Myth 1. “My family will sort everything out”
Unfortunately, if a person dies without a Will their family will have little say in the matter, whether they know the deceased’s wishes or not. When someone dies intestate (without making a Will) their Estate is distributed according to set rules and not according to your wishes. Disputed Wills can lead to conflict animosity and stress between family members and may not be distributed according to the deceased’s wishes if there is no Will.Myth 2. “Getting married or remarried won’t affect my Will”
When you get married, any previous Wills you have written become invalid. Your will is not invalidated upon divorce, however, any inheritance that your former spouse would have received from the Will instead may pass to other beneficiaries.Myth 3. “I don’t need to make a Will because my spouse will receive everything anyway”
It’s a common misconception that if you die without having a valid will your spouse will automatically inherit all of your estate. If you have children and die intestate your spouse will inherit 2/3’s of your Estate and the remaining 1/3 will be shared between your children. If your children are under the age of 18 this can cause legal issues as minors cannot hold property until they reach the age of 18.Myth 4. “This is such a morbid subject. This is something only old people need to think about”
None of us can predict the future. Making a Will means planning ahead. It is a very caring thing to do for your loved ones and offers you the peace of mind that the people you care about will be provided for when you are no longer around.
The vast majority of wills are straight forward and can be prepared in the space of few days. Do not take a chance with a DIY Will. Professionally created Wills are relatively inexpensive. The cost of a Will must be weighed up against the fact that professionally created Wills guarantee peace of mind whereas DIY Wills may be poorly drafted lead to confusion and end up costing more if it needs to be clarified by the Courts.Myth 6. “I have a common law spouse so everything will automatically go to them”
Contrary to popular belief common law marriages are not legally valid. Statutory rights of intestacy apply only to married couples.Myth 7: “With a Will I can appoint someone to make important decisions if I lose physical or mental capacity”
A Will comes into force upon your death. If you want to make arrangements for a trusted person to make important decisions on your behalf whilst you are alive then you should prepare an Enduring Power of Attorney.Myth 8. “I had a Will drawn up several years ago so I can just amend it myself”
Existing Wills can be amended with a separate legal document called a codicil. If the necessary amendments are extensive then an entirely new will may need to be drawn up. There are certain rules to be adhered to when signing a Will in order for any changes to be valid so do not take a chance as it may end up costing you more if the Court has to declare if the changes are valid.Myth 9. “My debts will die with me”
Any debts that you leave when you die will need to be paid from your Estate along with your funeral bills. Once these have been paid the remainder of your Estate can be distributed in accordance with the wishes set out in your Will.Myth 10. “I made a Will years ago when I bought a house I don’t need another one”
You should review your Will regularly as tax rules change and reviewing a Will allows you to review your finances and avail of any tax exemptions and tax planning. You should review your Will at least every 5 years or if there is a dramatic change in your circumstances
Making a Will shouldn’t be a stressful experience and at Eoin Murphy Solicitors we have over twenty years of experience in professional Will writing so you can be sure that you will be in safe hands.
Contact us today for a quote.