Thinking about writing your Will probably isn’t on your top ten list of fun things to do – in fact it probably factors somewhere between renewing your car insurance and cleaning that gunky green stuff out of the guttering; boring, time-consuming, and not really something you want to think about right now. Plus, when it comes to writing a Will, we can throw ‘expensive’ into the mix too, right?
Wrong. In this article, I want to bust some of the most common myths surrounding writing a Will; including misconceptions surrounding how marriage or divorce can affect your Will, what happens to any debts you might have….and of course the matter of cost…
I also give you my personal recommendation of who you should use if you’re looking for aWill writing service in Kent. Plus how to get a £25 discount when writing your Will.
1. Only ‘Old’ People Need To Worry About Making A Will
We all like to feel like we’re invincible, and when you’re relatively young and healthy the idea of writing a Will can seem as alien to you as the idea of retiring or getting your bus pass.
In fact, Less than 50% of adults in the UK have a Will – that’s a lot of people who think they’re going to live forever! The truth is; none of us know what is around the corner, and so it makes sense to prepare for the inevitable – whenever that may be – and have a Will so that you know your loved ones will be taken care of when you are gone.
2. Why Bother? My Spouse Will Get Everything Won’t They?
A prevalent myth surrounding inheritance and Wills is that the husband or wife of the deceased automatically gets everything. If you believe this, and particularly if you have no children, you might wonder why you need to bother with a Will at all. But it’s not as simple as that. If you don’t have it in writing that you want your partner to get everything, they won’t.
Let me explain…
It will depend on whether or not you have children, and how much your estate is worth. If you do have children, your spouse will inherit the first £250,000 of your estate, assets you owned jointly, and your personal belongings. They will also inherit half of what is left. The other half is then split equally between your children.
If you don’t have children then your spouse will inherit the first £450,000 of assets, and the rest will be split between them and the rest of your family.
This could mean some of your estate going to family members that you may have been estranged from or simply didn’t want to leave anything to, so you can see how having a Will could help avoid any family feuds after you have gone.
3. I Never Married My Partner, But They’ll Automatically Inherit, Right?
This is a big one – in law there is no such thing as a ‘common law’ husband or wife – it doesn’t matter if you’ve lived together for 35 years – unless you have written them into your Will they won’t automatically receive anything from your estate.
Which brings me to my next point…
4. My Will Isn’t Affected If I Get Married Or Divorced
Wrong and wronger. If you were to get married or remarry after making a Will, any previous Wills you have written become invalid, and so you’ll have to have a new one written up.
If you get divorced, your Will isn’t invalidated. You’ll probably be pleased to hear that your previous partner is now no longer a beneficiary, but others you have listed will be. If you want your new spouse to inherit from your estate you’ll have to write a new Will.
5. If I Don’t Have A Will, My Family Can Sort Out Who Gets What
Even if you’ve told your family your wishes, if you don’t have a Will they will have little say in what happens to your estate. In fact it’s the government who will sort out distributing your estate, which will more often than not lead to family disputes as well as a lot of trauma and upset.
Also, the legal fees involved in getting the outcome your family wants can be very costly, not to mention the fact that the process can drag on for years.
6. At Least I Don’t Have To Worry About The Kids If I Don’t Have A Will – My Family Will Look After Them
A popular myth surrounding Wills is that even if you don’t write specific instructions about who will care for any minor children in the event of your death, your chosen relatives will automatically look after them.
The reality is that the government (again!) will decide who is the most appropriate choice to become the legal guardian/s of your children – so it’s important that you appoint them in your Will.
7. My Debts Will Die When I do
Lovely though the idea is, this isn’t the case. Any debts you have when you die will be paid out of your estate before the rest is distributed according to your wishes. It’s also possible that any assets you have will have to be sold to pay off these debts.
If you don’t leave enough to settle your debts, creditors will take what they can and then write-off the rest of the debt – and of course this means there won’t be anything left for your loved ones.
In today’s society where there are many different versions of the ‘modern family’, you’d be forgiven for thinking that any dependents, biological or not, would be treated equally when it comes to inheritance. But, without a Will, you could disinherit your closest loved ones!
Any step-children or foster children you may have can only inherit from your estate if you write them into your Will – even if they live with you.
Adopted children are treated the same as biological children.
9. It Takes SO Long To Write A Will
A common misconception is that you’re going to be sitting drafting a Will for hours on end, when in fact you could do it in the time it takes you to watch an episode of your favourite show.
If your affairs are pretty straightforward you could draft one in half an hour! A good way to make the process speedy is to know what assets you have and who you want as your beneficiaries and executors in advance.
I personally recommend you use Newlife Wills, who write Wills in Kent, they will take you through every step of the process to make it as quick and pain-free as possible!
10. It’s Expensive To Write A Will
There are several ways of writing a Will – even a DIY version that can be completed very quickly and cheaply – however this carries a lot more risk
than using a professional to write your Will.
A company like Newlife Wills is who I’d recommend to speak to, you’ll be getting knowledge and legal advice alongside your document – so it’s much better value for money! Plus through us you save £25.
So don’t put it off until tomorrow, come and speak to us today about writing a will, and then get on with enjoying life….and cleaning that green gunk out of the guttering!
Newlife Wills provide will advice in Kent. I personally used them to arrange my Will, They can help you through the process of estate planning and making a Will step by step and answer any questions you might have.
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