Upon hearing the words “estate planning”, everyone seems to imagine something a little bit different. This may be due to its multitudinous depictions in the media, or because it’s something we all encounter in life, if only tangentially.

Relatedly, estate planning is a process enshrouded in myth. Many claim to follow the conventional wisdom when it comes to arranging for the disposal of their affairs, which is fine, except when that conventional wisdom is wrong.

Although many see it as the concern of septuagenarians, Detroit-area residents should familiarize themselves with the estate planning process sooner rather than later, as it could mean less stress and hardship later in life. To start, this means separating fact from fiction.

Misconceptions

Estate planning is for the elderly: As touched on already, it is important to start mapping out the disposal of your estate early on in life. The uncomfortable fact is that death can come suddenly and without notice. It is important to at least start thinking about how, and to whom, you want your assets distributed after you’re gone. If you wait too long, it may be the local probate court that decides the fate of your estate.

A lawyer is unnecessary: You may not need a lawyer by your side every step of the process, but lawyers provide valuable expertise when it comes to drafting wills, setting up trusts, and completing the other tasks that compose the estate planning process. Furthermore, estate planning law is often vague and filled with antiquated language, having representation makes navigating the process much easier.

It only matters if you’re wealthy: Sure, most of us won’t have to worry about who gets our seaside vacation home or custom-made Rolls Royce. But most of us will accumulate wealth and valuable assets during our life, at least to some degree. You’ve worked hard for the things you have, it’s important to ensure your possessions are distributed according to your wishes – not those of the state.

It’s important to remember that estate planning is about more than giving yourself peace of mind, it’s about protecting the interests of your loved ones. The process requires much self-reflection and evaluation. Once you begin to develop a plan, an experienced estate planning lawyer can help ensure your interests and wishes are protected.