If you own a Massachusetts home or vehicle, have bank accounts, retirement plans or other assets, your heirs can benefit when you have a will. Many people put it off or decide against it due to popular misconceptions about the process or requirements.
According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, anyone over 18 and of sound mind may make a will. Following are some myths debunked.
Creating a will is expensive and complicated
Many people believe that making a will is expensive and only the wealthy need one. While that might have been true at one time, it is not the case today. In fact, having a will can save loved ones the expense of going through probate. Yes, you should carefully consider what assets you bequeath to whom but putting your wishes into the will may not be a complex process.
Making a will is forever
A will is a living document. It is something you can and should update over time. A good rule of thumb is to review it annually and after a significant life event such as a divorce, marriage, death or birth. Revisiting the document on your birthday can help you keep track of the last time you took a look and remind you to make changes.
A will covers everything you need
A will is the foundation of a solid estate plan, but it may not address all of your needs. A financial power of attorney, advance directive, revocable living trust and durable power of attorney for health care are standard documents used in addition to a will. They can help ensure you get the help and care you require if you become incapacitated.
Planning and creating a will is not necessarily a complicated process. However, it is essential that you understand state requirements, the limitations of a will and the other documents that can help minimize probate costs.