Leaving a Will l Why do It?
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that sets out how you wish your assets to be dealt with upon your passing.
Why have a Will?
1. Decide on how your assets are to be distributed
Drafting a Will allows you to decide how you wish your assets to be distributed upon your passing.
In the absence of a Will, your assets will be distributed in accordance with the rules of distribution as set out in the Intestate Succession Act (Cap. 146). This may be unsatisfactory if you wish a certain portion of your assets to go to certain family members, close friends or organisations.
For example, if someone was to pass away leaving no surviving spouse, descendants or parents, his or her assets would be distributed equally among his or her surviving siblings.
2. Take special care of vulnerable family members
On top of setting out how exactly your assets are to be distributed, a Will allows you to set up special arrangements to take care of vulnerable family members.
For example, where young children are involved, a Will can be drafted to provide for the legal guardians to take care of them upon your passing.
Protective trust funds can also be set up to ensure that vulnerable family members are well taken care of financially until they are able to take care of themselves.
3. Choose someone you trust to manage your Estate
Drafting a will also has the advantage of allowing you to choose someone you trust to manage your assets.
Upon your passing, an individual will be appointed to gather your assets and distribute it according to your will (if any) or according to the Intestate Succession Act (Cap. 146).
Such an individual has wide ranging power over your assets and although they are bound to manage your assets according to the law or to your wishes in your will, there have been cases where assets have been mishandled and as a result, the intended beneficiaries have suffered loss.
Accordingly, you should choose someone you trust to manage your assets upon your passing and a Will allows you to do that.
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