To Will or Not to Will

By Tanushaa Dewi

If there are two things certain about life, it is death and taxes (based on a quote by Benjamin Franklin). Have you ever wondered what will happen to your assets and belongings after you pass away? If you want to have a say on how you wish to distribute your assets and to whom upon your death, you need a will.  

A will is a legal document that allows you to express your wishes on how and to whom you wish to distribute your assets and belongings to upon your death. Without a will, your estate will be subjected to the law of intestacy whereby the law based on the Distribution Act 1958 determines who gets what out of your assets regardless of your preferences and history of relationships. In this article, we will explain the potential conflicts that you can avoid if you prepared your last testament and will and what makes a will valid.

Importance of Writing a Will

A will allows your family members to alleviate the potential conflicts from happening, among others:-

1. Avoiding Family Disputes over your Assets

Having a will not only protects your assets but also to ensure that your legacy is honored and respect by your loved ones. Without a will, you may leave behind a lot of uncertainties and this may cause conflict among family members, who may disagree on how to divide your estate which could lead to bitter family disputes and damaged relationships among family members.

2. Quicker Distribution to Family Members

Having a will helps to list down all your assets belonging to you and allows quicker distribution to your family members without having your family members to search high and low but to end up in a situation like finding a needle in a haystack. This causes the delay to the distribution of your assets as well as the possibility of your family members missing out one or two assets that belonged to you that could end up frozen and hidden in a place that no one knows.

3. Save Legal Costs

A will can save your legal costs. In situations where one has died intestate (i.e. died without leaving a will), after your family members have obtained the Grant of Letters of Administration, they would have to obtain a Court Distribution Order to distribute the assets to the lawful beneficiaries. Furthermore, they will be required to find two guarantors and/or sureties to ensure the administration bond of the estate. This will cause further legal cost and expenses to be incurred by your family members. Unlike will, your execution will have to distribute the assets according to your wishes in the will.

How to plan your estate for the future?

According to the Wills Act 1959, in order for a will to be valid, the requirements are as follows:-

You may think that the preparation of a will is complicated and a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Therefore, it would be advisable to consult a professional lawyer who can either review your draft or write a will for you. Please feel free to contact us for any enquiry.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article do not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. It is provided for general information purposes only. Please contact us for further enquiry.