Just the other day while I was having coffee with my friend, he told me that recently his mother tried to match make him with three girls all of whom he found unsuitable. So I asked him why? The first girl, he explained, works as a telephone operator and during the whole week of their date she frequently said to him “please hold on”. Then, his mother introduced him to another girl who is a teacher. This time, his date always had the habit of saying “one more time” to whatever they did. With two unsuccessful dates, his mother was rather upset but continued and introduced him to another who is a bus conductor. After two weeks of courtship, he told his mum to stop the match making game. His mum thought this one would be a success but to her disappointment he told her this one also didn’t work because she kept telling him “can you go further in” of whatever they do.
Such a story reminds me of how most people would behave towards planning for their families in the event of death. The common reply when asked to do their will would be “please hold on,” stating reasons like resolving their personal issues first…too busy with their business…will think about it…maybe after Chinese New Year. Then, there are those, to whom I have explained several times about the importance of making a will, who would return to me and ask me to explain “one more time” all over again. Sometimes this would go on for a few months and still their will is not done. Another group of people whom I have met would ask many hypothetical questions and every answer will invite more questions like “can you go further in” on the subject. All questions and doubts which all of us have are valid. However, to take action immediately by planning for your family is crucial.
One way of doing it is through a will, where you can choose your Executors/Trustee to ensure that your estate is fairly distributed in the event of death. That’s the reason one has to seriously consider appointing a Trustee Company like Rockwills Trustee Bhd. The choice of the Guardian is equally important when both parents of minor children die, because Guardians will take over the role of parents of the children. When minor children are involved, then there must be a condition stating how much to pay them progressively on a monthly basis for their living, education and medical expenses in the form of a “Testamentary Trust”. Besides having a will, a Living Trust or Inter-Vivos Trust is essential for immediate funding. However, such a “Trust” is still sadly under-utilized perhaps due to lack of awareness. Setting up such a Trust requires you as the “Settlor” to appoint Rockwills Trustee Bhd. as the “Trustee”, choosing a person whom you trust to be the Guardian and Protector of your children, naming your “Beneficiaries”, stating down the mode of payment to your beneficiaries and assigning some assets like an insurance policy to the “Trust” for funding. All these must be stated in a legal document called a “Trust Deed”. If you have a business, then it is strongly encouraged to set up a business continuation plan for your shareholdings which requires a “Buy-Sell Agreement”, a Trust, Power of Attorney and insurance policy for funding. So don’t hold on but just do it.
Peter Lee is an Associate Estate Planning Practitioner (Wills & Trust) with Rockwills International Group. He is also an Islamic Estate Planner providing Wills & Trust services for Muslims. He is based in Ipoh and can be reached at: 012‑5078825/ 05‑2554853 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.wills-trust.com.my.