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Misconceptions About Wealth Transfer and Estate Planning

As financial advisors, we have come across many misconceptions over the years surrounding the topic of estate planning and wealth transfer. People often underestimate how much their lives can be impacted by having a plan in place, or by not having one. 

We believe that it’s crucial to educate everyone on the topic of estate planning and wealth transfer. Therefore, we are going to debunk some of the biggest misconceptions we’ve heard so that you can move forward with confidence in your financial planning.

What is Wealth Transfer and Estate Planning?

Wealth transfer is a part of the estate planning process and includes giving financial gifts and other monetary assets to a family member during your lifetime or after your death. This process can include setting up trusts, giving to charity, or gifting large sums of money to a person or organization for a specific purpose. Estate planning is the process of planning the wealth transfer of assets to certain beneficiaries upon your death. It also covers your specific desires on how you’d like your estate divided, medical decisions, a will, and even guardianship decisions for your children under 18.  

Top Misconceptions About Wealth Transfer & Estate Planning

1. Wealth transfer and estate planning are only for the wealthy.

Wealth transfer and estate planning are for everyone. That’s right, if you have a desire for how you’d like your estate (anything you own) to be handled when you pass away, then estate planning is for you. 

2. Estate planning only covers my finances.

Estate planning does cover how you’d like your finances handled in the event of your death. But it also covers how you’d like any end-of-life medical decisions handled, how you’d like to take care of your loved ones, any gifts you’d like to leave to charities and organizations, and your will. Handling your estate is an important and necessary way to take care of your loved ones when you’re gone. 

3. Wealth transfer can only happen upon death.

If you want to gift an inheritance to a loved one, you don’t have to wait until you pass away. Maybe you want to pay for your grandchild’s college tuition, a wedding, or even their first home. You can handle those decisions right now. In fact, the lifetime gift tax exemption allows you to transfer $13.61 million without the 40% gift tax.1 

4. A will is the only document I need for estate planning.

A will and last testament is an important document to have that outlines your desires for end-of-life planning such as funeral preparations and desires, estate executor, guardianship for minors, asset and financial allocation, and more. Having a will in place is extremely important, but it doesn’t cover every specific situation surrounding wealth transfer that may arise. 

5. Estate planning is just a one-time event.

You may have already worked with a financial planner to handle your estate. If so, that’s great! But what many people don’t know is that it’s not just a one-time occurrence. Life circumstances can change in the blink of an eye. And when that happens, you need to come back to review your estate plan and make sure it’s up-to-date. If you’ve had a loss in your family, changed your mind about your retirement goals, or how you want to bequeath your assets and handle wealth transfer, checking in to update your plan is a great idea.

Ready to create your wealth transfer and estate plan? SageSpring is here to help. Our wealth planning teams are here to serve you whether you want to create an estate or wealth transfer plan or if you’re just wanting to start dreaming about retirement. No matter what your goals are, we want to journey with you each step of the way. Find a SageSpring Wealth Partner in your area and set up a call today.

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Jeffrey T. Dobyns


President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS 

Jeffrey T. Dobyns

President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS

Beyond crunching numbers and investment strategies, at SageSpring, we’re about building relationships. When you encounter Founder & President of SageSpring, Jeff Dobyns, it’s easy to understand why this is at the very heart of who we are as a firm. You won’t find stuffy formalities with Jeff; instead, you can expect to find him sharing a warm smile, communicating a compelling vision, or patiently untangling life’s complex challenges with clients. He believes in truly getting to know clients, understanding their aspirations and priorities, and navigating their financial plans with a tailored, comprehensive approach. Our team members have often been caught taking notes on Jeff’s effortless relationship skills from a distance, and we admire them for striving to learn from one of the best. 

Jeff’s financial expertise and wisdom are the perfect match to his innate people skills. Jeff holds the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification, Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChLU®) designations, and has held executive positions with financial planning firms for more than two decades. 

His dedication extends beyond the office to the boardroom and the local community, where Jeff is passionate about giving back. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Men of Valor, a prison ministry and mentoring program. Jeff also serves on the board of Send Musicians to Prison, which shares hope, healing and restoration with the imprisoned through musicians & artists. Jeff actively supports other initiatives in the community by sitting on the board of The Signatry of Middle Tennessee and the Halftime Institute of Nashville. 

Witnessing his four children, Gracyn, Hunter, Tanner, and Logan, excel on the field is almost just as rewarding, if not more, than celebrating the victories of seeing his clients overcome obstacles and build wealth. Spending weekends boating on the lake, hiking mountain trails, and fishing with his family are the moments Jeff cherishes most. It’s this grounded perspective that reveals the true meaning of wealth for Jeff: not just numbers on a page, but the freedom to create experiences that enrich your life and the lives of those you love. When you choose the Dobyns McMillin Wealth Team, you choose more than financial expertise. You choose a partner who champions your dreams, celebrates your victories, and walks besides you on the path to achieving your unique goals.

**Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.