Wills
8 Common Myths About a Making a Will
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8 Common Myths About a Making a Will

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

Head of Legal at TrulyWill

Writing your Will seems quite overwhelming especially when you’re not a legal expert yourself. You probably still have this somewhere in your list of priorities but still have a few confusions which are preventing you from taking that next step.

  • Does a Will expire if it isn’t filled immediately?
  • What if I’m not sure how I want my assets to be distributed?
  • Maybe I don’t own much anyway, do I still need a Will?

Let’s talk about some common myths that stop people from writing their Will.

A simple google search today can get you all the information in the world at your fingertips. But the problem lies in that statement itself. Information on the internet is so vast and scattered that it becomes difficult to process. Let’s face it, you have a busy schedule - you’ve got bills to pay and work that needs to be done. Doing all of this research is not something you can make time for every other day.

Don’t worry. We understand. Over time, we have spoken with hundreds of people just like you to understand what was stopping them from writing their Will. Let’s talk about a few common myths that we kept hearing that you might relate to.

“The Will expires unless it’s filled immediately.”

That’s not true at all! A Will has no expiration date.

Also, once you have a Will, it’s next to impossible to sell or transfer the title of your assets without executing the wishes you have outlined. 

The probate process must be followed and if the executor does not file your Will for personal gain, they may even face criminal prosecution. So until and unless the Will is executed and goes through the probate process, your estate will remain in your name.

“I don’t have many assets so I don’t need a Will.”

Making a Will is not limited to the rich folks with a lot of property and money in the bank. It’s a document that everyone should make and here’s why – you’re able to assign legal guardians who would take care of your kids, write your funeral instructions, lower the risk of family dispute, pass down your digital accounts such as social media, provide a home for your pets, and much more!

“My family knows what I want, I won’t need a Will.”

That’s great! But unfortunately, they don’t get to make the decisions. It’s the state court that will inevitably decide on how to distribute your assets according to intestacy laws. 

The legal system does not know what you would’ve wanted so it’s best to make a Will and outline your wishes in a clear manner. This will not only ensure the protection of your family’s future but also save them a lot of time and money which would go into legal fees from your estate.

“I’ll make a Will later. I’m too young to think about this now.”

Fair point. But do you have any money in the bank at all? What about any property that you own or might inherit? Maybe none of these apply but who would take care of your parents? Or your pets? The point I’m trying to make is that everyone has something or someone valuable in their lives. 

If you’re above 18, you should definitely create a Will soon. The future is uncertain – tomorrow is not promised, it’s a gift. Getting a Will done today will give you mental peace knowing that everything will be taken care of. 

Besides, it’s great to start early. You’d have a good understanding of the process and all the legalities for future reference when you’re older and need to make changes. This topic will not be alien to you and you’d always be ready for it.

“What’s the point? No one will follow what I write in my Will.”

That’s actually impossible. A Will is a legally-binding document that MUST be followed by the court & your family unless it can’t be found and nobody knew about its existence. 

Make sure you choose the Executor wisely who would take the responsibility of ensuring that your Will gets filed in the court. Once that’s done, the state has to abide by the instructions that you have laid down in the document.

“I have to find a lawyer to write a Will”

Let me ask you some follow up questions:

“Are you sure that there will be legal complications and litigation when you’re gone?

Is your estate extremely large and complex in nature?”

If the answers to these questions are “yes” then you might benefit from consulting a lawyer. 

Typically, the cost of getting legal counsel from an attorney and then crafting a Will-based Estate Plan can cost $1000 or more.

An online Will made by you is equally as valid as one that a lawyer will draft on your behalf. Perfect is always the enemy of good and it’s more than likely that there’s nothing out of the ordinary in your situation. Doing it yourself will save you time and a lot of money!

“A Will is a one-time thing. I’ll write it when my mind is made up”

Most definitely not. Change is the only constant in life and that applies to your Will as well. An estate plan is not a one-and-done thing, you always have the option to make updates to your Will at any point in time which would be indicative of changes in your life & relationships.

“Making a Will is too expensive and complicated”

You would’ve probably been right if you said this same thing 20 years ago. 

Estate Planning traditionally meant spending days away from work in a lawyer's office to understand the legalities. You're flying blind into these meetings about the final cost which can go into thousands of dollars!

Today, with the help of technology, you’re able to make a Will from the comfort of your home and at your own pace without making a hole in your wallet.

Got Questions?

Hi, I’m Jennifer McGee.

Co-founder & Head of Legal at TrulyWill

Feel free to book a call with me to help you with your estate plan.

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What would happen if someone passes away without a will?
The state's intestacy laws will be followed if someone dies without a will. The interested parties, like the spouse or children, would have to go through a probate process to get their share in the estate.
Do I need a lawyer to make my last will and testament?
There's generally no need to get a lawyer to make your will. You could use an online platform and easily make it within minutes. Only some special cases, like complex family relations, may require you to consult an attorney.
Can my last will and testament be oral?
Only a few states consider an oral will legal only if it follows the rules. You would have to fulfill some criteria the state sets to be eligible to make an oral will. However, you shouldn't risk this to chance and create a solid, legal will on paper.
Do I need to have a certain amount of money to make a will?
No, there's no minimum limit of money you need to have to make your last will. It would dispose of any assets you leave to the beneficiaries.
What would it cost me to make a will?
Depending on your location and estate, the cost varies between $500 to $1000 if you hire a lawyer. However, you can use the TrulyWill platform to create a legal and valid will at a fraction of this price.
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