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Why do misconceptions abound with estate planning?

Some California individuals and families that contact experienced estate administration attorneys do so forearmed with a fair bit of relevant knowledge and an attendant appreciation concerning a need to timely act.

Estate planners obviously appreciate that. It makes their job easier, of course, but it also conveys that the clients consulting with them appreciate what is at stake across a broad spectrum of family-centric concerns.

That is not always the case. In fact, and as noted in a recent article on estate administration, many would-be planners are intimidated by the planning process. Others think they can/should wait until later in life to get started on relevant documentation. And some harbor a strong belief that estate planning is an exercise only relevant for the super-rich.

Estate planners have always dealt with planning-related misconceptions, which abound in the general public. Misunderstanding regarding estate administration owes materially to a belief among legions of younger persons and couples that there is little reason for them to address matters that are more properly reserved for an older audience.

“We can always execute a will later,” is a statement often heard by estate planning attorneys. Ditto something like, “We’ll wait until we have some assets in play and the kids are older.”

In fact, timely planning benefits all demographics. Indeed, there are especially strong reasons why, say, parents with young children might reasonably want to execute a will without delay (think guardianship appointment, among other things). The same is true for a family having a loved one with a disability, an individual entering a marriage after having created a profitable business, partners in second marriages with adult children, and in myriad other scenarios.

The above overview implicitly cites to such matters and additionally notes a few material planning “myths” common in the estate administration realm. We will visit those in our next blog post.

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