As estate lawyers in the Raleigh, NC area, we are constantly surprised by some of the statements that are taken as facts by many people in regard to estate planning, wills, and trusts.

Here are a few myths about wills and trusts:

  1. It’s only for the wealthy: Anyone who owns anything should have some sort of will. Additionally, an estate plan often includes more than just material goods. If you die leaving minor children behind, naming a guardian in a will goes a long way in making sure that your children will be placed with a person that you think will best take care of them the way that you would want.
  2. It’s too expensive: The cost of a will or trust will vary depending on the amount of work it takes to create it, but a simple will or trust is often not as expensive as you might believe. Also, creating a will is a lot less expensive than having to hire a lawyer to make sense of an estate after the person’s death.
  3. What happens after I die doesn’t matter: It matters, especially if an individual cares about those they leave behind or what happens to everything they’ve worked for during their life. The death of a loved one is a complicated thing to navigate, and if a person’s affairs haven’t been settled, it can get pretty chaotic. Having a will or trust for an estate ensures that all affairs will be settled how the deceased want them to be settled.
  4. A sealed, postmarked letter works just as well as a will: We concede that in a pinch, a homemade letter that’s sealed and postmarked might stand up in court, but it will not be just as good as a formal, professionally created will or trust. Having a trusted professional who knows the local estate laws and can guide an individual through the process to make sure nothing is left out is invaluable.

We hope we’ve cleared some myths and misinformation about wills and trusts. Contact Thornton Law Firm to talk about your estate plan.