I’m too young to be writing a WILL

Most of us live in a bubble and believe that we don’t need to write a will or take active measures towards estate planning “early in life” and we assume it is an activity to worry about after retirement or during old age. We need to understand that writing a will is NOT about death, it is about life and how you want your loved ones to live if you are not around.

We read several stories regarding people passing away suddenly in the prime of their health – A marathon runner collapses, a fitness freak CEO gets cancer, or people die in accidents or bomb blasts etc. It can happen to anybody.

Imagine if something untoward happened to you, then your family would have to struggle with transfer of bank accounts, transfer of investments like Mutual funds, insurance etc. They would struggle to get the house transferred to their names. Who and how would your children’s school fees get paid? What will happen to them if you are not there anymore…

Nothing wrong will happen to me . . . .

We are all well aware that life is unpredictable and yet we assume that we are invincible.  One of my business associates in his early forties used to casually tell me and laugh at my concerns whenever I asked him if he had created a trust or wrote a will. He would often tell me that he planned to be around for much longer – even after I had called it quits.

And one fine day I got to know that he met with a freak accident and passed away instantly. His family was not aware of anything related to his business – business dealings, vendors, taxes  and other aspects and was suddenly hit by these worries. Life, for them, was shaken and turned upside down overnight. And quite obviously, their business managers took them for a ride through hell and back. If only he had listened to me and written a will or created a trust, then we could have avoided all these issues.

Writing a WILL covers all basics

It is not just death. What if you meet with an accident, you don’t die but you become completely incapacitated? You may have tons of money, but what is the use of that money if it cannot be of any use to you? You won’t be able to even sign a cheque or speak a word. Have you done anything to address such an emergency situation?

We are all so busy in our daily routines that often we forget to create a detailed list of assets we own. So much so, that many a time, even our spouses may not know the details of our investments or money lent or borrowed. Who is to be held accountable in such cases?

For writing a WILL one does not need to be wealthy nor should one wait till they grow old. This needs to be done the moment you acquire an asset – any sizeable asset.