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Singapore - Wills

Wills are important to make if you have any property, dependents, or funds that will need to be redistributed upon your demise. Wills can also offer instruction as to your last wishes, too. By making a will, you can make your funeral arrangements, control who will benefit from your assets, appoint guardians for young children, and choose someone to be an executor of your estate.

The most common types of wills that are made out in Singapore include: joint wills, simple wills, and mutual wills. A Simple Will (Statutory Will) is one of the most popular choices, especially if you have a small estate without any complications and your wishes are straightforward. These wills tend to be fairly general. A joint will is made by two people with reciprocal provisions although it is a single legal document. Mutual wills are also made by two people but it one person dies then the other cannot change the will.

If you already have a will then you should consider updating it if you get married, get divorced, have children, dispose of any assets that are in your will, change beneficiaries, or want to replace any guardians or executors.

In addition to granting a guardian for your children, you can also create a trust for your children or grandchildren. This will allow you to bequeath money or other assets to them in a set time that you determine. Some people, for instance, create trusts that are accessible on the child’s 21st birthday.

When you create your will you’ll want to appoint an executor and alternative executor, list your assets and liabilities, consider a guardian for any dependents, consider a trust for assets, state your burial preferences, and decide if you want to exclude anyone from receiving any assets.

You may not make out a will in Singapore until you are 21 years of age. However, if you are a soldier, mariner or a seamen then this restriction is lifted, according to the Law Society of Singapore.

When you create your will you will first want to write a draft of it. An attorney does not need to legitimize it if you are 21. You will then choose an executor. An executor is the person who will distribute your assets to the beneficiaries that you choose. You will want to ensure that you write out, in detail, who receives your personal property, including any physical items you might possess, such as jewelry. You should also write out any instructions should one of your beneficiaries pass away.

When making out your will, decide if you want your beneficiary of your Central Provident Fund to get those funds. If you don’t then you will need to make provisions for this since the CPF nominee will get this automatically unless you make specific instructions. If you are married then your spouse will get these funds.

Two witnesses, who cannot be your beneficiaries or your spouse, will need to witness and sign your will once it is has been written. Although seeing a lawyer isn’t required, you might still want to visit one since homemade wills are frequently challenged.

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