Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Why create a will?

A will would allow the person who created it (the “testator”) to have control over the distribution of his assets after his demise. A testator could clearly indicate the property or assets that would go to a specific person. Without a will, the estate will be distributed as laid down by the Intestate Succession Act.

If you intend to give part of your estate to charity or to hold it in trust for your children, a will would be a good way to indicate your intentions.

This will also pre-empt arguments over the inheritance among your relatives.

Who needs a will in Singapore?

Everyone should create a will. Everyone should exercise their right to decide how their possessions get distributed after their demise.

In Singapore, only a person who is at least 21 years old and of sound mind may make a will. However, a person engaged in active military service, a mariner or a seaman may make a will even if under the age of 21.

Singapore Will Procedure

In Singapore you can make your will on your own without consulting a Singapore will lawyer, however this carries the risk of it being invalid if incorrectly drafted.  It might therefore be more effective to consult a lawyer who would be able to draft the will for you.

After making one, you should inform a few trusted friends/relatives of its existence. It is also advisable to deposit information of the will with the Wills Registry.

A will is revoked by marriage, unless specific provision was made for it.

Need two witnesses, both above 21 years and of sound mind, to witness the signing of your will. A witness cannot be a beneficiary, nor can he/she be a spouse to a beneficiary. The witnesses must be identified, by their name and identification number, on the will.

What to include in your Singapore will

You should state the person or organization (the “beneficiaries”) that you intend to give your assets to. You may also indicate that you wish to distribute your entire estate in percentages to certain people.

You need to name an executor, who will oversee the administration of your estate and ensure that your beneficiaries get their share. If you have minor children and your spouse is unable to take care of them, you may also wish to appoint guardians for them.

If your beneficiaries are underage, you may wish to direct that the property you bequeath should be held in trust for them by named trustees till they come of age.

You may wish to indicate that your estate should pay for funeral or other expenses. It is recommended you use a Singapore Will lawyer.

If you need legal representation, kindly contact Gloria James-Civetta & Co, to get the legal advice you need.