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Debunking 3 estate planning myths

Thanks to a number of common myths, people sometimes have the wrong idea when it comes to estate planning. Below are three such myths and reasons why you should be wary of them.

1. Only rich people need estate plans.

This discounts the fact that estate planning is about more than money. You also need to make decisions about health care, for example. You may not be able to make your own medical decisions due to sickness or an injury, and you need to give someone else the legal power to do so. Plus, even if you're not rich, you want to ensure that your assets are passed on properly.

2. A will means probate will definitely be avoided.

It helps, of course, but be wary of thinking it means nothing will be decided in court. If your will is contested, for example, a judge may still have to decide how to proceed. That's why it's often wise to work with your heirs to set up a will that you believe they won't contest.

3. Estate planning doesn't start until retirement.

Many people simply assume they're too young to worry about it. The stark reality, though, is that thousands of people die due to accidents and injuries every year in Arizona. Old age is not the only reason to have a will, especially if you have a family.

It's time to take estate planning seriously and to be sure you really understand all aspects of the legal process. Don't take anything for granted, and don't let common myths lead to easily avoidable mistakes.

Source: Forbes, "10 Common Estate Planning Myths That Can Be Detrimental to Your Family," Erik Carter, accessed Feb. 02, 2017

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