A cautionary tale on why your will is vital for your loved ones?…
I want to share an experience concerning why a Will is essential for your loved ones if you die without preparation. There are many reasons why we could pass away prematurely and unexpectedly. Therefore, it is better to be ready, as your loved ones will be at a total loss if you aren’t.
I am sad to say a friend of mine passed away. This has left siblings dealing with many problems. They had no children and married between different nationalities, with one partner residing in a foreign country.
There is a shortage of available land in Hong Kong, so we must be cremated unless we bid for a burial plot that can cost, on a lease-only basis for 50 years, anything up to HK$500,000. Considering the rise in property prices in recent years, imagine a plot of land. And this may have to be re-negotiated if your future family wants to keep you interned. We could be flown home, but this is nearly equally costly and far more bureaucratic (red-tape paperwork).
No one is in charge
When you write a Will, you appoint Executor/s. These people are in authority to act as you. Their job is to gain the Grant of Probate to release your assets and distribute them according to your wishes, not what the Court of Probate decides. Who talks to the authorities to organise this if you haven’t stated it?
Who are the primary beneficiaries?
Each country has laws of intestacy (if you die without a Will), and the majority will prioritise children (if minors) before spouses. In my friend’s case, the siblings had equal priority, but Hong Kong could only allocate according to their laws to the spouse first, then siblings. Do you want your loved ones to fight over your estate?
My friend had shareholdings in various businesses, and nothing was in conclusion in writing for distribution on their demise. The estate could take a few years to settle. Have you arranged to distribute your shares if you have a business?
My friend has acquired many friends and acquaintances over 30 years. These agreements may die with my friend if their surviving family and business partners can settle the estate. Have you considered how your loved ones will continue financially?
We are human beings, and no matter how tough on the outside or even with inner strength, the constant barrage of paperwork to confirm your loved one’s demise is eternally painful. There is no time for healing or grieving, as there is no cut-off point until the estate is in a settlement. Have you considered how to make this painful process easier for the people you leave behind?
It will only take less than a day out of your life to write concrete instructions for when the unthinkable happens.
It will provide financial and emotional support for your loved ones as your estate can be distributed faster with clear instructions.
Please feel free to contact us at www.careysuen.com if you have any questions.