In my group of university friends, Denise was the only one that was elder than us by a 4 years gap. It was only during our Corporate Finance assignment that I learnt more about her story. The reason she delayed her studies was because after the passing of her mother, her family’s income stream was greatly affected. The only way for Denise to further her studies was to sell off her mother’s investment property. However, her mother did not know about the necessity of will writing. Since there wasn’t a will, the change in ownership for her mother’s property prior to the sale took 3 whole years!
Writing a will does not need to be costly and in fact it could be of NO cost at all! We will share with you 10 Things You Need to Know About Will Writing and we urge every one of you to do it soonest so you don’t cause your dependents the trouble when it comes to distribution of your assets!
If you pass away without a will, your next of kin will have to apply for a Letter of Administration, appoint an administrator and go through lengthy process of distributing your assets according to Distribution Act 1958. This will take you approximately 2 – 5 years! With a will, your executor will just need to obtain a Grant of Probate and execute the will within 3 months only.
The law actually allows you to write your own will in compliance with Wills Act 1959. Although it is advisable to seek professional advice from a will writing company or a lawyer, a simple will can actually be done on your own and you can save that cost and put it to better use!
A will does not need to be stamped to be executed. You need to ensure the original copy is kept in a safe place and your executor must know where to retrieve it. If you happen to misplace your will, a duplicate copy is acceptable with proof that the original will was lost or destroyed without intention.
You need 2 witnesses for your will whom must not be your beneficiary or your beneficiary’s spouse. Both you (testator) and the 2 witnesses must sign the will at the same time.
You need to appoint an executor to administer your assets. You can appoint 1 to 4 executors and you can choose to appoint your beneficiary as an executor.
Your executor is responsible to apply to court for a grant of probate, calling in your assets, paying off liabilities, distribute your assets accordingly and prepare an account statement. Your executor will take on the role of a trustee automatically in accordance to Trustee Act 1949.
Your will is valid once executed until it is replaced by a new will, revoked in writing or destroyed intentionally.
Your will is automatically revoked if you get married/remarried, or convert to Islam. On the other hand, a divorce does not revoke a will. In such circumstance, a new will is necessary or your ex spouse will still be entitled to your inheritance.
If you have children below 18, it is necessary to appoint a guardian in your will in case both parents pass away prematurely.
For Muslims, inheritance is governed under Syariah Law, and they need to have a “Wasiat” and appoint their “Wasi” (equivalent of an executor). Despite serving the same purpose, a will and “Wasiat” are two completely different things as they are governed by two entirely different laws.
Now guys, please make sure you prepare your will. Do subscribe for our free weekly money tips!