Estate planning is an important task, but it is one that many people put off until later in life. Some choose not to write a will because they believe it is unnecessary for young adults, while others neglect to do so simply because they do not fully understand the will-writing process.
Clearing away the common misconceptions surrounding the writing of a will can help you understand the necessity of estate planning even in your early- to mid-adulthood.
1. “Wills are only for people with significant wealth”
While it is true that a will can facilitate the effective management of a large estate, it is also something that can grant peace of mind to your family regardless of how much wealth you hold. For example, writing a will empowers you to name an alternate guardian who can assume responsibility for your young children if tragedy strikes.
2. “Having a will eliminates the need for probate”
Some people might think that probate is for estates with no will to outline the distribution of assets. The opposite is actually true – probate is a process for verifying the validity of a will and ensuring the fulfillment of the deceased’s intentions.
3. “Everything will go to my spouse if I don’t have a will”
Many married individuals choose not to write a will under the belief that their assets will pass to the surviving spouse. California intestacy succession laws outline the actual process by which an estate will distribute to families of those who pass away without a will. The entirety of the estate will only go to a surviving spouse if the deceased does not have surviving descendants, siblings or parents.
Knowing the reality behind the misconceptions of writing a will can ensure that you are able to form a complete estate plan.