This article is contributed by Nicole Yeoh, in chambers of Voonslegal.
Why you need a Will?
You may often hear people asking “Hey! Do you have a Will?” And the immediateresponse would be “Why I need a Will?”, “I am fit and healthy now. I do not need one at the moment. I am not rich and so I do not need to write a Will.” The conversation may not stop there.
In present days, there are many people out there who do not know the importance and the need of making a Will. Some may think that it is a taboo to make a Will. The advice is, no matter whether you are rich or poor a Will is a very important document to protect your estate and to ensure that your property shall not fall into the hands of those whom you don’t want to benefit.
Then, what is a Will?
Under the Wills Act 1959, a Will is a declaration that states and shows the intention and instructions of a testator to give legal effect to his property or other matters which he desires to be carried into effect after his death. Upon death, the property of a deceased person is known as his estate. A will ONLY take effect when the testator is dead.
Who can make a Will?
Anyone who in law has attained the majority age, that is a person who is 18 years old and above. On reaching majority age, he can make a Will. Why should you make a Will when you are still young? Well, anything can happen. A person can die not only of old age, but, can also die young!
Why do you need a Will? What is the importance of making a Will?
1. Protection of Property for loved ones only
To ensure that only your love ones can secure your property upon your death and that your property is protected for the enjoyment of your love ones only.
Imagine upon your death, if you leave no Will, but, with your spouse and children of tender years and also your ill parents behind on this earth with other relatives fighting or claiming for your estate. Then, this will set a misery journey in the life of your surviving spouse, children and ill parents. Such misery can be avoided if you have a Will. A Will if made, will allow you to decide your way of distribution of your estate, that is, to who you want to benefit and the proportion of the distribution of the estate. Your estate will be handled properly as instructed in your Will and your love ones will no longer worry to live in insecurity. If there is no Will, your estate will be distributed according to the law. By then, your love ones may have no say over your estate and they may not be able to receive the part of your estate that you intended them to benefit. Therefore, make sure you get a Will done in order to ensure your love ones’ needs are taken care of in the future.
2. Exercising your right
As long as a person has attained the legal age of 18 years and above that person has a right to write a Will. This right should be exercised wisely. In a Will, you have the right to appoint an executor (maximum 4) which is honest and reliable to handle your matters after death. Also, you can determine the beneficiaries that you want from benefitting your estate. In the event, your children are at tender age, you can appoint a guardian of your choice.
3. Cut off the hassles
If you thought that making a Will can create lots of problems and costs and you would rather prepare not to spend something on making the Will then you are wrong! Compare with other means of preparing for the eventuality of death, getting a Will done is considerably cheaper. You will only pay a one-time fee, unless you are to revoke or rewrite the Will, then this will incur extra costs. Even if you decide to rewrite your Will one day, the costs are still considered minimal in comparison to the benefits and protection you may enjoy. Besides, with a Will, the Grant of Probate can be obtained within a year. Isn’t that a Will be able to reduce problems?
4. Have distribution control over your estate
Upon writing your Will, you are able to determine who you want to give and benefit from your estate. Also, you have a choice to make proportion control over the estate that you intend your beneficiary to receive. Upon death, your Will shall have your say.
What if I die without a will?
A person who dies without a Will, die intestate. Without a Will, you will have no control over your estate. Without a Will, you will leave important decisions to someone else to make for you after your death, which might not be your choice. Upon your death, all your estate will be frozen and will be distributed according to provisions of law.By that time, your love ones may face serious financial difficulties including legal fees because more time may be required in obtaining the Letters of Administration. If it involves a lot of properties the whole legal process could take years.
In the event, your children are still minors, a guardian who is NOT your choice can be appointed by thecourt. On top of that, an administrator who is NOT your choice can also be appointed by the court to administer your estate. If problems occurred to an extent where dispute arises within your family, this can lead to long fight in the court. Do you want this to happen upon your death?
How to make a Will?
Get a lawyer to help you in getting your Will done!
Crack your head on the following before you engage a lawyer to get your Will done:
- Appoint 1-4 executors or a trust corporation which you think are honest and reliable to administer your estate;
- Appoint a guardian to take care of the welfare of your children if they are still minors;
- Verify and understand the nature of your estate, and decide who are the beneficiaries of your estate and how much you intend them to benefit;
- Appoint 2 witnesses to witness you signing your Will.
Some might think to make a Will is easy and may think to do it themselves. However, it is advisable that you engage a lawyer to write and handle it for you so that the Will could be made in accordance with your will. The Will may seem easy to you, but, if not prepared properly in accordance with the requirements of the law, the Will can be declared as invalid and could not be executed. In the end, your estate and love ones will be in trouble!
So, why not save the trouble and get your lawyer to do it? Once done, you can have peace of mind! If you have problem in drafting your will or need any assistance in drafting your will, do contact us now and we shall be able to assist you accordingly.
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