Five Ways You can Debunk the Silver Spoon Myth
What is the silver spoon myth? In a nutshell, many people have been lead to believe that only those with lots of possessions and property should have an estate plan. Are you picturing ornate silver serving sets, land ownership fit for a king or queen, grandiose castles and other storybook ideas? If so, then you need to know that wealth and estate plans are not co-dependent.
In reality, you already have an estate plan (the one you put into place or the one that your State has arranged for you). The one that the State has for you is most likely not what you think. Thus, it would behoove you to make decisions now, that can affect your family for generations to come.
Here are Five Silver Spoon Myth Busters:
- You already have an estate plan:
- The one you put into place, or;
- The one that the State has arranged for you (chances are – you’d prefer something different for your folks).
- You can make your health care preferences and wishes known:
- Do not make them guess – put it in writing so loved ones do not have to stress out over – how they think you would like to be treated.
- You can pass assets on to your spouse, children, grandchildren or favorite charities to serve as a roadmap for your loved ones:
- Who leaves home now without a GPS?
- Give them something to go by.
- You are not required to have a certain dollar amount in your bank account or have amassed a fortune:
- Mom’s yellow serving platter or dad’s old watch has tremendous sentimental value. Don’t make them fight over such things.
- You are in the driver’s seat in this situation – so take the steering wheel and let it be known what direction you want your legacy to go in.
What’s in an estate plan you may ask? The most appropriate answer is “it depends,” – because each individual is different with a unique set of circumstances, family dynamics and of course assets. In general, an estate plan should include the following items: Will, Power of Attorney (financial), and an Advance Medical Directive (which includes a living will). Some folks will need additional documents such as a trust, or strategies to address tax and wealth transfer matters.
Don’t forget, make sure that your beneficiary forms for your bank accounts, life insurance, IRA, 401k and other assets are up to date and reflect your wishes. How your real estate is titled is also part of your estate plan, who receives your house is largely dependent on what the deed has to say.
In other words, you do not need a silver spoon to have an estate plan. There you have it – the myth has been exposed. Read the headline and spread the news. Now get busy creating your legacy.
Aquanetta J. Betts is an attorney, speaker and blogger. She is licensed in the District of Columbia and Maryland. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @AquanettaBetts.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intented to provide legal advice. Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved.