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You WILL have your say!

 | August 31, 2012

If you’re thinking about writing a will, don’t do a homemade version.


There’s something about writing a will that puts people off. It’s almost taboo is some households with many scoffing at the very idea or labelling others as morbid for thinking about death. However such is life that you could meet your untimely end even when you’re young and carefree.

In January 2007, a local daily reported there were RM40 billion worth of assets unclaimed by heirs of deceased Malaysians simply because there was no will that stipulated who got what and how.

Instead of having everything you own end up in limbo, why not consider the many benefits of having a legal will written.

A will is simply a written legal document that facilitates the distribution of assets to our loved ones upon your demise. Should you die without a will, your assets and belongings are frozen until all the nitty-gritty is sorted out. This process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years except in the case of insurance and EPF savings where the nominees are the beneficiaries. Now if you haven’t even nominated someone yet for these, do it today!

Wills aren’t just to instruct over the inheritance of cash and property. Many families have gold and precious stones, expensive silver, antique furniture or sentimental possessions like books, paintings or even cutlery.

Have we not heard of or experienced for ourselves squabbling family members tearing at each other’s throats for a piece of property, no matter how inconsequential or inexpensive, simply because the deceased failed to write a will?

Writing a will gives you the power to put your preferences onto paper effectively leaving no room for any undesirable character to weasel his way in and take off with your precious loot. You can also appoint your preferred executors (preferably a well organised, business minded person) and trustee to manage and distribute your estate as well as appoint a guardian should you have children below 18 years of age.

You wouldn’t want your kids to end up with the wicked uncle who thinks child labour is admirable, would you?

A will also minimises legal formalities and expenses and allows the administration and distribution of assets to the intended parties to be carried out with relative ease. Translated that means no legal delays, no family squabbles… possibly no slit throats either.

If you’re thinking about writing a will, don’t do a homemade version. These can be disastrous from a legal point of view. Important details could be left out or the way you phrase your wishes could leave it open to interpretation. Best to consult your solicitor or a professional will writer who will cover all angles.

By the way, your will isn’t only about the handing out of assets or possessions to intended family, friends or charitable organisations. Your will can also stipulate specific funeral arrangements, like your wish to be buried or cremated.

Some people also stipulate the kind of music they wish played at their funerals or the kind of flowers that should be arranged on their caskets. Maybe you’d like 100 doves to be released at your gravesite… clearly the choice is yours and yours alone but only if you have a will!





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