The recent level 10 typhoon may have led many of us into re-thinking what we are doing with our lives. We’re not saying you’re going to die anytime soon (choy!) but not thinking about what might happen if you did pass away isn’t a good practice.
You may be someone who isn’t even 40 years old yet but here are some reasons you might want to make a will, even though you don’t have a fortune to will to anyone.
1. You have more assets under your name than you think you do
Nearly anything that you can define on paper as being yours, or under your name, is an item you can count as property or assets within your will. This could be anything including vehicles, jewellery, your pet hamster and even branded bags. Willing all your Prada and Chanel bags to a charity organisation for disgruntled tai tais is something you can do if you really cannot think of any other useful purpose.
Let’s assume you really don’t have anything that is valuable in a monetary sense. Specifying what happens to items that are private or precious to you is still worth considering .You should for example specify what you want to do with sentimental items like gifts, photos or diaries and who gets custody of these things. (Or if you want them burned, which is a fair option too.)
Your laptop is another instance, where you may also want to specify a trusted friend to help you delete certain files you have hidden, before the item gets sold or given to your family. (*wink)
2. You want to ensure a portion of your assets goes to your parents
You might be a married person with a child, in which case dying without a will means that your assets are automatically given to your spouse and children. Now this is not a bad thing in most cases, but it does mean specifically that your parents will not get anything from your estate. This may worry some of you, and hence making arrangements for portions to be given to your aging parents is worth considering in your will.
Your parents may be relying on you for financial support at the moment, and providing for them in case you are not around anymore can happen via your instruction. One example could be stating that the cash proceeds from the sale of your car or motorbike be distributed to your parents.
On a side note, your life insurance proceeds can also be directed to any dependents as beneficiaries.
3. Leaving something behind for your friends or organisations
Let’s say you are young and single with no family to support and have parents who have already planned adequately for their retirement. Another option you may want to consider is listing your closer friends as beneficiaries of your property in the event that you pass on. Charity organisations can also be listed as beneficiaries for any sale proceeds, as even a small donation from you can go a long way to helping others in need.
You may not have much to leave behind, but the act of leaving something cherished or memorable can have a lasting symbolic and sentimental effect on people you care about.
4. You have children that need taking care of
Being a young parent almost makes it essential that you prepare a will that addresses your kids and how they will be taken care of in your absence. A will is meant to not just address and specify who gets their hands on your money and property but also who will be guardian to your children in the future.
It might not be the best idea to think that your spouse will be left behind to take care of Little Johnny and Mei Mei. At the risk of sounding a bit morbid and dark, it is fully possible that a mishap could fall on both you and your spouse at the same point in time or relatively close in occurrence. (choy!)
Place the name or names of guardians you want to entrust the care of your children to so that you can avoid situations that resemble a sad movie like Oliver Twist. Of course the children’s grand parents would be the next best choice, but it is likely they will advanced in age or not in the best shape to care and raise the child, so naming substitute guardians such as Uncles or Aunties are a worthy consideration.
Now it might not be enough to just state that you want all of your money and property to go to the children, and choosing to state and be specific about the amounts that are left for their education are a good idea. You can structure the proceeds to be granted to them at certain age related milestones, such as them turning 18 or 21 years of age. Maybe even older, so they do not end up spending their inheritance on clubbing, Playstation games and the latest iPhone.
Do you think it is important to make a will? Tell us why or why not as we would love to hear from you!