Is your death a matter of concern for you? Are you anxious about what will happen to your family after your death? Do you believe that whatever you have earned in your lifetime should go to your loved ones after you are deceased? Does it ever bother you that you have not made a Will as yet for yourself?
If all these questions bring a frown to your face, questions in your mind, some thoughts, some plans or a determination to secure the future of your family with your assets, property and possessions, all you need is a “Will” for yourself.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that states how your money and your property will be distributed after your death. A Will also allows you to state a preference for the guardian or a trustee for your minor children. The appointed Trustee takes care of your children and the estate gifted to them after your and your spouse’s death till your children reach the age of majority.
Who Can Make a Will? (Eligibility requirements)
- A person who is at least 18 years of age.
- Is of a sound mind.
- Understands the meaning, importance and consequences of a Will.
Why should I have a Will?
A Will enables you to:
- choose who will get your property after your death;
- choose how you will divide your property among your loved ones;
- specify items or assets to specific people or even charitable organizations of your choice;
- appoint someone as an “Executor” to administer your estate; and
- appoint a guardian or a Trustee for your minor children.
Without a Will, your property may not go to the people you wish to benefit from your hard-earned money or properties of your lifetime. If you die “intestate” (without a Will), the actual administration of your estate will become very complicated and difficult.
It is then upon the Courts to decide who will act as a personal representative or “Executor” of your estate to distribute your assets and possessions. Not only that, this procedure might take a long time to be executed. Therefore, your dependent family may not be able to get the support, which they are entitled to, in case of your sudden and unanticipated death.
Moreover, it would be the Court’s decision to determine who will get what. This might lead to unending legal disputes among your survivors. Note that if you have no heirs, all of your assets, property and possessions become the property of the Crown, and the Escheats Actapplies.
If you die without a Will, the courts will decide how your estate is distributed, which may not be in the best interest of your loved ones. It is impossible for anybody to know how your estate will be distributed. However, if you have a Will, then the decisions are in your hands!
It is your responsibility in your lifetime to not to put a tremendous burden on your survivors under any unforeseen circumstances!
Drafting of a Will
Drafting of Will is really more than expressing a Testator’s wishes in proper language. A poorly planned Will can cause endless litigation, expense and family bitterness. Clarity in drafting is essential to make the Court understand your wishes, to determine the beneficiaries’ share and to enable the executors to determine their particular course of conduct.