Writing a will is a fundamental step toward creating a comprehensive estate plan. Having an estate plan in place ensures your affairs are in order and that your family will remain well cared for if an untimely tragedy should occur.
However, there are some common misconceptions that lead many people astray when it comes time to start a will. By clearing away these myths and misunderstandings, you can take the best steps toward having an estate plan that accounts for your needs and the needs of your family.
1. “Wills are only for wealthy people”
Many people opt out of writing a will because they might think it only benefits wealthy individuals who own multiple real estate properties or extensive financial accounts. The reality is that having a will grants peace of mind to people from all walks of life, especially parents who wish to name a guardian for their children in preparation for a worst-case scenario.
2. “All your assets pass to your spouse if you do not have a will”
You might think a will is completely unnecessary because your spouse will simply inherit your property upon death. Without a will to state otherwise, though, North Carolina intestacy laws take effect and distribute your assets among your spouse and children, or other relatives as the situation demands.
3. “Having a will eliminates the need for probate”
Probate is the process by which the court confirms the validity of your will. It is a necessary and fair procedure, but one that many families would rather avoid. Consider forming a trust to pass down assets that you would rather distribute outside of probate.
Everyone with a family stands to benefit from writing a will. With the common misconceptions out of mind, you can start your estate plan with greater confidence.