One of the most important documents one can acquire is their last will. But unfortunately, so many of us put it off for too long. It is a common misconception among Malaysians that they are too young to need a Will. People often think they don’t own enough assets or have enough net worth to need a Will. Some even think it’s too late to create one. You should always have a last will no matter your age, net worth, or stage in life. It’s our mission to protect families and extend legacies for as many people as we can. To achieve this, you should prepare your last will.
What Is a Will?
A will specifies your wishes for distributing your property and caring for your minor children. You may not be able to have your wishes carried out if you die without a will. Additionally, your family may need to spend more time, money, and emotional energy settling your affairs after you die.
Why Should You Make a Will?
Most people believe that wills are only necessary for the wealthiest or those with complex assets. However, having a choice has many benefits:
- The beneficiaries of your assets can be clearly defined. You can specify how much and who will receive what.
- You can protect your assets from people you don’t want to have (estranged relatives).
- Your children can be cared for by someone. The courts will decide without a will.
- Accessing your assets will be a lot easier and faster for your heirs.
- You can reduce your estate’s tax burden by planning. Additionally, charitable donations and gifts can reduce the estate tax.
When Should You Make a Will?
The need for a will is a topic of discussion among professionals. Here are some categories of people who need (and who do not need) one.
Do You Have a Spouse? You Need a Will
A will is imperative for married people who are so closely bound to their spouse that they must put in writing who gets their assets after their death. Regardless of whether you have a will, your spouse will likely inherit your possessions. However, it would be best if you didn’t leave that to chance. If you wish to leave any of your assets to someone other than your spouse, you must include this in your will, as it is not the default.
Are You a Parent? You Need a Will
You should make a will if you have children since they may inherit your things if you die intestate, but this is not certain. Therefore, if you want your children to inherit after you, you have to do it in writing to avoid misunderstanding or errors during inheritance. If you do not want your children to inherit, document it.
What Is Your Net Worth? You Probably Need a Will
You should have a will when you have a positive net worth and are single and do not have children. Specifically, suppose you have over RM200,000 in assets. In that case, you should seriously consider establishing a living trust that kicks in immediately after the trust is signed. Having a will or a trust in place is almost always easier on your family when you have assets to distribute when you die. When it comes to death, clarity is critical.
What If You Are Young, Broke, Single, And Didn’t Have Children? A Will Isn’t Necessary (Yet)
Typically, your will directs the distribution of your assets, so if you do not have that many assets to distribute, you might be able to do without one. Taking my friend Mariam as an example, she is 28 years old, not married, and has a significant student loan debt. Because Mariam doesn’t have dependents or assets, she doesn’t need a will. Getting a will is an excellent idea if you get married, have children, or acquire assets (money or property).