Not many people have a will done and there are many reasons for that. Well, it could be due to cost, perceived complexity in will writing or even the thought that there is nothing much to distribute. Even if one recognizes the importance of having a formally written will, there is also the hassle to make time to see a professional will writer or a lawyer.
Hence, people procrastinate and the will never gets done. But death is a fact of life. The only uncertainty is the timing and the manner it happens. When it finally comes, how certain are you that your assets will be distributed efficiently to your intended beneficiaries and how will your young children be cared for? You can do that by writing a will and it is easier than you think.
The case for preparing your will now
Making your own will means you get to make the decision for your assets and your family yourself. Making your will is your final act of love to your family.
Here are some good reasons to have a well-thought out will prepared, no matter how old or young you are, or how much you have.
You decide how your assets will be distributed after your death
You probably have an idea how you would like your assets to be allocated to your loved ones, but without a will, no one is going to be able to execute your plans because they won’t have any idea what those plans are. Your assets may not be given to your choice of beneficiaries, and this could result in serious disputes and disharmony among your loved ones, a true disservice to them at a time when they are still grieving.
You get to appoint executors and trustees whom you trust
Executors and trustees will manage your assets and estate affairs after you pass on, which includes distributing assets according to your instructions and paying your debts and liabilities with your assets, amongst other things. It is imperative to appoint executors and trustees whom you trust.
You appoint the right guardians to take care of your children who are below 21 years old
If you have children, your biggest worry would be their welfare after you have passed on. Naturally, your spouse would be the guardian in your demise. However, if your spouse is also not around then it is essential to make sure that your children are entrusted with guardians who will care for them and protect them as their own. With your will, you get to make the decision to leave them in the right hands.
What happens if I pass on without a will?
If you pass on without having a will, the distribution of your assets would be determined by the Intestate Succession Act. Plus, it would be up to your loved ones to begin the entire process.
For instance, one of your next-of-kin needs to step up to be an administrator, and apply for the Letter of Administration. After which, they would be the ones responsible for distributing the estate according to the Intestate Succession Act.
Oftentimes, it is unclear who should take up that role. Sometimes, no one is willing to step forward to be the administrator because of the complexity of the estate’s liabilities. In other cases, there may be several people vying to be the administrator – likely for the wrong reasons – due to the sizeable estate at stake.
The entire process would also take a lot longer to complete, as the administrator may not be ready with the required information on the estate, may not have the time to administer the estate, or find it too complicated to execute it all altogether.
What’s more, if there are young children involved, or if your estate’s value is above a certain threshold, 2 sureties would be needed for the court to grant the Letter of Administration. The sureties must swear an affidavit certifying their worth is equal or more than the total value of your estate.
It is every parent’s nightmare if both parents pass on at the same time. It would be unclear whom should take on the responsibilities of guardianship for your children.
This is how your estate is distributed without a will
It is quite clear that the ISA estate distribution is not without its limitations. For instance, the ISA estate distribution is problematic for a person who is married with children and still hopes to leave something for his or her own parents. That is a distribution that is not accounted for in the ISA and is something that can be quickly rectified with a proper last will and testament.
So how can I get my will written quickly
There are many ways to write a will. If your estate is relatively uncomplicated, you can easily find guidelines on how you can write a will on your own. However, you may wish to have someone else to prepare it with you, to ensure you fulfil every legal requirement and account for every aspect of your estate planning.
In this case, you can opt for a will writing service offered by MoneyOwl, so you can be assured that your last will and testament fulfils all the legal requirements, without incurring the costs and hassle of getting it drafted, approved or witnessed by a lawyer. This simple will writing service is eligible for anyone who is at least 21 years of age, and who has a sound mind.
MoneyOwl’s will writing service would also work best for people who do not have overseas assets or complicated distribution requirements.
On the other hand, MoneyOwl’s will writing service will not be able to cover the needs listed below.
- Muslim wills. Muslim wills must adhere to Faraid guidelines. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide this service.
- If you want to give a combination of fixed amounts and percentages. For example, if you have $100,000 of assets and wish to give a fixed amount of $40,000 to your mother and the residual assets ($60,000) to be divided among your siblings by proportion.
- If you want to give away specific assets to a particular beneficiary and your other assets to be divided among your other beneficiaries. For example, you have $100,000 of assets and a house and wish to give away your house to your father and the $100,000 assets to be divided among your siblings.
- If your needs are more complex. For example, if you wish to distribute your estate primarily to your spouse and children, but in the event where the entire family passes on in a common disaster, you might want to re-distribute your estate wishes.
In MoneyOwl’s will writing process, we will guide you in identifying your beneficiaries and the proportion of estate you intend to distribute, as well as guardians (if you have a young child), executors and trustees. For more advanced needs, you may wish to seek legal advice.