HERE ARE SOME POINTERS TO HELP YOU GET STARTED WHEN PLANNING A WILL FOR YOUR FAMILY
- Prepare a list of all your assets and property after taking into account all your debts, liabilities and expenses.
- Identify how you wish to distribute the assets i.e. who will be the beneficiary for which asset
- Mention the disability of your child clearly in the Will
- If you would like to leave a larger share for your child with special needs, please identify the amount, item or share clearly .State if you would want this inheritance to go to the Trust when formed? List the specific item(s) that will go to the Trust through the Will?
- If you leave more for the special child, clearly state the reasons
- How will the remainder of your assets be distributed among your other family members such as your Spouse, other children or other causes (Charities, if applicable)?
- If you wish to disinherit any family members, state the reason clearly why you want to do so?
- If you are in a second marriage and both of you have children from previous marriages you may wish to consider the available options for your children’s future including your special child. It is very important that you and your spouse discuss the various options and agree upon your plans mutually.
- Will other family members acquire inheritance directly or through the Trust. Stipulate that in the Will.
- Understand the advantages or disadvantages of direct versus Trust-mediated transfer to other family members.
- Will your other children receive their inheritance immediately on your death or at some future time and how? Whom do you want to assign to manage their estate till they reach 18?
Note: If the children are minors, you might want to specify a certain age when they will receive the inheritance. Till then you may create a Minor Trust which will take care of their financial needs
- If one of your children has passed on, would you want his or her children to receive that share, or would you want it to go to your other legal heirs such as Sibling, Spouse?
- Will the child’s appointed Guardian only manage personal affairs or financial affairs too? Make sure you have the consent of the guardian to act!
Note: If a Trust is formed then you may need only a guardian for managing personal affairs since trust take care of the financial affairs? After the guardian, the trust will manage the complete affairs of the child, both personal and financial.
- At what age do I ensure my child receives his/her inheritance?
- How will the funds be provided for managing your special child’s expenses by the caretaker when taking over financial duties from you?
- Make your intentions clear in the Will and do not keep any ambiguous clause. Avoid irreconcilable clauses in the Will, otherwise the last known Will shall prevail.
- Attach a doctor’s certificate for authenticity of your sound state of mind?
Note: When a Will is contested the first argument against it is that the person who has written the Will was not in sound state of mind. This is because if you are not in sound state of mind then you cannot write a Will. The doctor’s certificate will make this argument invalid if the Will is contested in future.
- Let the executor know about your Will so that he/she is aware
- Re-draft the Will every 3-4 years to accommodate any changes that may have occurred
- Sign on every page of the Will
- Take professional help to validate what you have written
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this guide is for information purposes only. Please consult a financial advisor for any legal consultations or advise pertaining to your financial planning needs.