How to Make a Will in Singapore

by Matthew Daniel

How to Make a Will in Singapore

A will is a legal document that expresses your wishes on how you want your assets and affairs to be handled after your death. Making a will is an important step to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of and that your estate is distributed according to your intentions.

Requirements for Make a Will in Singapore

To make a will in Singapore, you need to meet the following requirements:

  1. The will must be in writing. Electronic wills or signatures are not acceptable.
  2. The testator (the person making the will) must be at least 21 years old.
  3. The testator must sign the will at the foot or at the end of the will.
  4. The testator’s signature must be witnessed by two or more witnesses, who must also sign the will in the testator’s presence
  5. The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of the will or spouses of beneficiaries.

The will should also include the following information:

  1. A list of all the testator’s assets and liabilities.
  2. The beneficiaries (who will inherit the assets) and guardians (if the beneficiaries are minors), and how much each one will receive.
  3. The executors (who will manage and distribute the estate) and advisors (such as lawyers and accountants).
  4. A revocation clause to revoke any previous wills and codicils.
  5. A residuary clause that states how the remainder of the estate will be distributed.

Your will should include the following clauses to Make a Will it clear and comprehensive:

  1. A declaration clause that states that you are making your own free will and that you revoke any previous wills or codicils that you have made.
  2. An appointment clause that names the person or persons who will act as your executors and trustees of your estate. Your executor (s) will be responsible for administering your estate and carrying out your wishes, while your trustee (s) will be responsible for managing and distributing any trust property that you have created under your will. You should also name an alternate executor (s) and trustee (s) in case your main executor (s) and trustee (s) are unable or unwilling to act.
  3. A guardianship clause that names the person or persons who will act as the guardian(s) of your minor children (below 21 years old) or any other dependents who are unable to care for themselves. Your guardian(s) will be responsible for the custody, welfare, and education of your minor children or dependents. You should also name an alternate guardian (s) in case your main guardian (s) is unable or unwilling to act.
  4. A bequest clause that specifies the beneficiaries who will inherit your assets and the share or amount that each beneficiary will receive. You can make specific bequests of certain assets to certain beneficiaries or general bequests of the residue (remainder) of your estate to one or more beneficiaries. You should also name an alternate beneficiary(s) in case your main beneficiary(s) predecease you or disclaim their inheritance.
  5. A residuary clause states how you want the residue of your estate to be distributed, in case there is any property left after paying your debts, taxes, and expenses and after satisfying your specific bequests. You can name one or more beneficiaries to receive the residue or direct the residue to be added to your specific bequests. You should also name an alternate beneficiary(s) in case your main beneficiary(s) predecease you or disclaim their inheritance.
  6. A power clause grants your executor (s) and trustee (s) the necessary powers and discretion to administer your estate and manage your trust property, such as the power to sell, invest, or distribute your assets, and the power to appoint or remove any co-executor (s), co-trustee (s), or co-guardian (s).

10 Things to Consider When Making a Will - Tinsdills Solicitors

CPF Monies

One thing to note is that your Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies are not part of your estate and cannot be distributed by your will. To decide who will receive your CPF monies, you need to make a CPF nomination, which is a separate legal document that you can make online or at any CPF service center. If you do not make a CPF nomination, your CPF monies will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy under the Intestate Succession Act, which may not be in line with your wishes.

What Happens After the Will Has Been Prepared?

After you have prepared your will, you should store it in a safe and accessible place and inform your executor(s) and close family members of its location. You should also register your will with the Wills Registry, which is a confidential database that records the existence and location of your will but not its contents. You can register your will online or by mail, and the fee is $50 per will.

You should also review your will periodically and update it if there are any changes in your personal or financial circumstances, such as marriage, divorce, birth, death, or the acquisition or disposal of assets. You can update your will by making a codicil, which is a supplementary document that modifies or adds to your existing will, or by making a new will that revokes your previous will.

Conclusion

Making a will is a simple and sensible way to plan for your future and protect your loved ones. By following the steps and tips in this article, you can make a will that reflects your wishes and avoids any potential disputes or complications. However, if you have any doubts or questions about making a will, you should seek professional advice from a lawyer who can assist you in drafting a will that is legally valid and enforceable.

Reference Link

  1. http://singaporeprobate.com/wills/diy-guide-drafting-will-singapore/
  2. https://pkwalaw.com/making-a-will/
  3. https://singaporelegaladvice.com/law-articles/wills
  4. https://thesmartlocal.com/read/will-writing-singapore/

FAQ

Q: How do I make a will in Singapore without a lawyer?

A: You can make a will in Singapore without a lawyer, as long as you meet the legal requirements and follow the proper steps. You need to be at least 21 years old and of sound mind, write your will in writing, sign it at the end in front of two witnesses who are not beneficiaries or spouses of beneficiaries, and revoke any previous wills or codicils.

Q: How much does it cost to make a will in Singapore?

A: The cost of making a will in Singapore depends on whether you engage a lawyer or draft it yourself. If you engage a lawyer, it generally costs between $200 and $400 for a simple will and more for a complex will. If you draft it yourself, it may cost nothing or a minimal fee for the materials and registration. However, you should be careful to avoid any errors or omissions that may invalidate your will or cause disputes among your beneficiaries.

Q: Where can I store my will in Singapore?

A: You can store your will in Singapore in a safe and accessible place, such as your home, your lawyer’s office, or a safe deposit box. You should also inform your executor(s) and close family members of the location of your will. You can also register your will with the Wills Registry, which is a confidential database that records the existence and location of your will but not its contents. You can register your will online or by mail, and the fee is $50 per will.

Q: How do I update or change my will in Singapore?

A: You can update or change your will in Singapore by making a codicil or a new will. A codicil is a supplementary document that modifies or adds to your existing will, and it must follow the same legal requirements and formalities as a will. A new will is a replacement document that revokes your previous will, and it must also follow the same legal requirements and formalities as a will. You should review your will periodically and update or change it if there are any changes in your personal or financial circumstances, such as marriage, divorce, birth, death, or the acquisition or disposal of assets.

Q: How do I choose an executor for my will in Singapore?

A: An executor is a person who will administer your estate and carry out your wishes after your death. You can choose anyone who is at least 21 years old, of sound mind, and not bankrupt to be your executor. You can also choose a beneficiary or a professional executor, such as a licensed trust company or a lawyer, to be your executor. You should choose someone who is trustworthy, capable, and willing to act as your executor. You should also name an alternate executor in case your main executor is unable or unwilling to act.

Q: How do I choose a guardian for my minor children in Singapore?

A: A guardian is a person who will look after the custody, welfare, and education of your minor children (below 21 years old) or any other dependents who are unable to care for themselves. You can choose anyone who is at least 21 years old, of sound mind, and not bankrupt to be your guardian. You can also choose a beneficiary or a professional guardian, such as a licensed social worker or a lawyer, to be your guardian. You should choose someone who is caring, responsible, and willing to act as your guardian. You should also name an alternate guardian in case your main guardian is unable or unwilling to act.

Q: How do I choose a beneficiary for my will in Singapore?

A: A beneficiary is a person who will inherit your assets and property according to your will. You can choose anyone to be your beneficiary, such as your spouse, children, relatives, friends, or charities. You can also choose more than one beneficiary and specify the share or amount that each beneficiary will receive. You should choose someone who is important to you and who will benefit from your estate. You should also name an alternate beneficiary in case your main beneficiary predeceases you or disclaims their inheritance.

Q: How do I distribute my CPF monies in Singapore?

A: Your CPF monies are not part of your estate and cannot be distributed by your will. To decide who will receive your CPF monies, you need to make a CPF nomination, which is a separate legal document that you can make online or at any CPF service center. You can nominate anyone to be your CPF beneficiary and specify the percentage that each beneficiary will receive. If you do not make a CPF nomination, your CPF monies will be transferred to the Public Trustee’s Office and distributed according to the rules of intestacy under the Intestate Succession Act, which may not be in line with your wishes.

Q: How do I make a will if I have assets overseas?

A: If you have assets overseas, you may need to make a separate will for each country where your assets are located, or a global will that covers all your assets worldwide. You should consult a lawyer who is familiar with the laws and regulations of the relevant countries and who can advise you on the best way to make a will that is legally valid and enforceable in each jurisdiction. You should also consider the tax implications, the currency exchange rates, and the probate procedures of each country and how they may affect your estate and beneficiaries.

Q: What happens if I die without a will in Singapore?

A: If you die without a will in Singapore, your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy under the Intestate Succession Act, which may not be in line with your wishes. The rules of intestacy are based on a fixed hierarchy of relatives, and they may exclude some of your loved ones or include some of your distant relatives. The distribution of your estate may also be delayed, disputed, or diminished by the legal costs and fees involved. Therefore, it is advisable to make a will to avoid these problems and to ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes.

Matthew Daniel

Meet Matthew Daniel, the storyteller behind Adam Magazine. With a passion for narratives around "Legal Age," "Celebrity Age," and "Animal Age," Matthew invites you to explore captivating stories. Join him on a journey where each tale reflects the diverse and fascinating aspects of human experiences, celebrity journeys, and the wonders of the animal kingdom.