There are countless myths and misconceptions many people believe when it comes to Wills and inheritance. In fact, many simply don’t realise how important a document your Will really is. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly believed misconceptions about Wills and estate planning.
- “It’ll all go to my family anyway!” Unfortunately, whilst we’d all like to think it was that simple, it more often than not isn’t. Without a Will, the law has zero guidance from you as to how you’d like your loved ones to inherit. Instead, they have to rely on the laws of intestacy to decide who gets what; that is, how estates are distributed if there’s no Will. That half-brother you don’t get on with? He could get a sizable share of your estate if you don’t specifically say he shouldn’t! Your childhood friend who you’d like to leave a gift for? He’ll get nothing unless you say so in your Will. It’s vital that you get your wishes down on paper before you’re gone; otherwise, how will anyone know what you want to happen to your estate?
- “I’ve worked hard to pay for my home. It’s only fair it goes to my kids.” On paper, this makes a lot of sense. Of course your house should go to your children; as you quite rightly said, you’ve worked hard for it your whole life. But what if you or your partner needs care in later life? How will you pay for it? With approximately a third of us needing care at some point in our lives and with average fees exceeding £30,000, the only way for many people to pay their fees is to sell the family home. In fact, around 200,000 homes are sold every year to pay for care fees. There are ways to protect your home and savings from being taken away; to do so, it’s vital that you make a Will and start protecting what’s rightfully yours.
- “If I’m living with my partner, they’ll get everything when I die.” You’d better hope you married them then! Unfortunately, the laws of intestacy only recognise married couples and civil partners; cohabiting (living together) does not mean your partner has a claim to your estate. Therefore, if one of you dies unexpectedly, the other could be left with nothing at all because they have no claim to the estate!
- “I haven’t spoken to my daughter in years. The whole family knows we aren’t close; she won’t get anything when I die, will she?” The courts can’t simply take your family’s word for it; as easy as it may be for your loved ones to see you’d rather your daughter didn’t inherit, the law has to follow the laws of intestacy. This means your estranged daughter may well be entitled to a large share of your estate unless you make provisions in your Will to exclude her.
- “Wills are too expensive for what they are.” Depending on who you go to for advice, this one may well be true. Many solicitors’ practices offer Wills despite not specialising in them; they offer this service alongside the myriad of other cases they deal with, meaning your estate planning is not their priority. Specialised Will Writers like Accord don’t deal with matters other than those related to estate planning; this means you receive a reliable, professional service at a lower cost than many high street solicitors, and you can be safe in the knowledge that the end product has been completed to a high standard.
So, now that we’ve busted the myths about Wills and estate planning, isn’t it time you thought about making yours? With Accord Legal Services, it couldn’t be easier. give us a call today on 01744 807048.