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In this post series, we are looking at several misconceptions regarding wills.  Wills have been around seemingly forever, and it’s the document most people think of when they begin to think about planning for the future.  But how effective are they?

Myth No. 2. You Are Completely Covered With a Will

In reality, you are not protected in many areas by a will, and here are three examples:

A will doesn’t avoid probate

This sometimes comes as a shock to people – a will has to go through probate, meaning your heirs will have to wait months before the court approves the distribution of your estate, not to mention the extra expense and headache of going to court.  More on this later…

A will doesn’t cover you if you are incapacitated

A will only takes effect when you die.  A will is can’t help you if you are in the hospital, and need someone to take over paying your bills, or even talking to the doctor on your behalf.   If you become permanently incapacitated, a conservatorship may even be required.

A will won’t protect your estate against creditors

In probate the opposite is true: creditors are actually protected – you are required to find and notify any creditors so they can submit claims against the estate.  Any creditors of your heirs can also submit claims against what they expect to receive. All of the above problems have simple solutions contained in a complete estate plan.  Are you prepared?