To Will or Not to Will
TO WILL OR NOT TO WILL
The COVID-19 pandemic that took the world by surprise early last year made us realise that life is short and anything can happen at any time. As we all worked from home this past year surrounded by our loved ones, it is only normal that our thoughts drift to the inevitability of death and whether our loved ones would be properly taken care of when we are gone. All this uncertainty and doubt can be overcome by making a Will.
Why Should I Make A Will?
The main purpose of a Will is to ensure that your estate reaches the people you intend for it to benefit. In addition to that, it also gives you the chance to review and evaluate your current tax position. Making a Will is 100% optional. However, before deciding on making one or not, you should be informed of the consequences of not having a Will.
Where No Will Exists
When you do not have a Will, the rules of intestacy would apply to your estate which is automatic and beyond anyone’s control. When the rules of intestacy are in place, it may result in people not benefiting from your Will that you would otherwise have wanted to.
If you die without leaving a Will, all of the assets that are found belonging to you would be divided according to the rules of intestacy. These are rules that define exactly who gets what as prescribed by the Distribution Act 1958, but this distribution may not be what you would have had in mind.
Protect Your Estate With A Will
Not only that, but having a Will would offer protection to your estate. It is important that your estate is protected and managed upon your death. This can be done by creating provisions in your Will to allow for your estate to be managed according to your intentions.
The creation of Wills can prevent a family member from using the inheritance in a reckless or extravagant way, or in any way you would not have intended. You may also restrict the inheritance so that the people benefiting from it can only receive a certain amount or a certain benefit, in accordance with your Will. You can also ensure that the property is passed on to anyone of your choice, and in doing that, your estate is protected from falling into the hands of an unintended recipient.
If you leave an inheritance to your child when you die, this gift could inadvertently end up in part going to your child’s spouse should they get a divorce. However, by creating a Will, you can avoid the inheritance from falling into another’s hands.
How Would A Will Benefit Me?
A Will is the best way to have a say over what happens to your children even after death. As parents, you would only want the best for your children and would like to look out for them. With a Will, you can appoint a legal guardian for your children if they are under the age of 18 in case anything were to happen to you, your spouse or both. Without a Will, you would leave the appointment of your young children’s legal guardian to the courts.
Writing a Will allows for you to set out how you want to divide your estate, including any property or accounts you own. Property is anything you own, which has monetary or sentimental value, and is not limited to your land and houses only, but also includes your cars, watches, paintings, shares and investments. By making a Will, you are making an inventory of your assets and also choosing exactly how much of what you want people to inherit, which helps prevent disputes among family and friends when you are gone.
What Do I Need To Know Before Making A Will?
Before making a Will, there are a few questions that would crawl up at the back of your mind. So, here are some of the common queries that cross our minds when contemplating making a Will.
Do I Need A Solicitor To Write A Will?
The general perception is that you must see a solicitor to write up a Will. However, if your requirements are fairly simple and straightforward, you could end up paying more than you need to. Createwills’ online Will writing service allows for you to appoint legal guardians for your minor children, appoint your executors and even rank them by priority, make an inventory of your assets and set out how you would like to divide your estate. We also give you the option of leaving gifts and personal messages to your loved ones. You can also add your funeral wishes (how you would like your final rites to be). All of this costs only RM290 with our services.
You might need the assistance of a solicitor if you require specific advice on a complex situation such as a Will involving high-value business assets or inheritance tax planning.
Even though our solicitors are working remotely, we are still here to help you plan for your future by creating your Will and providing tax-efficient advice. Even if you are self-isolating, we can help by taking instructions from you online or over a telephone call to help draft your Will.
What Do I Need to Add To My Will?
One of the more important things when making a Will is appointing the executors for that Will. Executors are the people responsible for carrying out your wishes that you have stated in your Will. Usually, people think of appointing their partners as an executor, but at times, it could come as an unwelcome burden when they are already dealing with the grief of losing a loved one. Other common choices of executors include adult children, siblings, close friends, and professional executor services.
The most important thing to consider when appointing your executors is whether they are confident dealing with the paperwork and finances involved.
2. Estate Inventory
Millions of Malaysians put off writing their Will because they worry about tracking down the paperwork for all their accounts, property and savings, but the reality is quite the contrary. With Createwills, you would be asked to create a basic inventory of your estate. You only need to make a note of each of your assets. This is to make it easier for your executors when they deal with your estate. For this, you would not be asked for details such as account numbers or the value of each account, so this step usually only takes about a few minutes.
3. Legal Guardians
If you have young children or are a pet parent, you can appoint legal guardians for them in your Will. By doing this, you get to decide who would take care of them when you are gone. If you do not appoint a legal guardian, this would be left for the courts to decide.
Though it is quite unlikely that the legal guardians are ever called upon, it is still important to pick the right people for the job. The children’s grandparents, aunties and uncles, and close friends of the family are the popular choices but when appointing a guardian, it is advisable for you to discuss with your preferred candidate before including them into your Will, so that they are not caught off-guard.
What About My Funeral Wishes?
Our online Will writing service allows for you to include funeral wishes in your Will. This is completely optional, but it can really help to prevent family disputes over your funeral when you are gone.
You can choose your final resting place, determine what kind of funeral you want, and you can even select songs for the ceremony. While this part of the Will is not legally binding like the other parts of your Will, they can guide your family in making the right decisions when it comes to your final wishes.
When Is The Best Time To Make A Will?
We recommend that you make a Will as soon as possible and review your Will periodically, especially when circumstances change. Examples of such circumstances are right after you buy property, are in contemplation of marriage or divorce, have an addition to the family, or after obtaining assets, such as investments.
Nowadays, with the increased risk of illnesses, many people are creating and reviewing their Wills. With our service, it is simpler and any amendments made after the first three months from the purchase of the Will are free.