Top 10 Myths About Wills
There are many myths and misconceptions about Wills,
below are the Top 10 myths explained.
1. I already have a Will
It is fantastic that you have written a Will, however there are a few things that you need to consider. Firstly, is all the information on that Will up to date and correct? For example have you gained property since you wrote it, remarried or do you have additional children and dependants? Do you know where your Will is stored? Do your dependents know where to access your Will?
At Glamorgan Legacy Ltd, we recommend that you update your Will every 3-5 years, that way everything is up to date and legally binding, which can help ease the stress for your loved ones in the event of your passing.
If you have a Will and would like it reviewed please contact us here
2, Everything is going to my husband/wife/partner
A dangerous assumption but it is one that we face every day. For some people this is actually correct although are you sure it’s true for you? If you die without a Will the “rules of intestacy” will apply and your estate will be distributed to surviving relatives by a strict hierarchy.
If you are married or in a civil partnership and you have no children then if you die all of your assets will pass to your spouse or civil partnership. This is also the case for married couples and civil partners who have children but whose estates are valued at less than £250,000. For everyone else the situation is much more complicated.
If you and your partner are unmarried or have not entered into a civil partnership then the rules of intestacy are not your friend. Intestacy doesn’t recognise these relationships so your partner would receive no benefit from your estate. The concept of ‘common law marriage’ is only a myth and has no legal basis.
3. Writing a Will is too complicated
Writing a Will is not a complicated business. You can instruct a professional Will writer to write your Will through a simple conversation, at Glamorgan Legacy this can be either in person or through an online consultation. A professional Will Writer can help you to navigate the rules in relation to your estate such as HM Land Registry and inheritance taxes and advise you in relation to all aspects of writing your Will.
4. Writing a Will is too depressing
As much as talking about death can be deemed as ‘depressing’ or ‘morbid’, the reality of life is that death is guaranteed for everybody. Writing a Will can help your loved ones to know what your wishes are, to gain a peace of mind that they are honouring you and can help to reduce the stress and anguish that they feel in relation to your estate. Writing a Will also means that your loved ones are looked after in the event of your death.
5. I need a solicitor to write a Will
While we certainly recommend using a professional to write your will that doesn’t need to be a solicitor. With 1700 professional Will Writers who are Society of Will Writers members, such as the Will Writers at Glamorgan Legacy Ltd, there are plenty of specialists out there who you can be sure are properly trained, insured, and ultimately safe to do business with.
6. My family will sort out my estate
Unfortunately, if you die without a will your family will not be able to distribute your estate however they wish. Your estate would pass according to the rules of intestacy, which is essentially the Will that the government has written for you. The only way to guarantee that your assets pass to who you want them to on death is to have a Will.
7. I don’t have anything to give, so I don’t need a Will
You may not be rich or own a home, but everybody has some assets, whether this is savings, jewellery, vehicles or property. Having a Will ensures that your assets go to the people you want them to. Also, if you have children it is vital you have a Will to ensure that they are looked after as your wish, especially if you are not married to their other parent.
8. My debts die with me
Wouldn’t that be nice? Sadly, legally this is not true. If you die with any debts outstanding, these will need to be paid from your estate. Your Will can direct where everything left over will pass and can make specific gifts of certain assets, so they won’t fall into the pot to be sold to cover debts unless absolutely necessary.
9. I’m not old or ill; I don’t need a Will yet
Sadly, many people die every day at a young age. Whether this is through sudden illness or accident, many of those that do die suddenly do not have a Will. This can cause much more heartache for your loved ones, as they navigate your estate and make important decisions. Without a Will your estate will be subject to the ‘rules of intestacy’, meaning your family’s wishes are not the deciding factor. Wills are suitable for anyone over the age of 18 years old with mental capacity. This is especially important if you have children, as a Will isn’t all about distributing your assets on death, it is also an important document to appoint guardians. These are people who you appoint to formally take care of your minor children if you were to die.
10. I can change my Will by writing on it
No. You must not make any changes to your Will after it has been signed and witnessed. If you write or type on it you may invalidate it. It’s also best to avoid stapling or pinning anything to it, as this could imply there is something missing and raise doubts as to its validity. Using a professional Will Writer, such as Glamorgan Legacy Ltd, to make any changes to your Will is vital to ensure that those changes are legally binding.