Estate planning in Oklahoma can feel overwhelming, especially when there can be so much misinformation floating around out there.
Here at Self & Spurgeon Legal Group, we offer comprehensive estate planning to ensure that you wishes are respected while ensuring that your family’s financial security is not at risk. Today we’ll talk about a few common estate planning myths.
“I’m too young.”
While you may simply be planning for your future in this moment, or you don’t have a large estate, there are many reasons to still complete an estate plan. At the very least, you should have a will, in case something horrible happens to you.
“My estate is too small.”
We hear this one a lot. No matter how big or small your estate is, with good planning you can control who receives your estate, how, and when. Plus, in the case of a mental disability, you’ll have measures in place to ensure that your property and loved ones are taken care of.
“I have a will, I don’t need further estate planning.”
While Wills are common tools used in estate planning, there are pitfalls to relying only on a Will as your estate plan. Firstly, it’s important to point out that Wills offer no planning or direction for you or your loved ones in the event of a mental disability, only on your death. Plus, wills can’t control life insurance proceeds, jointly owned property, or retirement benefits!
“My family will know who gets what”
That’s not necessarily true. One of the most common mistakes in estate planning is the lack of clear indication of primary and secondary beneficiaries. It’s best practice to be as direct and transparent as possible when naming beneficiaries. Also, don’t forget to update/check the list frequently (we suggest once a year) in case feelings have changed.
“I’ll be the one to go first.”
As morbid as this may sound, it’s common that people forget to plan for complications with their beneficiaries. For example, if one of your two beneficiaries has died, who gets the money? Is it their next of kin or the other stated beneficiary? These are things that need to be clearly defined. On a lighter note, another complication often forgotten is age. If you name a minor as your beneficiary, it’s important to clearly define your intentions and who should be in charge of the minor’s assets until they come of legal age.
These are well-known myths that are harmful to the estate planning process and often lead to otherwise avoidable mistakes. We understand that imagining your demise and planning the division of your assets is not going to be your new favorite Saturday activity, but it is important. At Self & Spurgeon Legal Group, we have the knowledge and experience to help you make this process as easy, detailed, and hassle-free as possible. Our legal team has specialized in family law, including estate planning, and has been serving families in Oklahoma City since 1994. Contact us today for a free phone consultation.