SG Budget Babe
Asked on 21 Nov 2019
Do you think its important to have a will prepared, no matter how young you are?
You can write a will as long as you are above 21. Unfortunately, most people will not have written one yet.
Once you have assets, you should ensure that in the event of your demise, they are distributed the way you want them. If you didn't write one, you die intestate and the Intestate Succession Act takes over, distributing your assets according to the 9 rules (and the last rule, if reached, means your assets goes to the government...do you really want that happening?) The sole exception is if you are of Islamic faith, then my understanding is that different rules apply (I am not trained in this area. Even more reason for you to have a will to make sure your beneficiaries get what is intended by you, not the state)
Additionally, to start to distribute the assets, you'll need to apply to the court for a Grant of the Letters of Administration if there's no will, or a Grant of Probate if there is a will. Guess which takes longer?
Now, even with a will it doesn't mean things will go smoothly. I've seen complex cases when it comes to estate accounts and in-fighting within the beneficiaries...and that's with a will in place. The distribution of assets dragged for 3 years. Imagine if there wasn't any. It would be far worse.
Beyond just having a will, the Lasting Power of Attorney is equally important, it is basically the instruction manual for someone (donee) in the event that you are alive, but unable to manage your affairs any more. And the Advanced Medical Directive is also another factor for consideration.
Yes a will is important the moment you own assets, have liabilities, or are insured.
A will is simply a "what to do when I'm dead" instruction manual.
If you want certain things to be done or handled when you're dead, you should have a will.
This is also very important when you have group insurance policies that pay out earlier only if there's a will.
Its usually cheap or even free sometimes so just get it done. Wouldn't take too long either.
04 Dec 2019
Hi Anon, I work in a Will and LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) specialised firm and my most realistic answer to get yours done is when you have a family of your own such as a spouse and a child. Not known to most, a pre existing will is automatically revoked upon marriage but not on dissolution of marriage (i.e divorce). I say a family of your own because upon having a child, should anything happen, your parents will not be provided for under the Intestate Succession Act - 50% goes to your spouse and the other 50% to your child(ren). More often than not, we want to provide for our parents considering how we appreciate them for bringing us up.
For the unmarried, a Will and LPA is especially important as the Intestate Succession Act may not distribute your assets in accordance with your wishes or to loved ones. On a side note, LGBT citizens in Singapore do not have their marriage recognised in Singapore, writing a valid Will preserves the sort of legacy they may want to ensure for their partners.
Additionally, I would urge you to think about also doing your LPA concurrently. A will takes into effect upon death but what about when you are still alive but incapable of making decisions due to a lack of mental capacity such as dementia or a stroke? In such cases, an LPA may be coined as a "living will", you (the donor), appoint donee(s) to make decisions on your behalf pertaining to your personal welfare along with property & affairs.
There is a bundled Will and LPA package you could consider: https://trusttech.sg/our-services/pricing/
Feel free to reach out to me should you require assistance :)
The moment you start to own assets that like savings in the bank, stocks & shares as well as insurance.
For a start, I recommend you to consider writing a free one using OCBC's free will writing service. Go through it yourself, and then get your questions answer by a professional will writer to have a better understanding.
Here's the link: https://www.ocbc.com/personal-banking/lifegoals/willgenerator/#/
Hope this helps!
Once you have assets (be it savings in the bank, shares, valuable items), then you should write a Will. If you have liabilities as well, then there is a stronger reason why you should write a Will.
Above statement stand despite the fact that the Intestate Succession Act may distribute your assets to the same intended beneficiaries. More info on Intestate Succession Act: https://www.blog.pzl.sg/intestate-succession-act-singapore/
This is because what if the order of beneficiaries differ? Will you want your assets to be in the hands of an intended beneficiary?
Additionally, by writing a Will, it skips through the lengthy administrative process - which can take a couple of months before your beneficiaries finally get to inherit your assets. What if there is a bill or loan to pay in between? More info: https://www.blog.pzl.sg/the-administrative-process-on-dying-without-a-will-in-singapore
Estate planning itself is a huge topic on its own which requires in depth understanding about you, your beneficiaries, and how you want to distribute your assets upon death.
As a side note, do look into Lasting Power of Attorney too. One takes care of our affairs according to how we want it to be upon our demise, while the other takes care of both our affairs and ourselves when we are alive.
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If you have dependants like kids or aged parents, a will lets you distribute your assets to them according to your wishes. The good thing is that wills also legally protect your family. For instance, if you have young children, a will can appoint a guardian for them if their parents should pass away.
So I think it's important to have a will prepared (after 21) as it protect your family from conflict and in-fighting over how to split your assets.
When I feel my assets are getting sizeable and by not crafting an effective last will, family members might fight over the estate. It is loving to them that I should state in my will clearly.
I would recommend to write a will when you have smth in huge amt of cash that doesnt have nomination in place Eg. A house, bank account. If you get insurance, you can simply do a nomination. Do your nomination for cpf too!
If you are at least 21 years of age, you can do up a simple Will so that the probate process will be more straightforward for your family members, and more so if you do not want the distribution of your assets to be based on the default under the law. Found an article explaining the rules of distribution for those without a Will here: https://www.rockwills.com.sg/guide-to-intestate-succession-act/