The Importance of Writing a Will Regardless of Age

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A last will and testament is a legal document that lets you decide what happens with your estate after you die. If you’re among them, you should know that there are many reasons to have a will. When you die without a will, you leave important decisions up to a local court and your state’s laws. You won’t have a say in who receives your property and other assets. Plus, not having a will can make it more difficult for your loved ones after you pass.

What Happens if I Don’t Have a Will?

If you die intestate—that is, without a will—the state oversees the dispensation of your assets, which it will typically distribute according to a set formula. Because of the elective-share and community property provisions mentioned above, the formula often results in half of your estate going to your spouse and the other half going to your children. Such a scenario sometimes results in the sale of the family home or other assets, which can negatively affect a surviving spouse who may have counted on the bulk of your assets to maintain their standard of living.

Further complications may ensue if your children are minors, as the court will appoint a representative to look after their interests. Here are the top reasons you should make a will today:

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Save time, money, and stress for your loved ones. Almost all estates have to go to probate court to start the legal process overseeing the distribution of assets. But when you don’t have a will, the court process — known as intestate administration — can get especially complicated. Without a will, the court has to name an administrator to administer your estate. And this can be time-consuming, expensive, and even contentious for your loved ones.

One of the top reasons to have a will is to streamline this court process. When you have a will, you can choose the person you want to handle your estate, making it easier for your loved ones.

Determine who will manage your estate. As mentioned above, deciding who will handle your estate is a great reason to have a will. When you write a will, you become a “testator” and have the opportunity to nominate an “executor.” This is the person who will be in charge of wrapping up all your affairs. Being an executor is an important job. Their responsibilities may include everything from closing bank accounts to liquidating assets. So you should choose someone who is capable and who you trust to carry out these activities. If you don’t choose an executor in your will, the court will pick one for you — and it may not be the person you’d want.

Decide who gets your assets and property — and who does not.

Most people know that a will lets them decide who will get their property. As the testator, you can name people as beneficiaries of specific assets. You can also name beneficiaries for any property that you don’t list — the “residuary” of your estate. When your executor handles your will, they’ll be in charge of distributing these assets. You might not be aware that you can also use a will to help ensure that some people don’t receive anything. For example, you might want to prevent an ex-spouse from receiving an inheritance. Or, if one child received your support through school, you might want to make sure a second child gets their fair share, too.

Choose who will take care of your minor children. If you’re a parent, you can use your will to nominate a guardian for your minor children. The surviving parent will usually get sole legal custody if one parent dies. But if both parents pass, this is one of the most important reasons to have a will. A guardian will be responsible for all your children’s daily needs, including food, housing, health care, education, and clothing. And if you don’t nominate a guardian in your will, a court will have to choose one for you. This could mean that someone you would not have chosen will be raising your kids.

Leave instructions for your digital assets. Your digital assets may include online accounts, such as Facebook or email, and digital files or property (photos, videos, domain names, etc). In your will, you can name a digital executor to manage these assets after you pass. You can leave them to specific people, and also include information on how you want them handled (e.g. if you’d like an account closed).

Lower the potential for family disputes. If you have complicated family dynamics, there’s a good reason to have a will. When you die without a will, your family will have to guess what your final wishes were. And chances are, they won’t always agree. This ambiguity can create friction, and even fights, which sometimes lasts a lifetime. Creating a will solves the problem by eliminating the guesswork.

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Support your favorite causes and leave a legacy. Many people want to leave a positive impact on the world after they pass. And a great way to do this is to support the charities or causes you love most. When you write a will, you can preserve your legacy by leaving a part of your estate to a charitable organization.

Provide funeral instructions. You may not want to think about your own funeral. But if you do think about it now, and leave instructions with your will, you can lessen the burden on your loved ones after you pass. While these instructions aren’t legally binding, they can give your executors and loved ones some guidance on your wishes.

When you include instructions, you can name a funeral executor to manage the process, give suggestions for the service and location, make requests for your final resting place, and more.

It’s easy to make a will and gain peace of mind. Some folks put off creating or updating their will because they assume their loved ones will automatically get an inheritance. But this isn’t always true. Probate can be a long and expensive process for your heirs. Plus, a will only address your current circumstances. You should update it over time as your needs and the people in your life change. When you create or update your will, you can look after your loved ones and give them an easy map to follow after you pass. This gives many people peace of mind, making it one of the most important reasons to have a will.

And it’s easier than ever to make a will. Unless you have a large or particularly complex estate, contentious family dynamics, or feel like you need expert advice from an attorney, you can prepare your will without a lawyer. With FreeWill, for example, you can create your own will for free, using our simple, online self-help tools.

Is Will Recognize Worldwide?

With globalization and increased international travels, with the ever-growing options and ease of investing internationally, you find yourself with overseas bank accounts and properties, and even eligibility to work and live overseas.  As your assets and investments are no longer restrained by international boundaries, and as you turn your mind to planning your estate and legacy, you inadvertently have to consider how to effectively contain, distribute or protect these assets for your beneficiaries.  You have to contemplate how your overseas assets are properly distributed to your loved ones – otherwise, they could very well be left neglected and ignored, or even squandered, simply because they were overlooked!

Due to the different laws and foreign jurisdictions that can apply to your overseas assets, it can become tricky when trying to ensure that your Will is not inadvertently rendered invalid overseas. There are generally two approaches to avoid that situation:

  1. Creating a separate Will for each jurisdiction where your assets lie; and/or
  2. Including the overseas assets in your will in Malaysia (this approach works for your assets that are in Commonwealth countries)

Types of Wills Writing

There are many types of Wills that can be done. To save money you could handwrite your own will or type and print it out on a piece of paper. It will be a valid Will as long as you have at least 2 witnesses, witnessing you signing the Will. But this way might not be the best way because we might be left out some important information or some information in the will might be misinterpreted by the authorities or executor when you passed away. The other commonly used Wills is the Will that is done by a professional trusty organization such as SmartWills, where they provide offline and online professional Will writing services to the public at an affordable price.

Since the pandemic, many of us had realized that life is so fragile and there are needs for us to protect our loved ones and our legacy even after we passed away. Writing a Will is something that we must do in order to distribute our wealth according to what we wanted it to be. But since after the reopening, many of us might not have the luxury time to set an appointment with a Will officer to complete our will, and especially with the pandemic that is going around us, it would be better to reduce the face to face interaction with people as well.

To understand this situation, SmartWills had recently launched its new Online Will writing services which it’s a service to provide a pre-drafted form that is designed to accommodate the applicable laws in Malaysia. The form provides blank spaces for you to fill in relevant information, like the names of your executors and beneficiaries, what property you want to bequest to others and any information material to the will. Now you could create your own Will at the comfort of your home without having the need to go out.

So how SmartWills Online Will works?

SmartWills have cleverly created a simple-to-understand and use Online Will platform on their website at: https://will.smartwills.com.my/?code=AUE1509. What you have to do is to register an account with them > Verify Your Email and then you would select your preferred Will packages.

Email Verification Code
Package Selection

Upon selecting your package, you will be directed to a page where there is a guide for you to fill you your will details such as Testator (your name), appointed Will Executor, Guardian for your child or minor under your care (if have), Assets Allocation Options (except Basic and Basic Pro package) and Residue / Beneficiaries.

If you are worried that you do not understand what each of the tabs is, there is a video to explain each and every tab and some advice that you would consider when keying in your Will. If you still need a personnel to help you out, the website also offers a few ways for you to get in touch with their specialist via email or WhatsApp too.

SmartWills Will Writing

Upon completing the details, the last tab enables you to confirm your will and payments; including any additional services that needed by you such as Premium Printing Service and in the near future, Lifelong Custody of your Will for just a few hundreds of Ringgit only.

SmartWills Payment Page

The best thing about SmartWill’s Online Will writing service; you could get a copy of your Will instantly after completing the online Will. Some services allow you to complete your will entirely online and print it out.

In the event that you need some assistance after the Online Will has been done, you may also seek for SmartWills assistance by emailing them at [email protected] or call 1 700 8199 42. To get one of your Online Wills, check out SmartWills at https://smartwills.com.my

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