The Importance Of Creating A Will
Of late, Singaporeans have been absorbed into a very significant will of a very significant family. One cannot be blamed for thinking that creating a will hardly matters when you’re the one six feet under and your heirs don’t agree with one another. However, in most circumstances, ordinary families would find that having a will makes things easier and clearer when a loved one has departed.
Creating a will used to be thought of as something that only wealthy or very old and ill people do. Fortunately, more young people are aware of how early will-creation can help solve the uncertainties for their loved ones, and death isn’t such a morbidly taboo topic anymore.
What happens if you don’t have a will?
Unless you’re a Muslim, your assets will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act upon your death. According to the Act, those who do not have a specific will, their estate will be distributed as such:
|Relationship||Percentage of assets|
|Spouse, no descendants||Spouse – 100%|
|Spouse and children/descendants of deceased children||Spouse – 50%
Children/Descendants of deceased children– 50% in equal portions
|Children/Descendants of deceased children, no spouse||100% in equal portions|
|Spouse and Parents (No descendants of deceased children)||Spouse – 50%
Parents – 50% in equal portions
|Parents (No spouse or descendants)||Parents – 100% in equal portions|
|Siblings & children of deceased siblings (No spouse, no descendants, and no parents)||Siblings – 100% in equal portions|
|Grandparents (No spouse, siblings, parents, or descendants)||Grandparents – 100% in equal portions|
|Uncles & aunts (No spouse, parents, descendants, siblings, or grandparents)||Uncles & aunts – 100% in equal portions|
|None of the above||Government – 100%|
Why you should write a will?
If you want to allocate more of your assets to a particular child who is in need, or want to include people who are not your kin in your will, then it’s necessary to write your own will.
You may also want to donate some of your wealth to charity, so in that case it will be useful to determine the sum and the specific charity or cause that you want to donate to.
One thing to note though is that debt doesn’t disappear with you, so before your assets are distributed to the beneficiaries, you should first state how you want your debts to be paid off.
We never really know when our time is up, but what’s quite certain is that the loved ones we left behind will be faced with the emotional grief and loss. Deciding how to handle your funeral may add on the stress, or create tension if family members have different opinions. This is especially so in the case of differing religious beliefs.
Writing a will that states your wishes, final resting place, or even down to how much you’ve set aside for your own funeral may be a very uncomfortable or sobering process, but doing so may help ease the minds of your loved ones when you are gone.
How to write a will in Singapore
You can make a will as long as you are over 21 years of age, so even young people can write a will to ensure that their assets, no matter how little, can get properly distributed according to their wishes.
There are mainly three ways to about writing your will. The first is to write it yourself, as long as you are very well informed and thorough. If your will is simple, this may be a good option.
In addition to the assets and liabilities that you list, your will should include:
- The beneficiaries and guardians (if the beneficiaries are too young), and how much each one receives
- The executor who will carry out your will. This may also be the beneficiary that you trust
- The advisors, should you engage lawyers and accountants
- A clause that revokes any previous will that you had written
When you have written your will, it should also be witnessed by at least two witnesses who need to sign the will in your presence. The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries, although if you have more than two, then the beneficiary can be the third witness.
However, many people choose to engage a lawyer for will-writing services to ensure that the will is professionally written and the lawyers are able to provide legal advice that helps ensure that the will is free from any complications.
In addition to will-writing, some also choose to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) simultaneously. The LPA enables one to appoint one or more persons to make decisions and act on his or her behalf in the event of a loss of mental capacity. This may be useful if we think about situations such as accidents or illness that may render you incapable of making decisions.
Another option is to engage non-legal will writing services like that of NTUC Income’s Will writing service, which comes in different packages depending on how many beneficiaries you need and whether or not you want additional clauses.
Writing a will is something not many of us think about, especially when we are young and healthy. However, the last thing we want to do is to leave our loved ones with the hassle and trouble of dealing with our debts and assets.
A will is not just about passing on your assets and wealth to your loved ones, but also about how your debts will be managed when you are gone, so your next of kin will not be burdened financially.
Although it is an unpleasant thing to deal with now, but it is something that we all should take action on as soon as possible.