4 Things Most People (Including You!) Don't Know About Wills

Law Blog

It isn't uncommon for people to think that they know what is best for them and their loved ones. However, this is sometimes not true. One such instance would be in regards to one's estate plan. Many think that a will is the best option for them. This is often because of what they've heard from friends, neighbors or co-workers. Although some situations may warrant a will, it is true that many people are better off without one. Read on to learn four things most people are often mistaken about regarding wills:

1. Wills Are Tickets to Probate.

Many people think that as long as they have some form of a will or estate plan, their family will not have to enter into probate court. Unfortunately, this is not true. If you have a will, then it is a guarantee that your family will have to go to probate. There is no way to avoid it unless you want to opt for a trust instead of a will.

2. Wills Are Public Information.

Unlike trusts, information within wills is 100 percent public information. Anyone can get their hands on the information that you left in your will. This includes any property that you have left behind. This can make things difficult on your loved ones as they will be vulnerable to thieves and other predators. They will need to be on high alert when they should be grieving.

3. Wills Subject Your Assets to Owed Debt.

During the course of your life, it is inevitable that you will acquire debt. Hopefully, you will be able to pay all that debt off before you die. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. If you have a will, then having debt when you pass away can be a bad thing for your heirs. Your property will go through probate court and your creditors will have first dibs on any property that you left behind.

4. Wills Only Control YOUR Assets.

When you create a will, it will essentially only protect your own assets that are in your name. If you own a piece of property with a sibling, then that piece of property will be passed over to that individual when your die. This is true even if you didn't want that to happen.

The best way to avoid any of the aforementioned problems is to create a trust rather than a will. There are numerous options for trusts, including revocable and irrevocable. It would be in your best interest to schedule a meeting with an estate planning attorney, such as those at Begley Carlin & Mandio LLP, sooner rather than later to sort out the details regarding your estate.  


18 November 2014