Planning your Will is like crafting a heartfelt gift for your loved ones, and the most important part of this special gift is your list of beneficiaries. As they’re the ones who’ll receive your legacy, this undoubtedly makes it a process of naming the VIPs in your life:
who do you love and care the most to benefit from your passing?
It’s important to designate beneficiaries in your Will for your own peace of mind knowing that upon your demise, your estate will be distributed in accordance with whom you wish it goes to. By naming your beneficiaries, you get to dictate over what will happened to your money and property, and clarify the matter for all who may be involved through your Will. It is a way for you to reclaim control over your life even though meeting death is an unpredictable affair. Having beneficiaries also simplifies the settling of your estate and can reduce the potential for stressful situations for those you leave behind. But who might they be?
Beneficiaries are typically among your loved ones, including your family and friends.
Minors can also be named as a beneficiary, however, their estate portion will be held in trust managed by the trustees named in your Will. Their portion of estate will only be distributed once they reach the majority age or once they reach the age you specifically stated for them to be entitled in receiving it. Interestingly, this scenario might just be the solution for your pets too.
Although pets are often considered family members by those who own them, unfortunately, animals are not recognized as a legal beneficiary under the Malaysian law.
So the only way possible to ensure your pet is taken care of is by setting up a trust ahead of time. A pet owner can, in fact, name a person in his or her Will to inherit a pet together with a stipulation stated for its financial expenses. Make sure to do your due diligence as you want the person to be elated in welcoming your pet following your passing, not frustrated!
Additionally, you may also consider to name a charity organization, foundation, or non-profit organization as one of your beneficiaries.
For you who might not have a family or friend deserving enough to benefit from your estate upon your death, instead of opting for intestate (which is to pass away without leaving a Will and may result for your estates to be distributed to the unwanted anyway in accordance to Distribution Act 1958), charity giving may be your best resolution.
Death may be an unpredictable affair, but your Will-writing shall be a seamless process with the use of Koha.
However bear in mind, the Wills Act 1959 is only restricted to the non-Muslims whereas Muslims in Malaysia has a different set of standards to abide by for Wasiat in ensuring its Shariah compliance.