“Have you made a will yet? When will you make a will?”
Had friends or loved ones asking you such questions? In fact, not really. Many are known to avoid answering these questions, especially those pertaining to the word “will”. Even the word “death” is seen as a taboo word that many would hope not to hear nor speak to prevent ill luck. Well, nobody really goes around saying “After my death…..” or “You better make sure that you and your siblings don’t fight over my money okay.”
Although we don’t express it as much, death is a fear that we often choose to stay from. The fortune tellers might give you a hint, but what happens if it strikes like a lightning? What happens if one passes away without a will? It could end up as a typical scene that you read in the papers: children fighting over their parents’ estate.
This may sound like an exaggeration, but there is so much more we can do to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, so as to prevent future disputes or scenarios. A will is more than just a piece of paper. It is a legal document that allows you to document how you want your assets to be distributed after passing on. In fact, the misconception of having to hire a lawyer to write your will is false! You can write a valid will yourself. However, you look to consider hiring a lawyer if your requirements are rather complex, and this should cost you around $200 to $300.
Don’t want your assets to be distributed by the Intestate Succession Act (ISA) that follows a specific set of rules? Make a will to include loved ones before it decides for you.
Imagine this. Joel is a 35-year-old married man with two children and also an only-son. Unfortunately, he passed away in an accident and leaves behind his aging parents, wife and children. If Joel does not have a will, the Intestate Succession Act (ISA) will distribute 50% of his assets to his wife and the other 50% to his children in equal shares, without his aging parents taken into consideration. This may not be what Joel has hoped to see. By making a will, Joel will be able to control his inheritances and distribute them to his parents, wife and children.
The process of distributing the estate without a will can take up a longer time than one with a will. In this case, it may delay funds that may be needed immediately by the beneficiaries of the estate. Or a worse scenario like this could happen:
Poh Lam is a 45-year-old man who passed away due to a heart attack without a will. He leaves behind his wife and three young children. To administer the distribution of Poh Lam’s estate, his wife has to apply to the court for a Letter of Administration. Multiple supporting documents are needed to apply for it, Mrs Poh may have to fork out additional money to hire a lawyer to handle all of the paperwork. Also, the law requires two administrators for Poh Lam’s estate as his children are below the age of 21. Hence, Mrs Poh needs to find another person (i.e. her sister/brother) to act as a co-administrator, which can take quite a bit of time. Having kept out of her husband’s business throughout the marriage, Mrs Poh is unsure of the location and value of the assets that Poh Lam has. In this case (considering all of the above factors), it may actually take her more than six months to receive the Letter of Administration.
Funeral wishes such as hoping to get cremated or buried after death can be stated in your will. As such, your loved ones do not have to make different decisions at a difficult time. Also, arrangements like who you would like to appoint to care for your two dogs can be nominated in your will. However, it is suggested that you inform the person whom you like to appoint of your nomination to prevent unwanted situations from arising.
By having a will, you and your spouse can choose a guardian to raise your kids, should anything happen to both of you at the same time. You can also spell out how you want a part of your estate to pay for their tuition fees, or how much money your kids will receive when they reach a certain age, to prevent them from spending all of it. If you have life insurance policy, you may look to write down how you plan to distribute equally to every child.
We hope these pointers have served useful and we believe that you can save time, money and grief with a will. Even a simple will is better than no will. A fairly-simple process can lead you think about whether you have the right insurance coverage and how you can go about replacing your lost income. Hence, resulting in a smoother and less-costly tradition for your loved ones. If you would like to know more, please contact our Financial Consultants today for a FREE and non-obligational session today: https://gtgroup.sg/contact-us/