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Why Write a Will?

Wills

Deceased Dies Intestate Leaving: Distribution
Spouse
(No parents or issue*)
Spouse
100%
Spouse, Issue
(With or without parents)
Spouse
50%
Issue

(To be shared equally)

50%
Issue
(No spouse)
Issue
(To be shared equally)
100%
Spouse, Parents
(No issue)
Spouse
50%
Parents

(To be shared equally)

50%
Parents
(No spouse or issue)
Parents
(To be shared equally)
100%
Siblings
(No spouse, issue or parents)
Siblings
(To be shared equally)
100%
Grandparents
(No spouse, issue, parent or siblings)
Grandparents
(To be shared equally)
100%
Uncles & Aunts
(No spouse, issue, parents, siblings, grandparents)
Uncles and Aunts
(To be shared equally)
100%
None of the above
Government
100%
Deceased Dies Intestate Leaving: Distribution
Spouse
(No parents or issue*)
Spouse
100%
Spouse, Issue
(With or without parents)
Spouse
50%
Issue

(To be shared equally)

50%
Issue
(No spouse)
Issue
(To be shared equally)
100%
Spouse, Parents
(No issue)
Spouse
50%
Parents

(To be shared equally)

50%
Parents
(No spouse or issue)
Parents
(To be shared equally)
100%
Siblings
(No spouse, issue or parents)
Siblings
(To be shared equally)
100%
Grandparents
(No spouse, issue, parent or siblings)
Grandparents
(To be shared equally)
100%
Uncles & Aunts
(No spouse, issue, parents, siblings, grandparents)
Uncles and Aunts
(To be shared equally)
100%
None of the above
Government
100%

* “issue” – includes children and the descendants of deceased children.

Wills

Upon death without a will, you have effectively given up your right to decide how your assets are distributed. Your loved ones may be burdened because:

  1. An administrator, usually a next-of-kin, must step forward to apply for the Letter of Administration before he/she can distribute the estate according to the Intestate Succession Act. As such, there may be serious disagreements as to whom should do so.
  2. The process may be more time-consuming as the administrator may not be ready with the required information on the estate, have no time or find it too complicated. There are cases where no one is willing to step forward to be the administrator due to uncertainties in the estate’s liabilities. There are also cases where several people want to be the administrator due to the large amount of assets at stake, sometimes for the wrong reasons.
  3. If there are young children involved or if your estate’s value is above a certain threshold, 2 sureties are needed before the court would grant the letter. The sureties must swear an affidavit certifying their worth is equal or more than the total value of your estate.
  4. On the unfortunate occasion that both parents pass on at the same time, there may be great uncertainty as to whom should take on the responsibilities of guardianship to your children.

Wills

Having a well-thought out will is always a wise move. The three common advantages are:

  1. You can decide on how your assets will be distributed after your death. Without a will, your assets may not be given to your choice of beneficiaries. This may lead to serious disputes and disharmony among loved ones.
  2. You can appoint the right executors and trustees whom you know and trust. Executors and trustees will help to manage your assets and estate affairs after you pass on. This includes distributing assets according to your instructions and paying your debts and liabilities (using your assets).
  3. You can appoint a guardian to take care of your children who are below 21 years old. If you have children, it’s important to make sure that they’re always protected and cared for.

A will is your final act of love for your loved ones. It helps expedite settlement of your estate and avoids unforeseen complications while they are in grief.