Back to Blog
The tragic death toll incurred by COVID19 has raised awareness for the need of succession planning. We have seen a rise in enquiries recently relating to making a Will and protecting assets. Many think that making a Will is the reserve of the elderly, the wealthy, or those with a complicated asset base but in truth, most of us should have one. Leaving this mortal coil without a Will can give rise to huge complications for heirs in terms of time and expense, and language barriers, and the decisions as to the distribution of your estate will likely be made by state law. Those laws may not reflect your wishes.
What is a Will?
It is a legally binding document which details your desired distribution of wealth upon your death, and if you have dependent children, who will take care of them. It is always safer to have the Will witnessed by at least one person which helps to protect your estate from challenges made by for example, estranged family members, business associates or creditors.
Why Make One?
1. You decide who gets what and how much.
2. You prevent undesirable people (maybe relatives) from making a claim on your estate.
3. You decide who is the guardian of your children. Very few parents would want a court to decide on this matter.
4. The Executor of your estate can act much faster to ensure your wealth gets to the right people as soon as possible. This is especially important if the beneficiaries are financially dependent of you.
5. A Will may help in mitigating inheritance tax liability on your heirs.
6. The bequeathing of charitable donations are often exempt from estate duties.
Many of our expatriate clients own assets in more than one country. In that case, it may be prudent to write a Will in the jurisdictions in which those assets are held.
AP Advisers Ltd is not a legal firm. The above is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Our suggestion is to seek qualified legal advice from a professional in the respective jurisdictions in order to help you write a Will. There are Will writers in Japan who can assist with both domestic and overseas assets.