INTEGRATED Will Services (M) Sdn Bhd (IWS), a specialist in will writing and trust services, foresee the will writing services market to be on the uptrend over the next few years in line with the increasing affluence and development of the country.
The company expects more people to own wills and to this end, estimates about 20% of the population to have wills in the next five years.
At present, less than 10% of Malaysias total population of about 22 million have wills and less than 1% have set up some form of trusts. This figure is very small compared to more developed economies.
As personal financial planning becomes more important, there will be greater awareness for people to distribute their wealth by way of a will or incorporating trusts.
Therefore, IWS is confident that the demand for will writing and trust services will grow significantly over the next few years as it is hugely untapped. IWS vice-president and executive director Robinson Pan said during an interview with StarBiz.
To date, IWS has trained more than 2,000 financial planners and insurance agents to use its services.
It recently tied-up with American International Assurance (AIA) Malaysia to enable the insurer to provide will writing as part of its financial planning services to its customers.
With this collaboration, IWS hopes to provide will writing services to 5,000 to 10,000 AIA customers in the next 12 months.
According to Pan, will writing services is a fundamental aspect and a very important element of personal financial planning services.
In essence, personal financial planning comprises of four key areas; namely wealth accumulation, wealth protection, wealth preservation and wealth distribution.
A Financial Planner essentially helps their clients accumulate wealth through investment products such as unit trusts, equities and investment linked-products.
Wealth protection encompasses life and general insurance products to manage clients exposure to risk whereas in the area of wealth preservation, a financial planner assists clients to preserve their wealth through tax planning and estate planning.
In the area of wealth distribution, Pan said financial planners could help their clients distribute their wealth by way of writing a will or incorporating trusts.
It is therefore of paramount importance, that financial planners realise the need to help each of their clients to get a will drawn up.
According to findings by the public trust corporation, Amanah Raya Bhd, about one million cases of distribution of estate (under the Distribution Act), especially among Malays still remain unresolved due to the absence of wills.
Judging from this, he said the number would be even higher if all the cases including the other races in the country were taken into account.
In the absence of a will for non-Muslims, Pan said under the Distribution Act 1958 (Amended 1997) the deceaseds estate would be distributed as follows: 25% each to the surviving spouse and parents and the balance 50% to issues which includes children, grandchildren and other lineal descendents.
Asked on the current players in the will writing services business, he added that IWS is the leading will writing and trust services in the financial planning industry.
With more than 2,000 financial planners already trained as will consultants and with the recent strategic alliance with AIA, the company hopes to achieve its target of 8,000 will consultants within the next 24 months.
Pan said that all wills by IWS are written by practicing lawyers with an established legal firm as opposed to will writing software commonly used in the market. In this respect, financial planners trained by IWS do not become will writers.
Priced at RM380 per will regardless of asset value and number of clauses in the wills, he said IWS is confident the product will be well received.