A Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Will in Singapore
The process of creating a legally sound will in Singapore is governed by the Wills Act. This legislation empowers a testator, the individual making the will, to devise, bequeath, or dispose of their real or personal estate through the instrument of a will. This article aims to provide an overview of the essential aspects of will drafting in Singapore. Please be aware that this guide is intended for general informational purposes. For personalised advice tailored to your specific circumstances, it is advisable to seek the counsel of a qualified wills lawyer.
Key requirements for a valid will
- The Will Must Be in Writing.
- The Testator Must Be at Least 21 Years of Age.
- The Testator Must Sign the Will at the Bottom Following Its Preparation.
- Two Witnesses Must Be Present During the Testator's Signing of the Will, and They Must Also Sign It in the Testator's Presence.
- The Two Witnesses Must Not Be Beneficiaries of the Will.
When formulating a will, it is advisable to incorporate the following provisions:
- Personal Particulars and Information.
- A Revocation Clause to Revoke Any Previous Wills.
- Marital Status.
- Appointment of Executors, who may also be beneficiaries.
- Designation of Guardians for Minor Children (up to two).
- Identification of Beneficiaries and Specification of Their Asset Allocations.
- A Residuary Clause Outlining the Distribution of Remaining Assets According to the Testator's Wishes.
Handling CPF monies
Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies cannot be included in a written will. To distribute CPF funds upon passing, beneficiaries must be nominated through the CPF Board. Each nominated individual will receive a portion of the CPF funds as indicated in the nomination. If no nomination exists, the funds in the CPF account will be automatically transferred to the Public Trustee's Office and made accessible to the next of kin.
Post-will preparation procedures
Upon completing your will, it is crucial to safeguard it in a secure location and inform your chosen executor and family members about its existence.
Updating your will after marriage or divorce
Remember that marriage automatically invalidates any will made prior to the marriage, unless the will explicitly states it was made in contemplation of marriage. Conversely, in the case of divorce, a previously executed will remains valid. Therefore, it is advisable to review and amend your will to reflect changes in your marital status.
Seeking professional assistance
While not obligatory, engaging a reputable wills lawyer is highly recommended. Lawyers are bound by the regulations of the Law Society and must adhere to strict ethical guidelines when drafting wills. Their expertise ensures that instructions are received without duress and that the will accurately represents the client's wishes. Moreover, legal professionals are covered by insurance, providing additional protection for clients. Professional advice from a trained lawyer can prevent future losses, conflicts, or ambiguities.
We encourage you to get in touch should you require any further assistance on drafting your will.