questions on will writing or question on writing wills
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questions on will writing or question on writing wills
Useful Information...

Questions Surrounding written WILLS
1. What would happen if a person dies without a WILL?
  • If a person dies without leaving a WILL, the court will issue a Letter of Administration to distribute the asset of the deceased according to the Distribution Act of the country or equivalent.
  • This process is called intestate succession.
  • Getting the Letter of Administration may take some time and incurs legal costs. And in the meantime, all the assets of the deceased will be frozen, including the bank account, which cause inconvenience and stress to the loved ones.

2. What are the benefits of writing a WILL?
  • The main benefits of writing a WILL are to ensure that all your hard-earned assets are distributed to the people or parties according to your wishes.
  • And a proper WILL will also speed-up the distribution process and reduce/remove the unnecessary legal and administration costs, and relieve your loved ones from unnecessary stress, anxiety and burden.

3. Do I need a lawyer to write a WILL?
  • Firstly, you need to understand that a WILL is an important legal document.
  • It depends on how complicated your WILL is, the size of your estate and your knowledge in drafting a WILL.
  • If you are knowledgeable and do not have a large estate, you may consider writing the WILL yourself.
  • You may want to familiarise yourself with the terms and jargons of writing a will by visiting self-help websites on how to do it.
  • However, if you are not familiar with the process or have a complicated WILL to draft or have a large estate, you may want to seek the advice of a lawyer.

4. Can beneficiary be a witness in a written WILL?
  • No, a beneficiary cannot be a witness.

5. Does marriage affect your WILL?
  • Yes. When you get married, the WILL that you have written before your marriage is no longer valid.
  • You should make a new WILL after your marriage.

6. How many executors should I appoint?
  • You can appoint as many executors as you wish. However, it is polite to seek the permission of the person first so that they are prepared and not be surprised when the time comes.
  • Appointing one or two executors is common for most people. However, if you have a large-sized estate or complicated estate, you may wish to appoint more executors with different expertise to execute your WILL.

7. Should I pay the executor?

To answer the question, the Testator may want to consider the following:
  • Dealing with all aspects of the deceased’s estate and liabilities can be challenging and time consuming.
  • The larger the estate and liabilities, the longer the whole process will take.
  • The executor may have his/her family with children to manage plus a full time job. The task as an executor may add additional stress and take away time from his/her family.
  • The executor may have to make multiple phone calls, may need to travel to check or manage the assets, produce the necessary documentation, etc and all these cost money and time.
  • The role of an executor may last from several months to several years.
  • If you are appointed as an executor and have to spend considerable amount of time and effort to execute the WILL, will you want to be paid?
  • However, if an executor is also a beneficiary, a family member or close friend of the Testator, he/she may choose to forgo the executor’s fee (see below).

8. How much should I pay the executor?
  • If you appoint a banker, lawyer or other professional to act as your executor, be prepared to pay between 1 to 4% of your assets as the executor’s fee. An executor fee of 2% seems to be a common acceptable percentage. However, for large-sized estate, the executor fee may differ and may subject to negotiation.
  • In certain countries or state, there is a minimum / maximum statutory executor’s fee. You may wish to check with your lawyer in your area for further confirmation.

9. Can I claim the expenses associated with executing the WILL?
  • If you have been appointed as an executor, Yes, you can claim the expenses incurred from the estate of the WILL.

10. Can I decline to be an executor?
  • Yes, you can decline or renounce the executorship by signing a “renunciation” through the solicitor of the estate.
  • The solicitor will file it with the Probate Registry of the Supreme Court and the court may appoint someone to step in. Please check with your solicitor on the process which may differ.

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