Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Making a will - list of assets

Dear Mr. Tan
I attended a talk by a lawyer about making a will. The lawyer want to charge $250 for the will. Is this fair? The lawyer said that if I do not have a will, my children will have trouble in recovering my savings and investments. They will have to spend a lot of money to get the "letters of administration".

The lawyer also asked me to provide a full list of my assets. He said that this will make it easy for my children to claim the assets when I pass away.  Is it necessary? What happens if my assets change in the future?

It is a fair to pay $250 to make a will. When you make a will, you can appoint two people to be the executors of the will. It will be easier for the court to grant the probate, i.e. to appoint the executors to take charge of the estate. This will prevent any dispute among the family members. The lawyer will also ensure that the will is properly executed in accordance with the law.

When you write your will, you will have to specify how your estate is to be distributed. You can specify a specified sum of money to be given to each child or grandchildren or to your siblings, nieces, nephews or other relatives and friends. You can also donate some money to charity.

You can also specify how the balance of your estate is to be distributed. Usually, you will indicate how many percent of the balance goes to each child or to your spouse.

There is no need to provide a list of assets to your lawyer. It is better to keep this information away from the lawyer, especially as you do not know if your lawyer can be trusted.

You should have a list of assets kept in your home, so that your executors will be able to locate them. They may need to get the lawyer to file the proper documents to take over the assets. The legal expenses are unavoidable and should be quite small, relative to the assets.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is it a must to execute the will and in what time frame?

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