One of the first things we usually ask our clients when discussing a wealth planning solution is if they have a Last Will in place. The usual response we receive is something along the lines of “I had not given it any thought yet.” or “I don’t believe it is something I need to do at this point.”.
The topic of setting up a Will is usually quite sensitive and, especially in Eastern culture, rarely discussed or even thought about. However, with rising uncertainty due to global pandemics and other current events hanging over our heads, being prepared for any scenario is now more important than ever. The first step to proper wealth and succession planning starts with the creation of a Last Will and Testament.
What is a Will?
A Will are your written instructions, which outline how your possessions such as your money, personal property, and real estate are distributed after your passing. A Will is also how you can formally appoint guardians who will look after your children if something were to happen to both of their parents.
Why do I need a Will?
In general, if there is no Will in place, which fulfils the legal requirements, the Rules of Intestacy apply to your assets, in accordance with the country where they are located. These rules are enforced by the government and vary by country, and in places such as USA or Canada even by state.
In Hong Kong for example, if you have not set up a separate Will, the default rules will apply and a limited amount, called a statutory legacy (HKD500,000-HKD1,000,000 as of writing), will pass to your spouse. Anything surpassing the statutory legacy will be divided between your spouse and your children (or your next closest relatives) and will be put into trusts, which means the capital will not be available right away. Depending on the rules of taxation and your situation, most of your assets might end up in the hands of the Inland Revenue Department.
What are my next steps?
It is recommended to anyone living in Hong Kong to draw up a Last Will and Testament both here and in any jurisdiction where they own assets. Your Will can include instructions for what should happen to your remains, who should be the executors of your Will, who should be appointed as legal guardian of your children, and how your assets and property should be divided amongst your heirs.
Setting up a Will makes sense regardless of your age or economic situation as you can never be sure what will happen in the future. Through clarifying your wishes for what should happen to your assets, you can save yourself and your loved ones a lot of future worries and focus your energy on the present.
How can we help?
We advise wealthy individuals, entrepreneurs, families, and expats. By letting us help you draw up a Will, you can protect your assets and ensure that they will go to the intended beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes.
At Blue Concept Asia, we create tailor-made solutions for your wealth and succession planning needs, allowing you to stay one step ahead for a secure future.