Everyone of working age should have a Will. But many of us shy away from it, using a bunch of excuses. In reality, it’s the thought of death that puts most of us off taking this incredibly important financial step.
MYTH 1 – I DON’T NEED A WILL, I’M STILL YOUNG
This is one of the most frequent reasons (excuses) for not having a Will in place. Ask yourself: Do I really have nothing to leave behind? If you are reading this article you are definitely employed – and as soon as you have an income you start accumulating assets. Perhaps, think carefully about what you would want to happen with the cash in your bank account(s) or items that you own (personal belongings such as your furniture, jewellery, items of sentimental value etc.). If you don’t have a Will, these will most likely go to your closet blood relative – after a lengthy process. And if you have children, having a Will becomes even more important. By the time I went on maternity leave, my Will was updated. I made provision for my unborn child.
MYTH 2 – I CAN WRITE MY WILL ON A PIECE OF PAPER AND IT WILL BE VALID
While no law prevents you from drafting your own Will – it’s not a great idea. I highly discourage this. A Will is a professional legal document. There are all sorts of requirements to make a Will valid, such as having every page signed in full by the person who drafted the Will, plus two competent witnesses present who also need to sign in full on the last page. The company I work for offers this service for free – if you’re reading this; please feel free to contact me and I will gladly assist.
MYTH 3 – I HAVE A WILL AND THAT SHOULD BE GOOD FOREVER
Not entirely true. You need to review your Will every time there is a significant change in your personal or financial profile – for example, if you get married or have a child, take out a life insurance policy, buy a property etc. An outdated Will could potentially be more harmful than having no Will at all.
MYTH 4 – WILLS ARE EXPENSIVE
This is simply not true – in fact, Wills can be completely free. As said above, the company I work for offers a Will-drafting service to clients free of charge. People associate Wills with consultation fees and lawyers, all of which seem daunting and expensive. In reality, however, there are many companies that offer Will-drafting services. These are not always free, but most cost only a negligible amount.
MYTH 5 – IT’S COMPLICATED
Drafting a Will is not nearly as difficult as most people may think. All you actually need to do is decide:
- Who are the people you want to leave my assets/belongings to.
- What provisions do you want to make for my minor children?
And it really is as simple as that. The benefit of having an up-to-date, valid Will is that, if something should happen, you can be assured there will be a smooth transfer to your beneficiaries.