What If Tomorrow Never Comes?

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In our daily lives most of us begin the day by preparing our children to be sent either to our parents or nannies to be looked after if they are still infants and older children would be sent to nurseries, kindergarten or schools before we head to work. After work, we would fetch them back to let them have their bath and meal. Then it’s off to tuition to ensure that they keep up in school. Thus most parents are like chauffeurs. I believe all parents don’t mind it for the love of their children and they will sacrifice their time and spend whatever they can afford to give the best for their children to be successful later on. Before the end of the day, all parents would again have to prepare for the next day with the same kind of routine. It is a common routine that most of us face and many times we are so caught up in this that we forget to pause and ask ourselves what will happen to our family if we are no longer around the next day. Or another way of saying it is: what if tomorrow never comes?

The daily routine which I have mentioned would not stop for our children and spouse even though we are no longer around. They still have to carry on with their lives without you. So one of the most important things you have to do is to prepare a will for your family quickly so that they are well provided for in your absence. In my practice as an Estate Planner, many people tell me that they have to “sort out” their time to do their will or trust and very often they will procrastinate for months before they are ready to talk about it. From my experience, it only takes about 30-45 minutes only to explain the importance of having a will, the problems without it and suggestions as to the distribution of the assets to their loved ones. There will be a need to spend a longer time to discuss customized distribution to your loved ones after listening to your concerns of each intended beneficiary to be named in the will. Careful thought is to be given with regards to the distribution of the assets to the beneficiaries as to whether any conditions are to be met before the beneficiary will be entitled and whether any testamentary trust is to be created for the minor beneficiaries and dependents.

One of the points I would like to highlight which I have mentioned again and again in my previous articles is to choose the right executors and guardian (if you have minor children) for your family before you start willing away your assets to your loved ones. The appointed executor will be managing the assets after the Grant of Probate is obtained and the executor is to distribute the assets according to your will. Thereafter, once your estate is cleared of any liabilities, the executor will distribute the remaining assets to your beneficiaries according to your will. An excellent alternative to appoint individual executors is to appoint a trust company like Rockwills Trustee Bhd, which provides expertise, impartiality, professionalism and perpetual existence.

Before I sign off, I would like to take this opportunity to wish myself and all fathers a very Happy Father’s Day.

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 excelsec@streamyx.com.