Death isn’t something that many of us want to think about, however writing a will is an essential preparation that should be considered, as upsetting as it might be. A will or testament is a legal document that expresses a person’s wishes as to how their finances and property are distributed after their death.
My spouse will inherit all of my assets, so I do not need to write a will
Our Life Plan’s spokesperson said: “If you have a spouse and have not written a will, your spouse will inherit some or all of your assets upon your death under inheritance rules.
“Spouses may also own joint assets, which are bound to be inherited by the surviving spouse under survival laws.”
A will not only preserves your assets after death, but it’s also an effective inheritance planning process.
Everything will be distributed according to what you have written, but without a will, some of your assets may be subject to inheritance tax, which could be avoided if you had one.
You only need to write a will when you are older
This is a common misconception but, according to the experts, writing your will doesn’t have much to do with your age. In fact, it is recommended that you write a will regardless of age if you have large assets, in the form of money, property or personal belongings.
Our Life Plan’s spokesperson said: “If you have not written an agreement, all of your assets will be distributed not in the way you intended, but according to the law.
“As a result, those closest to you may receive nothing, while those you don’t want to leave anything may inherit your property.
“Having a will ensures that your last wish is fulfilled and gives you a sense of security that your loved ones will be looked after as you wish.”
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My children will be looked after by my family
This is one of the most common myths associated with wills, according to the Our Life Plan expert.
They said: “Many parents believe that if something happens to them, their preferred relatives – siblings, parents, and so on – will automatically take care of their children. However, governments will choose who will be the primary guardian of the minors.”
To ensure that a person you trust fully takes care of your children, you must designate a guardian in your will, if not this decision could be left up to the state.
My debts will die when I do
Unfortunately, this common misconception is not actually true and could impact your close family once you die.
Any debt that is owed will end up being taken from the proceeds of your property or assets.
Our Life Plan’s spokesperson added: “If there isn’t enough money on your property to pay off your debt, creditors will take what they can and write off the rest. It is also possible that assets will need to be sold to pay this off.”
Writing a will is morbid
While death may be a troublesome topic for some people, writing a will does not need to be a bleak process.
The experts suggest approaching your will “positively” by “focusing on the benefits it will bring your family in the future”.
The Our Life Plan spokesperson added: “You can approach writing a will positively by focusing on the benefits it will bring to your family and their future.
“While it may be painful for you, your family will suffer more and for a longer period of time if you pass away without writing one.”
People who are struggling with the idea of writing their will can always contact a dedicated will writing service.
They will be able to provide support and knowledge throughout the process.
I am not wealthy enough or don’t have enough assets to need a will
Writing a will is not exclusive to the wealthy, and can cover more than just how much money or how many assets you have.
Wills can also cover your children’s future, especially if they will require a guardian after death.
They will also name who can legally access your bank or mortgage. Without a will, your close family may struggle to be granted permission.
Our Life Plan said: “A will is by far the simplest and least expensive way to eliminate any problems for those left behind who require access to your estate.”
Creating a will is expensive
Although it is true that some will writing services and legal fees can be costly, there are will writing services available for any budget.
According to the experts, the cost is typically associated with how complex your estate is and how specific you want to be about how your money will be used after death.
Our Life Plan’s spokesperson said: “Most families only need a simple will. There are several platforms that walk you through the process of creating a will, so you can quickly get a legally binding will.
“While there are other free options that don’t require a trip to the attorney’s office, be careful with free online templates that you complete yourself as you can end up with a non-binding will.”
Creating a will is time-consuming
The duration of writing a will can differ, and this will largely depend on how complex your will is.
Although the process can take longer for the with multiple businesses, children from previous marriages or a complicated estate, some dedicated services can help to alleviate some of the leg work.
The cost of probate will eat up all of the estate assets
Probate is a legal document that gives the named executor of a will the authority to share out the estate of a person who has died.
According to the expert: “There are a lot of unpleasant narratives about how much probate costs.
“Many people believe that their family will be left with nothing once the fees for lawyers and court costs are paid. Fortunately, that is not the case.
“Many estates do not even necessitate probate.”
If someone dies without a will, the state gets everything
This is a common misconception that is not strictly true.
In the UK, if you die without a will – known as dying intestate – most often your next of kin by law will be handed assets.
However, only married or civil partners and some other close relatives can inherit under the rules of intestacy.
Parents, brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews of the intestate person may inherit under the rules of intestacy but this depends on a number of circumstances.
The only time a person’s possessions will be passed to the Crown, which is referred to as bona vacant, is if there is no will and there are no surviving relatives.