Kennelly Business Law

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Common misunderstandings about estate planning and probate

It is not always easy to think about the future, and a person may find it overwhelming to think about what he or she may need to have in place to be fully protected. Estate planning and probate are commonly misunderstood, and as a result, people often do not have what they need for the future. Common misunderstandings can actually be quite costly, leading to issues and complications long-term.

One of the most common erroneous assumptions a person has about estate planning is that this is only necessary for the rich or famous. In reality, North Dakota adults of all income levels can benefit from making plans for the future. Additionally, people often assume that estate planning is only to outline what they want to happen to their property, but that's not all it can accomplish. It is also possible to plan for health care needs, potential disability and much more.

A person may think that a will is all he or she needs for full protection, but that is not the case. A person can also draft a power of attorney, medical directives and other estate planning tools that can allow them to have a say in what happens with regard to their health care when they can't speak for themselves, and their assets. Finally, estate planning is not a one-time process. It is prudent to update and alter estate plans as needed after major life changes. 

North Dakotans may want to take the time to ensure that estate planning and probate myths do not keep them from having the protections they need. A complete assessment of one's personal circumstances can help a person understand the optimal estate planning steps. Each situation is different, and each estate plan is tailored to the needs of that specific person. 

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