Estate planning is a task most people want to keep on the back-burner. It can be a confusing and often morbid process to plan for your demise. But having an estate plan in order is crucial for providing your loved ones with guidance and peace of mind after you’re gone.

Everyone needs an estate plan regardless of their age, estate size or marital status. However, often fear and misconceptions get in the way. Below are some of the more common myths surrounding estate planning and the truth behind them.

Myth #1: I’m not rich enough for an estate plan.

People often associate estate planning with the wealthy. But the fact is, just about everyone has possessions they can’t take with them when they go. If you have a car, a house, a bank account, investments or other property, you have an estate that needs protection.

What’s more, is if you are married, have children or other dependents – even pets – an estate plan is essential for ensuring that they receive the assets and care you want for them after you’re gone.

Myth #2: I’m not old enough for an estate plan.

There is a common misconception that you don’t have to worry about creating an estate plan if you are young and healthy. On the contrary, estate plans are something everyone should have no matter their age or health.

No crystal ball can predict what will happen in your life. An estate plan, however, is the best way to guarantee your loved ones have what they need should the unexpected occur.

Myth #3: I already made an estate plan, I’m done.

While you can pat yourself on the back for having a plan in place, estate plans need to be revisited from time to time to make sure you have the best protection for your circumstances. Life can change quickly, and you will likely need to update your estate plan if:

  • You get married or divorced
  • You have more children or grandchildren
  • You are diagnosed with a serious illness
  • Your finances change significantly
  • You acquire more property
  • Your wishes change
  • The laws change

Myth #4: Estate plans are only about distributing my assets when I’m gone

Estate plans do more than divide your assets after death; they can protect you in life, too. In the event of an illness or accident that renders you incapacitated, an estate plan can provide a guide for who will manage your affairs if you can’t, and what kind of care you will receive.

If you have minor children, an estate plan can also name their guardian in the event that something happens to you and the other parent.

Estate planning may be low on your to-do list, but it’s essential for protecting your legacy. Creating an estate plan is the best way to plan for you and your loved one’s interests in life and death.