Debunking myths about wills

A will is a legal document that sets out how you wish your estate to be distributed on your death. It ensures your assets are divided in accordance with your wishes rather than legislation and allows you to decide who will look after your children and how they are financially provided for. Writing your will with a solicitor helps ensure your estate is dealt with in a tax-efficient way and can give you peace of mind knowing that your wishes have been communicated by a professional to avoid any mistakes. 

 Here are some common myths about wills:

My spouse will inherit everything anyway  

 Unfortunately, this may not be the case. Without a will, your spouse could find themselves sharing everything in your estate with your/their children or grandchildren. 

On the other hand, if you are not married, you are referred to by law as Cohabitees (“common law” spouses). Cohabitees don’t inherit anything under the intestacy rules, even if you have been together for many years.
 
You may also wish to ensure that your assets stay within your family. For example, you may wish to prevent your partner from leaving any of their inherited assets to a new partner – special trusts can be inserted in a will to prevent that from happening.
 

I am not wealthy enough to need a Will

Many people underestimate their assets and are sometimes, unfortunately, worth more when they die. 

Additionally, a will can be used for a variety of purposes entirely unconnected with the amount of money you have, such as to set out who will look after your children when you die.
 

I do not need to worry because I made a will years ago

Your will should be reviewed whenever your living or financial circumstances change and it’s good practice to check it at least every five years. It’s also worth noting that marriage normally overrides an existing will.

I can save money by writing my own Will

Do-it-yourself legal documents can be tempting for their accessibility and costs but unfortunately, they can cause serious distress for your loved ones if poorly executed. It’s best to talk to a solicitor specialising in this area of law who will be able to consider your situation, wishes and any complications such as tax. They’ll be able to make the process as stress-free as possible.