As Seen on TV: How Hollywood Gets Estate Planning Wrong

You’ve watched the scene many times: a person of a certain age, with certain assets, and with a spouse or children executes a will and establishes a trust. On the screen, the person may be trying to provide for someone outside of his immediate family or control his vast wealth after his death. You watch this scene play out in a television show or a movie and you may think that this is so different than your life. You may question your need to create an estate plan.

Don’t Believe Everything That You See on the Screen

Often, what makes a good story is different than most people’s every day existence. Thus, you may rarely see a middle income person with a spouse and a few children making estate planning decisions on TV shows or in movies. However, you should not believe the following myths:

  • Myth one: Estate planning is only for the wealthy. There is much more to estate planning than avoiding estate taxes. Estate planning is important for everyone, regardless of their net worth or earning potential.
  • Myth two: Estate planning is only for older people. Unfortunately, you don’t know when you will die. People in their 20s, 30s, and 40s need estate plans too.
  • Myth three: Estate planning is only for people with complicated families. You may intend to leave all of your assets to your family in the same way that the state of California would distribute your assets if you did not have a will or trust. However, you still need an estate plan. An estate plan can provide certainty for your loved ones and allow your assets to be passed along with as little trouble as possible. Additionally, you can create a durable power of attorney and health care proxy so that your financial and health interests are cared for if you are alive but unable to make decisions for yourself.

Instead of believing these myths, we invite you to learn more about the truth.

Learn the Facts

You can find out more about estate planning by watching our free videos and following us on Facebook. When are you are ready to get started creating your own individualized estate plan, we invite you to contact us via this website to set up an initial meeting.

 

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm