|One of the most common myths about estate planning I hear over and over again is: “I don’t have any money. Why would I need an estate plan?”
It’s easy to understand why might someone think this – after all, isn’t estate planning only for people like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates?
But this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s often people with minimal assets who need estate planning the most.
Confused? Let me give you an example.
John was not wealthy. All he had to his name was $10,000 in a checking account. He didn’t have an estate plan because he assumed estate planning was only for the rich. Then one day he got injured on the job. He became incapacitated and was unable to manage his finances on his own. The medical bills were piling up, and the only way to pay them was by accessing the funds in his checking account. John’s adult daughter, his only living relative, tried to access the account on his behalf to pay his bills, but the bank told her she didn’t have legal authority to access the account. (By the way, if John was married and his wife’s name wasn’t on the account, the bank would have told the wife the same thing, believe it or not.)
John’s daughter did eventually get access to the account – but only after going through a time-consuming court process called “probate.” John’s daughter had to get court permission before she could act on her father’s behalf. That took a lot of time and ate up a good chunk of the $10,000.
People like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett would have been unscathed if this happened to them. John, however, lost money to court filing fees and attorney fees and his daughter was really stressed throughout the process.
Incredible as it sounds, it was exponentially more important for John to have an estate plan in this case than billionaire Warren Buffett.
This is a heartbreaking example of how quickly things can get messy without basic planning in place – and how the importance of estate planning has little to do with how much money you have.
If you’re interested in learning how estate planning can benefit your family, start by scheduling your Family Wealth Planning Session. We’ll cover the biggest fears when it comes to estate planning, how to protect your family and your assets, how to get started, how much it will cost… and much more. Normally the session fee is $750-$950 but mention this email within two weeks and you’ll have your session fee waived.
Call our office at (317) 932-0363 or schedule online right here. If you schedule online, use the code WARRENBUFFETT and we’ll waive your session fee.
I know this is a lot to take in! Feel free to hit reply with any questions at all.
To Your Prosperity,