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What are some common misconceptions about wills people have?

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2023 | blog, Estate Planning & Wills

When it comes to wills, there are several common misconceptions that people often have. These wrong ideas can lead to confusion and potentially undesirable outcomes for your assets and family members.

Debunking some of these myths is one method of crafting an ironclad will that can benefit your loved ones.

Age requirements

One common misconception is that wills are only necessary for older individuals. In reality, anyone, regardless of age, should consider having a will. Accidents and unexpected events can happen to anyone, and having a will ensures that people comprehend and respect your wishes, no matter your age.

Amount of money needed

With consumer debt reaching $14.88 trillion in America in 2020, how much money you have left to pass on after death may be a looming topic on your mind. Some people believe that wills are only for the wealthy or those with substantial assets. This is not true.

A will is essential for anyone who wants to specify how others should distribute their possessions, no matter the value. Without a will, the state’s laws may determine the fate of your assets.

Ability to change your will later on

Another misconception is that once you create a will, it is set in stone. In reality, you can revise your will whenever your circumstances change. Life events such as marriages, divorces, births and deaths may necessitate adjustments to your will to reflect your current wishes.

Inheritance guidelines for spouses

Many people believe that if they enter into a marriage, their spouse will automatically inherit all their assets without the need for a will. While spouses often have legal rights to some assets, a will allows you to specify exactly how you want the distribution of your assets to unfold, ensuring people honor your wishes.

Validity of handwritten wills

Some individuals think that writing their will by hand on a piece of paper, known as a holographic will, is universally valid. However, the legality of handwritten wills varies by location, and not all jurisdictions may acknowledge them. It is best to consult local laws and consider a formal will to avoid potential complications.

While trying to ensure people respect your wishes during your lifetime, you may miss out on certain aspects of wills that help others after your death. Noticing these details is key to correctly understanding what a will can do for you and your peace of mind.


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