4 facts to know about estate planning

On Behalf of | May 4, 2024 | Estate Planning

If you have never made an estate plan, the process can seem intimidating. The more you understand about estate planning, the better equipped you may be as you begin the process. 

Here are several facts to know before you plan your estate:

Fact 1: Dying without a will can create problems

Many people die without a will; this is called intestate. Intestate can cause the state to manage a deceased’s assets. But, typically, the state’s management of a decedent’s assets does not align with the decedent’s last wishes. To help ensure the deceased’s last wishes are met, it is best that they make an estate plan while they are alive.

Fact 2: Heirs and beneficiaries are not the same

Both an heir and beneficiary can have a legal right to collect from a testator’s estate. However, they are not the same. An heir is often a close relative who may claim assets if there is not a valid will. However, a testator can name anyone as a beneficiary, such as a spouse, godchild, friend, charity or coworker.  

Fact 3: You can update your estate plan at any time

It can take time to make the perfect estate plan. But, you do not need to make it happen the very first time. You can alter your estate plan at any time. It is often recommended to update your estate plan every few years or after life-changing events. 

Fact 4: Premade wills are not as good as advertised

You could make an estate plan by using a premade online template. However, there are often a lot of issues doing this. For starters, many of these online plans do not consider each state’s unique estate planning laws. A typo could, for example, invalidate a will.

If you are considering making an estate plan, then it may help to reach out for legal guidance.