Death is a natural part of life that affects each and every one of us. Yet, anxiety about what happens to our belongings after death is a startling reality for many people across Florida. This can lead to exaggerated misconceptions and make-believe stories that only add to the stress.
You may have heard of these five estate planning myths that are not entirely true. With more than 50 years of experience in legal practice, including estate planning, the professionals at Gary I. Handin, P.A. can provide clarity on the following. Here, an expert estate planning lawyer debunks several myths associated with the process.
1. A Decision Based Only On Tax Mitigation
Did you know that less than 3% of taxpayers earn enough to concern themselves with federal estate tax?
Many people choose to conduct their estate planning around taxes rather than the assets that they have to their name. This can detract from the focus of where the wealth will go, and what potential it holds.
When you try to organize your estate planning around tax mitigation, you could miss out on the opportunity for something greater – such as a business continuity plan.
2. Children Should Get Everything
When you choose to have children, you’re making the selfless decision to sacrifice time, money, and energy to raise them. But that doesn’t mean that you are obligated to leave all of your assets in their name. There is no law requiring you to leave anything to your children. The decision is yours to make.
In the end, you may choose to leave your children the bulk of your estate. However, this decision is better reached after a transparent discussion with a professional about where your estate could be put to best use. In the end, you could end up benefiting more than just your children.
3. Assets Should Be Divided Equally
Each child is different and demonstrates unique abilities and ambitions. Choosing to leave your assets where they will be best used is showing respect to both your children as well as your hard-earned assets.
A legal professional will help you break down the logic of distribution and arrive at your final decision with confidence.
4. A Trust Is The Answer
Another major misconception is that a trust will help to take care of all of your assets. But that isn’t necessarily true. While a trust is normally a part of the strategy for small as well as large estates, it’s not a given.
The first decision to make is between a revocable or irrevocable trust. An irrevocable trust places control of the asset in a trustee who is not the person creating the Trust, a revocable trust works differently. A revocable trust is created while still alive and referred to as a living trust. Control of the assets in the trust remains with the person creating the trust. (Grantor or Settlor) Any assets used to fund the trust automatically becomes the property of the trustee.
The situation can become a little bit blurry when a particular family member becomes the trustee of an irrevocable trust, and other family members are beneficiaries. In these instances, a corporate or professional fiduciary may assist with the process and prevent family conflict.
5. Everyone Can Be Trusted
When dealing with complicated or legal processes, it’s always best to get expert advice. In many instances, a legal professional is required for validity. But whom do you decide to trust
It’s important to take the time to meet the team who will be helping you with your estate planning and ensure that there is compatibility, open communication, and clear roles.
Handin Law, An Estate Planning Lawyer You Can Trust
Are you looking for an estate planning lawyer who has experience? The law office of Gary I. Handin, P.A. offers expert services that align with Florida’s legal requirements and your wishes. Call us at 954-796-9600 to find out more.