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Estate planning myths debunked

Many Georgia residents do not have estate plans in place. There are several reasons for this, but most are based on myth rather than fact. That is why this week, this column is going to address some of the most common estate planning myths.

Myth number one: Estate planning is for the elderly. Estate planning is for any adult; age does not necessarily matter. Those who choose to wait to put together estate plans often end up waiting until it is too late.

Myth number two: Estate planning is only for people with a lot of assets. Estate planning is not just about passing on assets to loved ones when one dies. It is also about personal and family protection. People with minor children at home, for example, may want to name guardians for their kids, which can be done in an estate plan. People may wish to grant powers of attorney for medical or financial reasons should they become incapacitated, which can also be done during the estate planning process.

Myth number three: Probate can be avoided with a will in place. This is not necessarily true. There are a lot of factors that go into determining if probate is required to close out one’s estate. A will simply puts one’s wishes on paper, which the court can use as guidance during the estate administration process. Avoiding probate may be possible, however, with careful planning and the use of other estate planning products.

There are many other estate planning myths out there, but they are just that, myths. Georgia residents who want to understand the value of an estate plan can help themselves by asking questions and seeking advice from someone who knows how these plans work. An experienced estate planning attorney will have the ability to answer any questions one has and be able to provide further assistance in drafting an estate plan that fits one’s wants and needs.

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