The answer to this question is to speed up the overall distribution of your estate; and to mitigate unwarranted taxes whilst providing the right people with the right money at the right time!
How does one do this?
Writing your Will - This will allow everyone you leave behind to understand what happens to everything you own. If you die with a Will in Hong Kong, the Grant of Probate (a legal document releasing your assets) can take months. Without one, it can take years!
Setting up a Family Trust — Your Will instructs who gets what BUT it does not speed up time nor does it distinguish how assets are to be given. Trusts can more specific to certain property (assets you own.) Trusts can be used for Tax Mitigation, Asset Protection and/or Succession Planning and is not just suitable for the rich and wealthy.
Nominate Beneficiaries — If you have any life insurance plans, savings plans linked to life insurance or are member of a company pension or death in service benefit and you can have beneficiaries nominated to speed the process of distribution. When your death certificate is received, your Executor or loved ones can submit this to claim the proceeds. Very often, this method of nomination does not require probate (therefore your beneficiaries receive funds within weeks rather than months or years.)
Write assets down — People die without letting other people know what they own! This can leave millions in the various financial institutions such as the bank, insurance company, stock broker etc. If no one claims the money, the institution keeps it after a certain period, depending upon the jurisdiction.
You should also let people know that you have a valid Will and where it is kept, or no one would know to look for it. Advisably, you should allow your Executor/s a copy of the document and your Guardians, if applicable.
Updating and Reviewing — as you acquire assets globally; you should review your estate planning instructions. If your Will only covers certain jurisdictions and you have secured assets in others, you have to update your Will. Also, for change in personal circumstances for example, a Marriage revokes all other Wills but a Divorce does not! Rules and Regulations are changing fast so it is important to keep abreast of what you own and the effect of them on your estate whilst you are alive AND when you pass away … the rules are different!
We at Carey, Suen Will Services have the knowledge and expertise to assist you in establishing your own Will and ensuring efficient Estate Planning.
I am happy to help so feel free to contact me to write or update an existing Will, rules may have changed since your last review. You also may have accumulated assets in different countries so will need new Will/s for these jurisdictions.
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