Whether we like it or not, death is inescapable. This is why it is important to prepare a “Will”, especially if you are retiring soon. The essence of making a Will is not only to prepare for the event of death but also to make sure that others understand your parting wishes.
In Singapore, the surviving spouse is usually entitled to one half while the other half is divided among the children. But if there is no Will, there are higher chances that no one would be held responsible to sort out the estates or to take care of the orphaned children. Without a Will, your assets may be distributed to people whom you do not intend to give anything to. Certainly, it is simpler, more responsible, and more convenient to consider making your own Will.
Clueless about the entire process? Start here:
An individual makes a legal declaration or a Will to provide the administration and distribution of what he or she owns among his or her beneficiaries at death. The person who made the will is called the “testator” while the people who will inherit the assets are called “beneficiaries”. The Wills Act governs all the Wills in Singapore.
A WILL’S FORMALITIES
1. The testator must be at least 21 years old.
2. The testator must sign the Will accordingly. If he or she is unable to do so, a trusted person may sign in his or her presence.
3. Two or more witnesses are required and they must sign the will too, in the presence of the testator.
4. The two witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of the will (e.g., spouse of the testator) but the third witness can be a beneficiary.
MAKING A WILL IN SINGAPORE
Interestingly, you do not need a lawyer to make a Will!
A 21-year-old individual of sound mind can make his or her own Will and change it any time in the course of one’s life. But if you have insufficient legal knowledge on the subject, your “homemade Will” may be at risk of being ineffective or invalid. So, it is still best to seek legal advice. After writing one, you must keep a copy in a secured place and let your family members know of its existence.
To ease the process, you must approach the Wills Registry to deposit the document’s information. Expect a fee for it.