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The 10 Most Common Myths about Making a Will

Amy Peters
25 January 2022 43 min read

There seem to be a lot of misconceptions that prevent people from making a Will. However, this article will debunk all these myths and will open your eyes to the truth. Remember that a Will is probably the most important document you will ever have to make.

Table of Contents

1. I already have a Will I don't need a new one
2. Everything will go to my partner anyway
3. Making a Will is complicated
4. Making a Will is morbid
5. Once I've written a Will it can't be changed
6. I need a solicitor to write a Will
7. My family will sort out everything between themselves once I'm gone
8. Wills are for the rich - I don't have anything to give
9. My debts will die with me
10. Wills are for the elderly or the ill

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1. I already have a will I don't need a new one

You already have a will in place, great news. Do you know where it is? Even if you have a will, it’s best to keep it under review to make sure that it still matches your personal circumstances. 

To find out more read this article on how to update a will

After all, you wouldn’t purchase a car and assume it doesn’t need any maintenance for the rest of your life.

Here at the Beneficial Family Wills, we recommend everyone reviews their Will every 3 to 5 years or earlier if their situation changes.

These changes could be due to marriage, divorce, the birth of new children or grandchildren, death of a beneficiary, changes to your executors or even coming into some money.

This also makes sure you keep abreast of any changes to the law that affect your planning so you can be sure that your will is as effective as possible.

2. Everything will go to my partner anyway

A dangerous assumption but one that we face every day. For some people who are married or in a civil partnership, this may be correct, but 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 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. Making a Will is complicated

Making a Will doesn’t need to be a complicated process. You can see a professional in the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you (geography permitting) or take up a telephone appointment or a Zoom meeting.

The benefit of using a professional Will Writing specialist is that they will be able to advise you every step of the way, including the complicated bits like actually writing the Will, helping you deal with any ‘blended family matters’ (which is now very common) and dealing with organisations such as HM Land Registry and the Office of Public Guardian on your behalf. Giving your instructions for your Will can be as simple as having a chat over a nice cup of tea.

4. Making a Will is morbid

We get it, many of us don’t like to talk about death. It’s a topic that can make people feel uncomfortable. That doesn’t mean that the process of making a Will has to be a solemn affair.

We prefer to look at the positive side of writing a Will. By putting a Will in place you’re giving yourself peace of mind because you’ll know that your affairs will be in order. You’ll also know that your family or those who are important to you will be taken care of, just as you would have wanted.

5. Once I've written a Will it can't be changed

This is another one that we hear quite often. We can confirm that your Will is not scribed onto parchment, given a wax seal and stored in a vault forevermore.

There is a general fear that once you have written a Will that’s it. Well thankfully that’s not the case, As long as you retain the capacity to make a Will you are totally free to revoke it or to write a new will at any point. In fact, we actively encourage you to review your Will on a regular basis.

6. I need a solicitor to write a Will

Logically you should check what accreditations your chosen Will Writer has to ensure you are using a recognised regulated professional to write your Will.

Look out for firms that are full members of professional bodies such as the Society of Will Writers, The Institute of Professional Willwriters and The Institute of Paralegals. If firms don’t have accreditations such as these, approach with care.

Accreditations provide you with the assurance that you are dealing with specialists in their field so you can be sure the firm and its employees are properly trained, fully insured, and ultimately safe to do business with.

Also, how long has the firm been trading? If they’ve been around for a while, chances are they have a good depth of experience and high levels of customer satisfaction to remain in business and maintain their longevity.

7. My family will sort everything out between themselves once I'm gone

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 an up to date Will.

8. Wills are for the rich - I don't have anything to give

Most people have something of value when they die. You may not consider yourself to be rich, you may not own your own home, but you almost definitely have something.

Whether this is some money in the bank, a life Insurance policy, jewellery, or even items that have no real monetary value but are quite sentimental to you. Chances are you’d want to make sure the assets and possessions you do have end up in the right hands.

9. My debts will die with me

Wouldn’t that be nice? Unfortunately, it’s not true. If you die with any debts outstanding these will need to be assessed and paid from your estate.

Your Will can direct where everything left over will pass and who too and can make specific gifts of certain assets, so they may not fall into the pot to be sold to cover debts unless absolutely necessary.

10. Wills are for the elderly or the ill

While a person who is elderly or ill may require a Will more urgently, Wills are for everyone over 18 with mental capacity. Writing a Will shouldn’t be put off as the longer you leave it the more risk there is of it being too late.

Even if you are at the other end of the spectrum and are young and healthy you can still benefit from a Will, especially if you have children. A Will isn’t just about distributing your assets on death, it is also an important document to appoint testamentary guardians.

These are people who you appoint to formally take care of your minor children if you were to pass away whether through an accident or illness.

If you are still confused by Wills read this article.

Need to talk through making your Will? Book a call with Amy by click here or call 01522 500823 for a free no-obligation chat. 

Download your free guide to making a Will here.

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