Myths about Will-making

Shountae Boothe

Legal Lead & Head of Customer Education

January 20, 2022

In our Caribbean context there are a lot of myths and superstition surrounding estate planning and will making. It seems that because a Will takes effect after a testator passes away many people associate a Will with death.

Myth #1: Creating a Will means an untimely demise

So many people (especially in Will and Tomorrow's home country of Jamaica) think that creating a Will means that someone will die soon. When  younger family members try to encourage their older family members to create a Will, they are often met with suspicion or accusations of trying to  push their loved to an earlier than desired demise. This, in part helps perpetuate the cycle of everyday people passing away without an adequate plan for their property and other assets.

Despite this continued tradition of suspicion and fear Will and Tomorrow believes that creating a Will does the exact opposite. Instead of shrinking back in fear and leaving your wishes to the (in)reliability of your loved one's memory, we think Will-making empowers you to plan your future and your present. It gives you the power today to make the plans for your loved ones tomorrow. There is also no empirical or statistical data to support the superstition of Will creation being linked to an untimely or early death. However there are statistics that show that only 32% of Americans had created a will in the height of the COVID -19 pandemic.  ( Daniel Cobb, Managing Editor, 2021 Wills and Estate Planning Study 2021).

Myth #2: Wills take a long time to create

Another idea surrounding Will-making is that the process is long and complicated. We can admit that in the past the process of creating a Will may have taken a few more steps. However this was the very reason that Will and Tomorrow was created. We aim to make the process as approachable and simple as possible with 2 options for creating your will. For the tech savvy we have the fully digital Online Will option where a questionnaire and Will generating wizard take the guess work out of the process.

For those who are less technologically inclined, we have the Phone-in Will option. Where a real human member of our team will ask you the relevant questions and walk you through the process of creating your Will. We understand that it may seem like a daunting task of assessing and distributing all that you own, and we continue to refine and review our processes to make the experience straightforward, simple and clear as possible.

Myth #3: Creating a Will is Expensive

This myth may have its basis in reality (we will concede that it's not a  complete myth). It is the belief that Will creation is expensive. Many who wish to make a Will relied on the services on an attorney. Attorney fees in Jamaica have generally been outside the average Jamaican's budget.  Many prices for consultations with an attorney start in the tens of thousands of dollars, before the document is even created. This would cause many to place estate planning into the category of an unessential luxury meant only for the wealthy. However Will and Tomorrow is helping to turn this generally held reality into a myth by making our Will products affordable. Both our Phone-in and Online Will services cost less than JMD$20,000 total. We also include minor revisions to your Will within the first  year of membership FREE of cost.

So, now that we've gotten this list started, which myth have you heard before, that you are not seeing here? Start a live chat with us or send us an email, to let us know or so that we can help with any other question you may have!