7 myths about Wills you need to stop believing
We’ve all had the thought at some stage – perhaps I should start thinking about preparing a Will...
But as soon as the thought comes into our heads, it’s quickly dismissed by one of the never-ending myths surrounding Wills.
Here at Wesley Mission, we’ve seen too many individuals and families put under enormous pressure because of a simple misunderstanding about Wills.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of seven myths about Wills, and why we’re offering a simple inexpensive way to get your Will prepared through Wesley Wills Day.
1. Wills are unnecessary
Behind all of the other myths on this list lies this big one. It’s the primary reason 45% of Australians don’t hold a valid Will.
The general misconception behind this myth is that somehow the right people will end up with your money and assets after you die, so you don’t really need to worry about making an official Will anyway.
Sadly, that’s not always the case. And as a result, dying without a valid Will can cause a lot of financial and emotional hardship for the loved ones you leave behind, and your assets may end up in the wrong hands.
2. Wills take a long time to prepare
Some complex Wills can take a long time to prepare. But for the average Australian, preparing a Will is a fairly straightforward and uncomplicated task.
In fact, most basic Wills prepared as part of Wesley Mission Wills Day take just 30-60 minutes of consultation time, with the final Will usually ready to sign within 1-2 weeks. That’s it!
3. You have to leave individual items in your estate
This myth is vital to the plot of many John Grisham novels, blockbuster movies and TV soaps, but the reality is, most Australians simply choose to leave everything they’ve got to their spouse or divide their assets equally between their kids if their spouse is no longer living.
And if you want to include individual items in your Will, you can always do so at a later date.
4. Wills are just for older people
The thinking behind this myth is fairly understandable – the older you are, the higher your chances of dying, therefore the more urgently you need to get your Will in order.
The huge flaw in this myth, however, is that none of us know when we’re going to die! Which is why the best time to prepare a Will is right now.
This is especially true if you’re experiencing a life event such as marriage, a new baby, property purchase, loss of a loved one, relationship breakup, or any other number of other significant moments.
5. As a young person, your possessions will automatically go to your parents
In Australia, young people aged 18 to 34 are the least likely to have a Will. Many believe they don’t own anything worth including in a Will. Others believe that if they die, their parents will inherit all of their possessions.
This is not necessarily the case, as you may have more assets than you realise. Once you start working, you’ll accumulate even more through your super, as well as cars, computers and other assets. There’s also real estate and debt (like student loans) to consider.
If you die without a Will, your estate will be distributed according to a pre-determined formula. In addition to that, if your only living relatives are more distant than cousins, your estate will pass to the government.
6. It doesn’t matter, I’ll be dead anyway
While dying without a Will won’t change much for you, it could significantly impact your loved ones.
Not only will they be coping with the grief of your passing, they may also experience increased financial and emotional hardship as a result of managing any complex legal complications that may arise after your death.
7. Preparing a Will costs thousands of dollars
This myth is well and truly busted, because the truth is, you can get a professional Will prepared by a solicitor for under $100.
As a community service, Wesley Mission offers Wills Days in the Sydney metropolitan and regional areas each year. At a Wills Day, you can have a simple Will professionally prepared, by a solicitor from a law firm who volunteers their time for the day, for just $60 per Will.
The normal cost of arranging other important instruments is also significantly reduced for these events, making it affordable for everyone.
“We were extremely impressed with the service provided by the Wesley Wills Day, and have recommended it to many people. It was very good value for money, we were very impressed with the solicitor, were also pleased to support such a worthy organisation.”
Gino & Annaliese, Leichhardt.