Myths About Making a Will
Shockingly, a third of adults in the UK die without having made a Will. In this article, we dispel a few common myths about the process, to convince those of you without one, to get in touch today and book a free consultation.
MYTH: Making a Will is a long and complicated process
The idea that making a Will interrupts people’s busy lives by requiring complex paperwork about assets and taking a long time to complete is incorrect. The truth is, drawing one up is a simple process which can take as little as a couple of weeks from start to finish, depending on how complex your situation is. Solicitors understand that clients may have other priorities and may not have the latest details of finances at their fingertips, so the process is made as efficient and straightforward as possible.
MYTH: Making a Will is very expensive
A straightforward Will at Gross & Co Solicitors costs £250.00 plus VAT. If your circumstances are more complicated, you will be able to speak to a solicitor to find out and get an idea of the fees before you commit. There are cheaper options available, such as doing it yourself online, but you will gain peace of mind and guarantee that it is drawn up correctly by using a solicitor or Chartered Legal Executive. There is often no substitute for being able to talk about what you want face to face.
MYTH: I’m too young to be making a Will
Often seen as a morbid subject, making a Will is actually considered as a good way to plan for the future. If you are over 18 years old, own reasonably substantial assets (e.g. house, business interests, inheritance), and/or have embarked on marriage and children, it is advisable to write one up. It will offer you satisfaction that your loved ones will be looked after following your death and that your assets will pass to who you wish. You should amend it when you experience any major life changes and also review it regularly, around every three to five years.
MYTH: I don’t need to make a Will, my spouse will receive everything
It is true that your spouse will be first in line to receive your financial assets and possessions, but the amount will depend on the size of your estate. Currently under the rules of intestacy (which apply where you leave no Will), your personal possessions and most jointly held assets will be given to your spouse, but only a fraction of your other assets. These will be divided between your children and possibly other members of the family. Your spouse or civil partner will receive the first £250,000 of the net value of your estate. After that, the remainder is divided, your spouse or civil partner receiving one half and the other half being divided equally between your children. If you do not wish your assets to be distributed like this, it is best to draw up a Will.
MYTH: Your debt is eradicated once you die
Unfortunately, this is not true. Whether it’s a mortgage, a loan or a credit card bill, it ideally needs to be paid off before you die, but if it remains, the outstanding debt will be settled from the assets that you leave in your estate. If the estate value is insufficient to pay the full amount, the debts are likely to be dealt with according to the rules of bankruptcy. There may be special rules for debts that are held jointly with your spouse who may remain responsible for them. Expert advice should be sought in these situations.