Will Writing In Singapore Guide: Steps & Cost6 min read
Why writing a will is useful.
My neighbour, die, got no will, but got secret mistress. Headache for the family! Very messy! Me? I read about writing a will, so I tell you now – it is useful, practical and when you go, you go smoothly. Before you read on, here are some common terms to familiarise yourself with:
Refers to the person/s you are leaving your estate to. They are usually your children, other relatives or even a faithful helper/caregiver. (Don’t include mistresses!)
All the money and property owned by a particular person, upon death.
The persons assigned to carry out your will. Could be any of your children or a lawyer.
A lawyer who was assigned to formalise your will. Or an accountant.
The person making the will.
Writing a will is not like what you see in the movies – a dying man writing on a piece of paper. In Singapore, it is more formal. Did you know wills are governed by the Wills Act in Singapore? The Act states that a testator (the person doing up the will) may devise, bequeath or dispose of his real or personal estate, through a will.
Here’s what you need to know about making a will:
- It must be in writing. Don’t use pencil or those erasable ink hor.
- The testator must be at least 21.
- The will has to be signed at the bottom of the page.
- There should be two witnesses who must also sign the will in his or her presence. (lawyers can be witnesses)
- The 2 witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of the will, or spouses of beneficiaries.
- If for any reason the testator is unable to sign at the bottom of the will, someone else may be allowed to sign it on his behalf and in his presence.
Image via: Giphy
What do you include in your will:
Cash, car, gold Rolex, business, etc. But, you cannot include a joint bank account or house. (Willing a house to your children will be touched on in Part 2)
Better to tell upfront. You must state how you want to settle your debts before your assets are distributed to the beneficiaries.
Your children whom you will leave the assets to and guardians (if they are below 21) and how much each one is to receive. You may also want to include reserve (i.e. backup) beneficiaries in the event of simultaneous death – like you and one of your beneficiaries.
For example, lawyers and accountants.
To carry out your will. A beneficiary may also be the executor. (Trustee)
To revoke any and all previous wills. Wah, this is good if any of your children turn bad like rotten apple.
That distributes any remainder of your estate according to your wishes. For example, if a beneficiary dies before you, the asset bequeathed to him becomes the remainder.
What about money in your CPF?
What about your Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies? Can they be included in your will? Unfortunately not. But you can make a CPF nomination if you want your CPF savings to be distributed according to your wishes upon your passing. Each nominee will receive a proportion as specified in your nomination. If not, your CPF savings will be transferred to the Public Trustee’s Office and distributed according to the rules in the Intestate Succession Act.
How much does it cost to make a will?
The prices range between $200 and $400 in Singapore for you to get a lawyer to draft it. However, some wills may be more complex than others – especially if you are loaded – and your will may cost $500 and above.
Do you need a lawyer to draft a will?
You can’t write on a piece of paper! But you do not strictly need a lawyer to write a will. However, my best advice is to engage a wills lawyer so that everything you wish to leave behind is carried out smoothly, even if your assets for inheritance by your loved ones are complex.
Where can you go to get a will done?
There are many will-writing services offered by non-lawyers. Any law firm will also have will-writing services. You can also tap on insurance companies like Income to help you. These days, you can also have online will-writing services provided by Singapore Legal Advice or even some banks like OCBC.
I already wrote my will. And told my family. I don’t want anyone to quarrel after I go. Damn “suay”!
I hope you can follow what I just told you hor. No one likes to talk about death and what happens after. But ah, as you can see, it is very important to leave everything accounted for, not quarrels necessary. So, please say you WILL (hehehe).
The Patriach of the Tng family, Uncle Tng is a Grab driver with the gift of the gab. He’s loud, always trying to help and still uses the terms “Internet” and “Chat room”. As he sees himself as an experienced man of the world, he’s often sharing his worldly views, whether you are interested or not.