If you ask most anybody, they’ll tell you it’s important to have a will, even though over half of Americans don’t have one. Why the disconnect? Many people believe these common myths about estate planning that simply aren’t true.
Here are the most common reasons Texans don’t have a will, and what the realities are:
Many people think you don’t need a will if you don’t have a lot of assets. But without a will, it’s the state that decides who gets your money, your house and even your kids. A basic will can simplify the probate process for your family, making it easier and less-expensive, and make sure your wishes are honored. A long, drawn-out probate process can cost your family thousands in legal fees and cause conflicts between family members that last decades. A will helps you avoid that and gives you peace of mind.
Especially if you have minor children, it’s essential to have a will so you can name a guardian for your kids. If you don’t choose a guardian, a judge will choose one for you. Hopefully, a family member or friend would step up to take care of your kids, but if that doesn’t happen, they could end up in foster care.
Too complicated or time consuming.
If you’re not a lawyer, estate planning can seem pretty complex. While it is a lot to think about, the right legal help can make the process simple and straightforward. A good estate planning lawyer knows the right questions to ask and has the experience to give you insight into the best options for you. If you’re worried about time, some lawyers can do estate planning consultations over email, meaning you never even have to step into an office.
Most people don’t want to pay a few hundred bucks for something they may not use for decades, especially when you’ve got bills to pay. It’s common for a simple will, powers of attorney and a living will to cost an average of $1,500. For a living trust, the price can be closer to $2,500.
A legal protection plan can really help with estate planning costs. Forty years ago, the State Bar of Texas found that most Texans just couldn’t afford legal help when they needed it. That’s why they created Texas Legal – so that average folks could pay a low monthly or yearly premium and get access to affordable legal help when they needed it. Our individual plans and group plans start at just $10-15 a month, and cover 100 percent of your estate planning costs. So, instead of paying $1,500 to $2,500, you can pay a few hundred dollars for all your estate planning, plus coverage for a long list of other legal issues. No tricks, no deductibles, no hidden costs.
Even when they have all the facts, some people avoid estate planning because it means confronting their own mortality. No one likes thinking about death, but, unfortunately, it’s part of life. Although estate planning can bring up some uncomfortable feelings and questions, ultimately, most people who go through the process actually feel better at the end, knowing they’ve done what they can to take care of their family’s future.
So, how did you do? Did you believe any of these common myths about estate planning? What others have you heard? Tell us your comments, questions and worries about estate planning, and we’ll get you the answers!