They always say that you cannot bring properties on earth to the grave. That may be why it is said to be important to arrange where these belongings will go when we die. When we think about it, while we are alive, we are not saving up for houses, cars, and businesses just for ourselves. More often than not, we do it for our families, which is why wills and probate are important.
However, some people are hesitant to talk about it because of some myths. So here are some of the common misconceptions on wills and probate that has to be debunked.
What are common myths on wills and probate we have to stop believing?
If you die without a will, the government will have all of your assets.
Although the policy on this matter differs per state and per country, one thing is for sure: it is not true. If you have a spouse and/or children, they will inherit your properties if you fail to prepare a will before you die. Most likely, the only time your assets will be acquired by the government is when no one of your relatives are found.
Probating an estate takes almost a lifetime.
Ask any law firm in Bristol and they will tell you that it takes only a few months to get everything in order but majority of probates do not take several years. Commonly, the only delay that happens is the state-mandated period for creditors to file claims. Other factors that can cause delays are family conflicts and too complex properties.
Just the probate cost will almost exhaust everything you have.
For most estates, probates are not required. For high-cost properties, the probate usually amount to five percent of the total property cost. So basically, it will surely not exhaust everything you left your family.
There are some lawyers who are said to charge high amounts. But note that fees are usually calculated based on asset size. It is important to check rates on such services like conveyancing in Bristol law firms to be sure.
The oldest child should be the executor of the parents’ will.
This may be seen in books and movies but it should not always be the case. The one named by the parents to be the executor of the will shall be the one to do so unless there is a valid and very important reason he/she should not. If the person named cannot fulfill the responsibility, then, the court will appoint one.
You do not have to leave your spouse anything.
Sorry, but you do. Check every conveyancing solicitor in Bristol and they will give you the same answers. Your spouse has a legal right to a portion of everything you own even if he/she was left out of the will. Arrangements can be made in terms of independently-owned properties to be left to other parties but there are lots of policies in place protecting marital assets.
Those are the five most common myths on wills and probate. With all these revelations, many people will hopefully be encouraged to finally pay attention to their respective wills and probate. If you want to know more about it, it will be better to go the law firm nearest you.