Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Setting Up a WILL: If I Die Tomorrow, Where Will My Hard-Earned Assets Go?

As morbid as this may sound, I have been thinking of my own death. Hey, my father died when he was in his mid 30's, and in 1.5 year from now, I'll be 30 years old. There's a chance I'd die same age as my father did. Plus, since I'm somewhat addicted to Investigation Discovery, a channel about death and such, this really made me think that I could or I might die soon. We never really know, right?

I set up my will through LegalZoom. It's kind of pricey, at least for me. But it really gave me peace of mind knowing that if I die tomorrow or today, my "wants" are taken care of. It's my hard-earned assets, right? Where or who should get what should be my decision.

I didn't really open it up and talk about it here in my blog while I was in the process of setting it up because you might think, "Sus, pa 'will will' pa ang drama, pang snacks lang ni Henry Sy ang total assets mo, Miss!" But then again, what's the use of finance blog and being anonymous if I'm still holding it back. Plus, it's All Soul's Day so this post is appropriate.

In my death, I want:

  • All my organs donated
  • My body cremated
  • The urn, which contains my ashes, should be sent to Pagadian to be put on top of my Papa's grave.

Who gets what?

  • PHP 200k worth of Mutual Fund is for my 2 nephews' college education. They are under 6 years old now. By the time they'll be in college, the fund should have grown which will hopefully help pay part of their college tuition/expenses.
  • PHP 200k cash is for my niece's college education. She is in her first year college now. Her tuition fee is more or less PHP 20-25k per semester. This should be enough to cover her 4 years college tuition. Books, allowances and other miscellaneous school expenses are shouldered by her mom. I only shoulder tuition fee for the whole school year.
  • I got a total of 80 square meters lot somewhere in Cebu and my two older brothers should split it up (40 square meters each)
  • The house and lot goes to my mother. And in the event of her death, my younger brother gets it.
  • Stocks, cash and other investments goes to my mother, and in the event of her death, Php 500k should be donated to build one school in our province. The rest should be divided among my 3 siblings.


My only true dependent is my mom. My siblings are all adult so let them fend for themselves, that's why my money all goes to my mom if I die tomorrow.

If my mom is wise enough to handle the money that I left for her right after my death, she should be fine for a long time.

Her current expenses is Php 10,000 every month or Php 120,000 per year. Since I have 1 Million pesos saved in the bank (originally a fund that will save my ass in case my plan doesn't work when I come home for good), she should be okay for at least 6-7 years including inflation. When the money runs out, she will then access my stock portfolio (currently worth PHP 2 Million) taking only a year's worth of her living expenses (all these is written in the Will). Hopefully, by seventh year without touching my stocks, my portfolio should grow. The house that she is now currently living is owned by me outright, which will be hers, so she should be fine with regards to roof-over-her-head thing.

Just a little family background: My mom now is in her late 50's. Her mom died in her late 40's of heart attack, while her dad died when he was 75 years old of natural causes.

What if my mom gets sick? Well... I am already dead, let them figure it out. Haha!

I let my aunt be the executor of the will. I told her what to do. To give only what is needed monthly because my mom has this tendency to spend it all, aka one day millionaire attitude. I just want her to be okay for a looonggg time once I'm gone, that's why getting a third party in to check up on her expenses and such is, I think, wise.

Note: I am planning on changing my Will once I get home. I really would like to seek an attorney's help and change my executor because "what if my aunt dies, too" or something like that. Plus, I don't want my aunt and my mom to have this cold war thing. You know, money and relatives don't go together. This is just temporary and I plan to update it regularly depending on my life's stage. This is just "for now" type of thing.

It feels good knowing that If I die tomorrow, my mom is taken care of and my family wont fight over the assets which I acquired in life with my own sweat and tears. It's right that in my death, I should be the one to direct who gets what. It is/was mine, after all.

Hey, if you happen to be a finance nerd, is there something wrong with my Will, the calculations, distributions and such? Please point it out. As I said, this is just temporary, and I plan to update it once I get home for good.


  1. Siyempre I have to comment:p

    Based on the Civil Code, your mother is your only compulsory heir, so she is entitled to 1/2 of your estate and the remaining half is considered the free portion that you can distribute to whomever you want (Art. 889 -890). Your brothers, nephews and nieces are not considered as your compulsory heirs, so they technically are not entitled to anything, but you can give them something from your free portion. Here's a nice table to guide you: http://famli.blogspot.com/2011/07/legitimes-and-intestate-shares.html

    To calculate what your mom is entitled to as your compulsory heir, simply add up all of your assets and divide it into two, that's what is due her and the rest is already the free portion.

    As for the format of your will, since you are a Filipino living abroad, you care free to use any form valid where you are and this will be probated here (Art. 815). However, you mentioned changing your will once you come back so you should be aware of the formal requirements (i.e. attestation clause, three witnesses, signing at the side of every page etc.). To make your life easier, I suggest that you make a holographic will (Art. 810), which is a: "will which must be entirely written, dated, and signed by the hand of the testator himself. It is subject to no other form, and may be made in or out of the Philippines, and need not be witnessed"

    And good on you for knowing your mom well enough to ask your aunt to help distribute the money.

    1. Jill, this is a super useful tip. I've always been praning and made a will before. But good to know that it is better to have it entirely handwritten so that it need not be witnessed.

      Did you make a post on this on your blog?

  2. Also, to save up on probate costs (which will involve hiring a lawyer and filing a probate proceeding), you may want to encourage your mom and siblings to execute an "Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate" since you only need to have it notarized and published once a week for three weeks in a newspaper.

    You can still dispose of your assets the way you want to in the ESE, only this time, your family will be the ones signing it (although you can also sign your conformity) so that they already indicate their agreement to the partition. This isn't a guarantee that there will be no squabble when you die, but at least you have already done what you can.

    1. Thanks a lot Ate Jill, I'll keep all you said in mind. The way you write it, parang ang daming gagawin and super intimidating pero I know once I'll set my will "the Philippine way" it'll be okay na. Mine now is DYI approach lang but it did gave me a peace of mind knowing that when I die anytime, my will na ako. I actually told my family about the existence of the will as well as my aunt.

      Thanks a lot!!!


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