it works. In this day and age, misinformation is very easy to come by, and sometimes very hard to spot. Many people who approach an attorney to start the estate planning process believe at least one myth about estate planning. What is more concerning is that these myths may be preventing people from beginning the process at all.

You may be surprised by some of these myths and facts about wills, trusts, living wills, and powers of attorney. In some cases, fictional movies or TV shows have perpetuated the misconceptions. Others are simply outdated information. If you are considering beginning to make your estate plans, Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law can help. 

Myths About Estate Planning and the Truth Behind Them

Some of the most common myths about estate planning include: 

  • An estate plan only takes effect when you die - Actually, if you use a living trust, it has an immediate effect. You create a trust, fund it with your property, and name yourself trustee. You do not lose any control of your property, but your property goes into the trust right away. Irrevocable trusts can help with asset protection during your lifetime. Additionally, estate planning includes things like making a living will and powers of attorney in case you become incapacitated. 
  • Trusts are for the wealthy - Not at all - almost everyone can benefit from using a trust regardless of the size of your estate. In fact, smaller estates may benefit greatly from using a trust since they will not lose any portion of the estate funds to a probate court. 
  • A will is enough - There is so much more to estate planning than making a will. In some cases, you might not want to use a will at all. Your estate plan includes documents describing your end-of-life wishes. If you own a business, succession planning is an important part of an estate plan. 
  • Powers of attorney must take effect immediately - A common objection to signing a power of attorney is that people believe it will give someone else immediate control over their finances or personal life. This is not true. Estate planning lawyers typically use springing powers of attorney, which only take effect after you have been deemed incapacitated. 
  • It can be done easily without a lawyer - While it may be easy to find online templates, this is a very risky approach. Each state’s laws are different and online sources are not always reliable when it comes to navigating complex state laws. Additionally, only a lawyer can assess your personal, financial, and family situation to help custom design the plan that is right for you. 

If any of these myths were keeping you from making an estate plan, now is the time to begin. 

Reach Out to a Bexar County Estate Planning Attorney

Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law can help you design the comprehensive estate plan that is right for you. Our experienced San Antonio estate planning lawyers will work with you to determine which documents you need and make sure you have them. 



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