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Estate planning myths: These could creep into your mind

Estate planning is a detailed process that requires you to make informed, legally sound decisions. When you do this, you end up with a plan that gives you and your family peace of mind. But when you don't, it can cost you and/or your loved ones dearly in the long run.

Here are a handful of estate planning myths that you should avoid:

  • You don't really need an estate plan: Generally speaking, this is true. The law does not require you to create an estate plan. However, when you take this approach, you have no control over what happens upon your death or in the event of incapacity. It's up to the legal system.
  • You only have to create an estate plan one time: While it may be true that you only have to create one estate plan, you need to review and modify it as you age. For example, if you get married or have children, review your plan with an eye toward changes that need to be made.
  • Estate planning is only for managing your assets upon your death: This is a big part of estate planning, but far from the only thing it can do. You can also use it for incapacity planning, long-term care management and retirement planning among other things.

Most people don't want to spend too much time on estate planning, so they often neglect to separate fact from fiction. Doing so increases the risk of a costly mistake.

If you're going to create and maintain a comprehensive estate plan, you might as well do so with the best interests of you and your family in mind. Don't let these myths, among others, stand in your way.

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