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3 Estate Planning Myths

Posted on : March 19, 2018, By:  George Dillon

Some people avoid estate planning because it’s disturbing to think about death. Others just keep putting it off. And there are those who rely on what they feel are strong ‘reasons’ not to do their estate planning. The problem is that sometimes those ‘reasons’ are really myths.

My Spouse Will Inherit Everything, So I Don’t Need a Will.

Not necessarily.

If you die without leaving a valid Will, Virginia law takes over distribution of your estate assets. Virginia law even contains a list showing the order in which an estate will be distributed. If a married person dies without a Will, it is likely that their estate will go to their spouse. However, if they also have children from a previous relationship, those children receive two-third and the surviving second (or third …) spouse receives one-third. There are other restrictions and guidelines.

More importantly, maybe, is the fact that the estate may be liable for more estate taxes because the deceased person didn’t take advantage of any estate tax reduction strategies.

And a Will doesn’t cover other important issues, like becoming disabled or unable to communicate. For those, you’ll need a durable power of attorney and health care power of attorney.

I Wrote a Will Back in ’93. Why Should I Have to Do It Again?

Has your life changed since you wrote your Will?

Your estate plan should reflect your current life, not the life you had one husband, one divorce, one successful business, and three kids ago.

Keep your estate plans current.

I Just Need a Simple Will, Nothing Else.

A good, comprehensive estate plan is about more than the Will. In fact, a basic plan includes the Will, a durable power of attorney, a health care power of attorney, and sometimes a living will. The other documents each have a very different purpose.

  • A durable power of attorney allows you to appoint an agent to act on your behalf for a certain transaction, a certain time period, or for a broad spectrum of decisions.
  • The agent you appoint in a health care power of attorney will be able to make medical decisions for you if necessary.
  • The living will lays out your plans for dying, where you state what steps you do and do not want the doctors to take to prolong your life.

A trust might be helpful. But you need to have a trained professional review your situation to see which trust, if any, will suit you.

Debunk Those Estate Planning Myths.

Contact the attorneys at the Dillon Law Group, PLC with your estate planning concerns. We give our clients the personalized attention they deserve. Call us at 757-962-4796 to schedule an appointment or use our Contact Form to let us know you’re interested. We assist clients in Virginia Beach, Newport News, and surrounding areas.

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