So you’re still in your 20s and 30s, and like many people your age, you don’t have very much in the way of cash savings. In fact, you might be one of the 40% of Singaporeans who hasn’t set aside a single cent for retirement.
With more pressing matters like how to scrape together enough cash for your next holiday or whether you’re falling back on your car installment payments, making a will is probably the last thing on your mind.
Now, we’re not saying you’re going to die anytime soon—choy! Even if you’re in the very youthful under-40 age group, here are some reasons you might want to make a will, even without a fortune to will to anyone.
You probably have more assets than you think
Even if you have no savings to speak of and predict that it will be fifty years before you can afford to buy property in Singapore, that doesn’t mean you necessarily have nothing of value to will to someone when you die.
Virtually anything that you can define on paper can count as property or assets in a will. That includes vehicles, jewellery, and even branded bags. If you want to will all your Pradas and Chanels to a charity organisation for disgruntled tai tais, you are free to do so.
Even if you don’t have anything that’s worth a lot of money, you might want to specify what happens to items that are private or precious to you. For instance, you might want to decide what happens to your computer, or items of sentimental value such as gifts from loved ones or diaries.
You are married but still want to provide for your parents
If you’re married with a kid, dying without a will usually means that your assets will go to your children and your spouse.
But if you have parents who rely on you for financial support, it is a good idea to provide for them in your will in whatever way you can. Perhaps you might want to order the sale of your vehicle so the proceeds can be distributed to your parents.
By the way, if you find yourself in such a situation, it’s might be a good idea to have a life insurance policy, naming any dependents as your beneficiaries. Compare life insurance plans right here on MoneySmart.
You want to leave something to friends or beneficiaries
If you’re young, single and unencumbered, you might not have a spouse or child who’ll be the beneficiaries of your property should something happen to you. But there might be friends or other beneficiaries like charities or organisations you might wish to help out. Even a small donation can go a long way.
For instance, you might want to leave your car to your best friend or donate a bit of money to a charity you volunteer at. Even if you don’t have lots of assets at your age, leaving a little something to people and causes you care about can carry great symbolic power.
You have kids
If you are a young parent, no matter how little money you think you have, it is essential to make a will. A will doesn’t exist solely so you can distribute your property. It can also specify who is going to take care of your kids should something happen to you.
Don’t just assume your spouse will be around to take care of your kids. I don’t mean to sound morbid here, but it is possible something will happen to the both of you at the same time… I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
Naming a guardian in your will who’ll be able to take care of the kids is important in order to avoid an Oliver Twist-type situation. While grandparents tend to be the obvious choice, due to their age it’s best to include a substitute guardian as well.
While you might think merely willing all your money to your kids will be enough to ensure they’re taken care of, you might want to specify which amounts are to be used for education, which are to be released when they turn 18, 21 or even older, and so on. You wouldn’t want them to spend their entire inheritance on Xbox games and iPads.
Have you made a will yet? Tell us why or why not in the comments!