5 Myths About Wills – BUSTED

You need to be rich, old, married with lots of kids to have a will…right?  Wrong! Anyone above the age of 18 years old can and should have a will. At Henry & Beaver, every day we hear reasons why people believe they need to put off creating a will, and most of the reasons are myths.

Here are the five reasons that we hear most often:

1. Making a will is only for new parents, the elderly, or people with health problems.

While those listed above should certainly have a will, creating a will is not exclusively for them. All adults should consider planning ahead since no one can predict what the future may have in store for us. By having a will, it can give you the peace of mind that everything will be taken care of when you can no longer make the decisions for yourself. 

2. A will is forever.

A will is a legal document, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make changes to it. Your will is considered a living document and should be updated regularly to reflect your life’s changes. If you got married, divorced, had a baby or grand baby, you can remember your loved ones or forget individuals that are no longer in your life in the will.  

3. Making a will is time-consuming.

Creating a will doesn’t have to take more than a few hours. There are several different types of wills that you can create, and it is important to know the function of each. A living will has the power to direct the end-of-life medical care you will receive, should you be unable to communicate with doctors and nurses. A will enables you to spell out what should happen to your property upon your death or incapacitation. Other types of wills include: simple wills, pour-over wills and codicils (additions to a will that was created earlier).

4. I don’t need a will because my family will sort everything out.

While that is a nice thought, that’s not always the case. In times of great distress, family members don’t always act like their normal selves. Sometimes, family members go to the extreme when there isn’t a plan set in place; they don’t know what your wishes would have been for either your medical decisions or the future of your property. There are even horror stories about families who will no longer speak to one another because they couldn’t work together to come to one decision.

5. The state gets everything if I pass away without a will.

The state will not steal away your family’s inheritance!  State law will, however, dictate who gets your property if there is no will in place, but the state itself will not take possession of your property. Typically, your spouse and children will be first in line to inherit your property, but if you are unmarried and have no children, your parents and/or siblings will then be able to inherit.

A carefully crafted estate plan is a great benefit for you and your loved ones. When you are contemplating making a will or using any other estate planning tool, the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer is highly recommended.

With over 100 years’ experience, Henry & Beaver can help you create a will. To arrange a consultation with our Pennsylvania Estate Planning Attorneys at Henry & Beaver, call 717-274-3644 or contact us online.