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Is a will the only estate planning document I need?

There are a lot of misconceptions swirling about estate planning.  For the nearly half of all Americans who do not have an estate plan, estate planning myths can negatively impact your ability to create a thorough end of life plan.  Our Tampa estate planning lawyers dispel some of the most common estate planning myths below.  Contact our office for personalized assistance with making your comprehensive estate plan today.

Myth #1:  Only Older People Need an Estate Plan

Many of us put off estate planning believing that we are too young to truly need an estate plan.  The reality is that all of us need an estate plan. Accidents and illnesses can happen to those of any age, making it critical to be prepared.  Whether you are single, married with children, or retired, an estate plan is important in every stage of life because all of us have people we care about and assets we want to pass on to others.

Myth #2:  A Will is All You Need

There is a common misconception that once you have created a will, your estate plan is complete.  To the contrary, a will is just the first step to making an estate plan. A last will and testament is essential to convey your last wishes and name a guardian for your minor child, but a will only goes so far.  To make your estate plan complete, you will need to also create a medical and financial power of attorney and potentially a trust.

Myth #3:  Estate Planning is All About Avoiding Taxation

Many people believe that the sole reason to make an estate plan is to minimize taxation when you die.  After all, estate taxes can take a huge chunk of your estate that could have otherwise gone to your heirs. With shifting tax laws, however, fewer estates may be at risk of heavy taxation.  Estate planning is in fact about a lot more than taxation. Your estate plan is ultimately about creating a lasting legacy. Your estate plan will allow you to control who will receive your assets at what time, and select someone to raise your minor child.  Having an estate plan eliminates the potential for family confusion and discordance. Contact an estate planning lawyer to get started protecting your assets and loved ones today.