10 MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WILLS

10 MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WILLS

Here are 10 misconceptions about wills…
  • MISCONCEPTION #1: Probate costs are smallWrong!  Attorney’s fees for even a simple probate often reach $5,000 to $10,000.
  • MISCONCEPTION #2: Your will and your assets remain privateNot so!  Probate is a matter of public record which means your file is open to anyone.
  • MISCONCEPTION #3: A will can be probated in just a few weeks.  No. Even simple probates often take ten months to two years.
  • MISCONCEPTION #4: A will helps you avoid taxesNo, a will by itself does nothing to lower your taxes.
  • MISCONCEPTION #5: A will avoids probateWrong!  Your heirs cannot inherit your property until your will goes through a court supervised probate.
  • MISCONCEPTION #6: Owning property in joint tenancy is the safest way to avoid probate.   No. “Joint tenancy with right of survivorship” exposes each party to the debts of the other.  And even though it avoids probate on the first person’s death, property must go through probate when the second person dies.  Joint tenancy has other serious consequences, as well.
  • MISCONCEPTION #7: Your permanent home and your vacation home can be handled through the same probateYes, if both homes are in the same state.  If not, you’ll need a probate in each state.
  • MISCONCEPTION #8: A will prevents quarrels over asse  Wrong.  More lawsuits are filed over wills than any other document.
  • MISCONCEPTION #9: The cost of planning your estate is only the cost of drawing up your wills, No, the costs of any estate plan is both the cost of drawing up the documents and the cost of carrying out the plan.
  • MISCONCEPTION #10: You must name your attorney as your Personal Representative.  You may name anyone you choose.

FACTIf your estate is larger than $75,000, your estate will go into probate.  Most people’s homes are worth more than that.

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