Writing Your Will – Seven Things To Keep in Mind
A Will is a simple yet very powerful document because it contains your wishes on what happens to your property and children after your death.
Despite the importance of writing a Will, most people pass away without a Will, like in the case of Mr Tan.
Mr Tan felt he was ‘too poor’ to write a Will
Mr Tan passed away without a Will. He was a widower and lived in his HDB flat with Mary his only daughter. Mary, aged 30 and single, contributed to the monthly mortgage and expected to inherit the home after Mr Tan’s passing. When Mr Tan passed away, his 3 children including Mary became entitled to a one-third share each of the flat. Mary wanted to keep the flat for herself while her two brothers wanted the flat sold for cash. The children fought amongst themselves. With a Will, Mr Tan could have made his wishes clear and help avoid such disputes.
Here are seven things to keep in mind when you write your Will:
1. Maintaining an Inventory of Assets
Your family members face the immense task of gathering what assets you own and where they are located, to assessing their market value. A schedule of assets is required by the court before the orderly distribution of your assets can take place.
2. Choosing Beneficiaries
Your beneficiaries are the people who will receive your assets. These are normally your immediate family such as your spouse and children. They may also include your parents, other relatives, close friends and even charities.
3. Appointing an Executor
Your executor will take your Will to court for validation and then to carry out the wishes specified in your Will. With that kind of responsibility, it’s a good idea to pick someone who is good with numbers, organized and able to deal with the stress of the job. You can choose a licensed trust company to act as your executor. Such corporate executors perform the job on a professional basis for a fee.
4. Choosing a Guardian for Your Children
Your surviving spouse is the guardian of your children by default. But if both you and spouse pass away while your children are still minors, you will want to choose a Guardian that both you and your spouse agree on.
5. Putting Your Will in a Safe Place
Having a Will won’t do any good if no one can find it. Make sure you keep yours in a secure place, such as at home in a safe or with a company that provides wills custody. And tell your executor where you have kept your Will.
6. Finishing Your Estate Plan
Your Will is not the whole estate plan. Your Will comes into effect only when you pass away. You may consider a trust if you want to distribute your assets over a period of time. There is also the Lasting Power of Attorney and the Advanced Medical Directive, both of which cannot be included in your Will.
7. Amending Your Will
You can be expected to amend your Will when you experience big life events in the future such as marriage, divorce, receiving an inheritance or the birth of a child. Writing a Will is neither expensive nor complicated. Not writing a Will can be both expensive and complicated for your family.
Writing a Will is neither expensive nor complicated.
Don’t make things expensive and complicated for your family. Make an appointment to see us today.