If you have assets (e.g. whole life insurance, term insurance, savings deposits, etc) that you have intention to leave for certain someones (in mind) instead of having to go through the proper estate proceedings, it’s always good to do up (as soon as possible) your own Nomination either through a proper Nomination Form provided by Insurance Companies or engage a Lawyer to do up a Proper Will!
There could be certain consequences if you have accidentally left this planning out…
What Happened When You Never Do A Nomination For Your Assets
I know of two brothers whose parents are divorced since the elder brother was very young and his younger brother did not even know how his father looked like. So the mother had been the one raising them up.
Long story short… the mother fell sick and passed away… followed by the Elder Brother… and the younger brother has been the one paying off the medical debts (that’s why you need to have medical insurance to cover yourself) and other expenses over their last few years.
The mother and the elder brother had never done up any nominations and wills. And when it comes to the distribution of assets, the proper estate regulations have to be followed. But because the mother’s assets is less than $2000, it was written off as funeral expenses and the younger brother is able to claim back. But there was an issue with the elder brother’s assets because it’s more than $2000 and it cannot be written off as funeral expenses (even though the amount is very near to it).
This assets have been to be claimed by the official next-of-kin – the Father whom nobody knows about his whereabouts and his personal details (Date of Birth, Identification Numbers, his Point Of Contact, etc). In the end, the Authority is not willing to release the money to the Younger Brother (even though he has indirectly became the Next Of Kin over the last few years) and that amount of money has to be kept with the Authority indefinitely until the Father has made a claim for it.
Do note… there’s no expiry date to this waiting… which means that the money will never ever be released… So would you ever want this to ever happen to you (or to someone that you know), especially if the amount that we are talking about is of a significant amount?!
What Are The Alternatives For That Younger Brother
1. If the Younger Brother is keen in getting the money back, the legal way is to engage a Lawyer but he has to consider the Legal Fees that he needs to pay which may end up being the same amount as the assets.
2. Find out details about his Father and if possible get a copy of death certificate to prove that the younger brother is the rightful next-of-kin. If the Father is still around… then it’s up to him to negotiate and talk terms with him.
3. Forget about the money. Take this as a lesson and make this part of his life to make sure that his own assets are legally distributed according to his own wishes (because his father will have legal rights to some part of his assets should he be gone next time because the Law does not take into consideration that the Father may be 100+ years old should the younger brother moves on…)
What Should You Do To Protect Your Assets?
If you have assets that you want to properly distribute… let the Law work according to your own wishes. As mentioned, if you have your Insurance Plans, you can do up a nomination with the Insurance Companies; Savings, Earnings, Deposits can be arranged properly with a simple Will Writing with a Legal Lawyer and the fee to do so is easily affordable. And this legal fee is definitely worth spending versus the nightmare that your loved ones may face when something unfortunate does happened!