Estate planning? Nah, I’m too broke to need it.
Stop right there! That’s the biggest myth about estate planning. If you think that, you are not alone. Do you know that many Malaysians never get around to writing their will in their lifetime?
According to the Department of Director General of Lands and Mines (JKPTG), Malaysians have left over RM60 billion in unclaimed estates. These are inherited properties left behind and left unclaimed by their heirs which the government is unable to track down, as reported in a local news daily.
If you are a Muslim, you are subject to Islamic Inheritance Law (Faraid), but it still allows up to one third of a person’s estate to be distributed by a will.
The truth is, anyone with a car or some money in the bank, will need to start their estate planning as soon as possible. Ask yourself, who do you want to leave your belongings to if you are no longer around?
Estate planning might not seem necessary if you are surviving from pay cheque to pay cheque. However, it’s a myth to think that writing a will is only for the rich. Here’s why.
I don’t have millions in net worth
Many Malaysians think they don’t have many assets and hence, they don’t have to think about estate planning. This could not be further from the truth. It doesn’t matter how many assets you own or how much money you have in your account, the goal is to make sure all that you have goes to the right person without any hassle, when you are no longer around.
If you have a car, a bank account, retirement funds, investments, home, household possessions or any other property, it would be sensible to opt for estate planning. More so, if you have someone to take care of and whose future is highly dependent on you.
I’m too young to think about it now
Naturally, asset accumulation is directly proportional with age. As you age, your income increases and so does wealth and asset accumulation. You might think it makes sense to wait until you retire and have a sizeable portfolio before you opt for estate planning.
However, it is no secret that life can change in an instant. Untimely accidents and illnesses can happen at any age. The best way to deal with the unpleasant surprises of life is to be prepared as early as possible.
It doesn’t matter if you are just 35 years old and still have a long way to go to accumulate wealth.
Having dependants are reasons enough. Your family and their future will be protected, especially if you have young children whose education and career, which should not be jeopardised. It is not just about having young children, but also your ageing parents, especially in the event of your untimely death.
Without a will in place, assets will be frozen and since it takes a long time to unlock the estates, your loved ones will not have access to your finances.
I did it years ago and I am all good to go
So, you sorted your estate planning some time back. That’s great. Unfortunately, estate planning is not a do-and-forget process. You should continue to review and update it periodically. As you accumulate more assets, invest more, have more children, or remarry, you need to relook as how you plan to leave them behind.
What you prefer or cherish in life will change over time so make sure all your documents are up to date. It’s important to keep abreast on matters concerning your will, assets, and tax.
If you continuously review and make sure your estate planning is up to date, you can reduce the family and legal disputes due to outdated asset distribution.
It’s too expensive
The common belief is that estate planning involves legal practitioners and hence will cost a fortune. Well, this is far from the truth.
However, it is also crucial to get professional advice to make sure you are on the right track. For instance VKA Wealth Planners provides professional and comprehensive Will writing services at a very competitive price.
What’s more, eWill powered by VKA Wealth Planners enables users to DIY their wills online at affordable prices accessible via http://ewill.com.my.