Myth: “Only rich people need Wills.”
Quite the contrary. In fact, the families of those who are not rich are most apt to be hurt by intestacy. As noted, most state laws provide, in the absence of a Will, more adequately for children than for the surviving spouse. Many people are worth more than they realize – when they consider their life insurance, retirement benefits, home, savings, and securities.
Myth: “People without dependents do not need Wills.”
Actually the opposite is true. A person without dependents who does not have a Will may find that under state law his or her property will go to his or her parents and perhaps brothers and sisters in specified, rigid shares. Friends, worthy charities, and other organizations the person may have wished to support will be left out.
Myth: “Younger people do not need Wills.”
Every adult is likely to need a Will, especially young married people with children. Accidents occur, and it is not uncommon for fatal accidents to involve both parents.
Myth: “All my property is in joint ownership – why do I need a Will?”
It is unlikely that all your property is jointly owned—for example, retirement benefits, death benefits from your employer, income-tax refunds, etc. More important, if the creation of joint ownership in property creates a gift, then federal and state gift-tax and estate-tax consequences may need to be considered. And what happens if you and the joint tenant die in a common accident?