Getting your will in order can be a daunting task that most people would prefer to do at the latest moment possible.
We understand. It can be hard to apportion your assets among all your family members whom you love equally.
However, if you really care about them, you should probably stop procrastinating and get down to getting it done, because it is important. Here’s why.
So Your Dependants Can Sustain Their Livelihoods (If Any)
All your assets, including your cash, fixed deposits and stock holdings will be frozen upon your death. If you pass away without a will, it can take up to 2-5 years before your loved ones get their hands on them.
This might have slipped your mind, but if you happen to be the sole breadwinner of the family or have dependants who rely on you for a living; their day-to-day livelihood would be affected if you pass away suddenly without a will.
Your Assets Get Distributed The Way You Want It To
If you do not write a will, you will have no say over how your assets are distributed when you pass. If you are a non-muslim, how your assets would be distributed would be entirely governed by S6 of the Distribution Act 1958 (Amended 1997).
So, unless you’re perfectly happy with how the act distributes your assets, it is advisable for you to get your will written.
To Avoid Unnecessary Infighting Over Your Assets
You might think that your loved ones are all kind and caring people who would share freely among each other. However, when it comes to money, things can get ugly.
You wouldn’t want your loved ones fighting each other over your assets or someone who doesn’t deserve their share challenging for a larger portion of your assets.
To Avoid Unnecessary Delays
The process of applying for a Letter of Administration (LA) and appointing an administrator requires many procedures and checks and balances to ensure that your estate is being handled fairly and honestly.
For example, the legal beneficiaries of your estate would have to first be identified and consent to appointing one of them as an administrator (by way of renouncing their right to be an administrator). This could take some time.
Hence, if you would like your loved ones to receive what you’ve left them as soon as possible, it is best for you to get a will done which would expedite the entire process by a huge margin.
Loved Ones Don’t Have To Go Through Unnecessary Trouble
The entire process of administrating your estate is a long and arduous process that can take up to 2 to 5 years depending on the size of your estate and whether there are any further complications such as disagreements among beneficiaries.
Your loved ones would have to make many trips to the court and various offices to get the process moving over the duration of the 2 to 5 years.
If you had written a will, the process would be rather simple and straightforward; with your loved ones applying for a Grant of Probate and the executor getting everything sorted out and distributed in 3 months to a year (depending on the size of your estate).
Loved Ones Won’t Have To Fork Out Money For A Bond
If your estate is worth more than RM50,000, your loved ones would also have to fork out an equivalent amount from their own pockets as a bond (to act as guarantor to the administrator) during the entire process of administering your estate.
This is a sum of money that your loved ones might not be able to fork out readily. (The courts can fully or partially waive this requirement, but that would take time apply for and cause further delays)
Loved Ones Know Where To Find All Your Assets
Unless you openly share your bank account details and where you keep all your assets with your loved ones, chances are they wouldn’t know where all of them are or how much you even own.
One of the first tasks of an administrator would be to call in all your assets (take count) and that would be tough to do because it would take time to find out where you keep all your assets.
Things would’ve been much easier if you had a will that specified where all your assets were along with their identification numbers.
So Your Spouse Won’t Get Stuck With Half A House
If you’re like most Malaysians, you would probably have bought a house with your spouse. Since most joint ownership of houses come in the form of a tenancy in common agreement, where each of you legally own half of the house, your part of the house would get frozen along with your estate should you pass away suddenly without a will.
That would make it difficult for your spouse to sell or rent out the house since it would be tough to carry out any transaction on half a house.
As a result, your spouse or loved ones might be stuck with half a house for 2-5 years until the entire process of administrating your estate is completed.
So Your Assets Don’t Depreciate By The Time It Gets To Your Loved Ones
Stock holdings and any of your investments in assets that are subject to the daily fluctuation of the market such as mutual funds would also be frozen upon your death.
In the unfortunate event that the particular stock you hold goes bankrupt or gets battered in an economic recession by the time your estate gets distributed to your loved ones in 2-5 years, your loved ones might end up with a severely diminished amount than what you originally left them with.
Perhaps It’s Time
Hence, now that you understand the importance of a will and the various consequences that might befall your loved ones should you die without one; perhaps it is time to get one done today.
DollarsandSense is a website that aims to help people make better financial decisions, one interesting bite-sized article at a time. Like us on Facebook to stay in touch with our latest article.
DollarsAndSense Malaysia is a website that aims to help people make better financial decisions, one interesting, bite-sized article at a time. Like us on Facebook to stay in touch with our latest articles.