The month of August brings with it National Back To School Month, National Wellness Month, National Dog Month — and a flurry of other fun recognition months you might have not known existed.
It’s also National Make-A-Will Month! This time serves as a great reminder about the importance of having a will — no matter your stage in life.
We challenge you to use this month as your opportunity to get educated about creating your will, keeping it up to date, and debunking common estate planning myths you may have heard along the way.
Read on to learn the truth behind 6 common estate planning myths and why working with an attorney to create your Virginia will is more affordable than you think.
#1: “I’m Not a Senior and I Don’t Have Health issues, So I Don’t Need a Will”
Even if you’re not a senior citizen or experiencing a sudden or chronic health issue, you still need a will. Wills and estate plans are prepared every day for a wide range of people in differing demographics, ages, life stages, and life circumstances.
For example, a young adult might consider preparing a will once he or she starts living independently for the first time and secures a job. New parents need wills for peace of mind in planning for their child’s future & care should the unexpected happen. Middle-aged people (single & married) need wills to protect assets, communicate final wishes, and secure the financial interests of loved ones after an unexpected passing.
Wills and estate plans aren’t just for the elderly or the sick.
#2: “Only Wealthy People Need Wills”
Take a look around you. You have more than you think.
If you’re a spouse or a parent, regardless of your financial status, you need a will to protect the interests of your husband, wife, and/or children. If you’re single and don’t have children, you probably have bank accounts and invested assets to consider. You might have potential pet care to arrange, heirlooms & sentimental belongings to account for, you may have life insurance proceeds for which you will need a named beneficiary, physical assets to think about, property assets to consider…the list can go on.
However small or large you consider your assets, it’s still a good idea to create a will to account for them.
#3: “My Spouse or My Children Know My Final Wishes”
Are you sure? Can you say for certain you’ve had the discussion with your spouse and/or your adult children about what you wish to happen when you pass away? Unexpected deaths can bring about difficulty in how assets are handled and, unfortunately, this might lead to conflict.
To avoid any cloudiness over how you’d like to be laid to rest, how any inheritances and assets should be distributed, what you would like to happen medically if needed, and other similar questions — make a will. It’s best to put your wishes in writing, choose an executor who can act as manager of your estate proceedings, and streamline the process so that your loved ones can grieve without the added stress of wondering what you may have wanted.
#4: “It’s Too Expensive to Create a Will Using an Estate Attorney”
Creating a simple will and estate plan using an estate attorney is actually more affordable than you might think! Our simple will starts at just under $200 and our estate planning packages start at $355. Keep in mind there’s value in working with an estate planning attorney who is an expert on Virginia probate & estate law to prepare your will — and get it right the first time.
#5: “DIY Online Will Services Will Help Me Save Money”
All of those DIY-will websites seem like big time- and money-savers. Sometimes they can be. But there are many situations in which going the DIY route can actually cost you more than if you had used an expert attorney for will preparation. These situations include scenarios where you have estate complexities that need to be addressed, added costs for will and estate plan notarizing & execution, and potential errors made on fill-in-the-blank templates that could cost your family more money down the road.
Learn more about why DIY online wills aren’t always the wisest choice by downloading our free report covering 3 things DIY will providers don’t want you to know below.
#6: “I Can Just Write a Legal Will Myself and Call It Done”
You may be an avid DIYer, but chances are, you also know when certain jobs are better left to professionals. Wills and estate plans count as one of those jobs because of the high risk of costly errors that might be made when you’re writing it yourself.
Small errors such as using vague wording, not included state-specific language, failing to have the will notarized and witnessed properly, getting crucial dates wrong, neglecting to update your will, and even handwriting it (in certain states) can invalidate your DIY will. An expert estate law attorney with deep knowledge of probate law in your state ensures these costly errors won’t be made.
Prepare a Comprehensive Virginia Will and Estate Plan at an Affordable Price!
The truth about creating your will and estate plan is that it’s much more affordable than you think — especially when we’re helping you create it! We offer a variety of low-cost estate planning packages available to cover a range of end-of-life planning scenarios. We can also customize the right estate plan for your specific needs to ensure your family’s interests are protected should the unexpected happen.
Get started preparing your will and estate plan by giving us a call at 703.938.3510 or contacting us to schedule your free consultation!