So you have just gotten married and you are either still on Cloud Nine or have already settled down on rock-hard Mother Earth. The very first thing you should be aware of is this : whatever Will you had made, prior to that moment that you inked the marriage certificate, is now officially void….no longer […]
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Will Writing Singapore.
People never, ever, think they need to do a Will. Nor do they achieve self-awareness that they need to do a Will, until they are either jolted or shocked, by a dear friend’s death or sudden demise or a near-death experience, into asking the end-game question : “What if I die tomorrow ?”
They may also receive advice from their financial planner or insurance agent to “please look into making your will”. Sometimes, they respond positively. Sometimes, they put it off.
The fact is that most people do eventually realize that they need to do that Will and when they finally did, most of them will think to themselves : “I should have written my Will earlier.”
But first : WHAT IS A WILL?
Black’s Law Dictionary defines a Will as,
“An instrument by which a person makes a disposition of his real and personal property, to take effect after his death, and which by its own nature is ambulatory and revocable during his lifetime.”
Disposition is defined in the dictionary as :
- a putting in order or being put in order; an arrangement;
- the management or settlement of affairs;
- a selling or giving away, as of property
So a Will is essentially a document containing statements of a person, called a Testator, stating his intentions of who (“his beneficiaries”) gets what of his assets (“distributions or arrangements”), which only takes effect after the person’s death (“testamentary dispositions”).
Throughout human history, whether in the east or the west, where there is the concept of property ownership, man has made their “Last Will & Testament”, to distribute their properties amongst their children and next-of-kins.
Key Elements of a Will
Except for some differing formalities, invariably the following Elements must be present when a person makes a Will :-
- The Will-maker or Testator must state clearly that he is making his Will;
- He must describe his identity clearly, accurately and unambiguously;
- He must state that all previous Wills are revoked and this is his “Last Will & Testament”. This avoids conflict with an earlier made Will;
- The Testator must be of sound mind and that he has made the Will, freely and willingly. And this will be proven by his two (2) witnesses, if there is a challenge.
- He must, of course, clearly state his distributions of his assets to his beneficiaries who can be identified by accurate descriptions.
- He must signify that he has made the Will with his signatures, not just at the end of the Will but also at the end of every page/folio of the whole of the Will document. Assuming he does not write his Will on a scroll but on regular sheets of modern paper.
- He must date the Will on the date he signed the Will.
- The Will requires two (2) witnesses to the Testator’s signature, to be valid. And these witnesses must be present at the same time that the Testator signs off on the Will. The witnesses must be present, NOT at different times or dates but at the SAME TIME that the Testator signs the Will.
In different countries, the age of majority can be different. In Singapore it is 21 years old. And surprisingly, in Malaysia and Indonesia, it is 18 years old.
The mental health of a Testator cannot also be over-emphasized. A Will can be challenged as being invalid if the challenger can prove that the Testator was not mentally of full capacity when the Will was signed by the Testator.
When they do realize that they want to make a Will, they will ask :
“How do I write that Will ?”
“Who do I see to write that Will ?”
“Do I need a lawyer to write that Will ?”
“Who should I appoint as my Executors ?”
“Who are my beneficiaries ?”
“What are my assets ?”
“Which of my co-owned assets can I bequeath to my beneficiaries ?”
In the 21st Century, everyone is aware of the term estate planning. But not many understand the full implication of what estate planning entails. But we believe that everyone knows that making a Will is an essential part of Estate Planning. The Will is the final piece of document that all the plans in Estate Planning are hinged upon. It is the proverbial “end” in “Beginning with the end in mind”.
The fact is if a person doesn’t make his own Will, then the State and the laws will determine how his or her assets are to be distributed. Maybe a person will think : “That’s all very well. I don’t care. Let the laws determine who gets my assets.”
THE INTESTATE SUCCESSION ACT in Singapore :
Essentially, just remember :
- Spouse gets everything if there is no Child or Parent;
- Spouse gets 50% if there is a Child or there are Children. All the Children will share only the other 50%;
- Spouse gets 50% if there is no Child but if there is/are Parent(s). Both Parent(s) of Intestate will share the other 50%;
- Children will share 100% if Spouse passed away before you.
If you are single :
the Intestate Succession Act does not provide for distribution to anyone who is not your next-of-kin and only your parents (if alive) gets to take and if they have passed on, then only your siblings will get to share in your assets.
As you can see, the Intestate Succession Act is wholly inadequate in distributing your assets as you may want, once you allow yourself sometime to think through the question : “Who should be my beneficiaries ?”
We believe that once a person is fully aware what the Intestate Succession Act says about who gets what percentage of his assets, he or she may say :
“I don’t want the State and the laws to determine who gets which of my assets !”
“I want my wife to get all my assets so that she can decide which of my children needs more, for his or her education or medical care.”
“I want my parents to get something in case I go before they do.”
“I want my brother to manage my assets for my children, not my ex-wife.”
“I want my best friend to get this fishing rod and reel, if I go.”
“I want to bequeath something to my church or the SPCA or…..”.
Once you have decided to do your Will, you will need to know and will need to list down the following information :
- Who are my Beneficiaries ?
- Who, among my Beneficiaries, can also act as the Executor or Executors of my Will ?
- What are my assets ?
- Which of my assets are co-owned with another person ?
- Which beneficiary should get which of my assets ?
- In percentages, which beneficiary should get what percentage of my assets ?
It may not be widely known, but it is recognized that you do not need a lawyer to draft that Will for you and WillsSmith.com.sg is providing a facility to allow you to make a Simple Will.
We even provide a Checklist once you have generated your Will on our online Will-making web portal, to follow and check-off, to ensure that you have made a valid Will.
In a nutshell, our web portal will assist you in making your Will and ensure all the key elements of a valid Will have been captured in your Will :
- The naming of your executor(s);
- The naming of your beneficiaries;
- The listing of each and every of your assets;
- The statement of which beneficiary gets what asset;
- The statement of which beneficiary gets what percentages of an asset;
- The naming of your two (2) witnesses and we will disallow you to name any of your beneficiaries as witnesses and remind you not to name the prohibited persons to be your witnesses.
So, do take some time to think whether you wish to exercise the one right you have as a human being, with ownership of properties, big or small, to state to whom you wish to distribute your belongings.
Have a peace of mind
A Will Lets You Rest Easy.
We Make It Easy.
Our Wills were drafted with the needs of Will Makers in Singapore, Malaysia and persons in Common Law countries.
Unlimited edits within your subscription period.
Our will-making system allows you to revise and amend your Wills whenever you have changes in your assets or you change your mind about your beneficiaries or their respective entitlements.
@WillsSmiths, you can edit your Will unlimited times, including personalizing your Will (terms and conditions to apply).
The number of Wills written
It caters to the old and the young, people with 'hard' assets (real estates; stocks & shares; bank accounts, insurance policies, etc) and 'soft' assets (collections of books, stamps, butterflies, a pen, fishing rod, leather jacket or anything with sentimental value) to give away, after they leave loved ones and friends behind.
WillsSmith.com.sg advocates writing a VALUABLE will, not just the typical Will which leaves 'hard' assets. You can use the Will Writing Singapore platform to generate a will, read it and then log in again to amend it for unlimited times. Within a subscription period which is long enough for you to finally decide on the final draft that you will be happy to execute. All without a lawyer, whom you cannot meet on weekends, at your favorite coffee shop or your favorite couch at home. At least not without having to pay through your nose.
Our engineers spent quality time, thinking through the human interactive design and thought flow to make Will writing a walk in the park.
Our collaboration with lawyers and the months we spent refining and simplifying legal terms for laymen ensure that you will be able to understand your own Will.
Our Will-making platform ensures that if you follow the steps and has checked the list-to-do that we provide, you will have executed a Will that will be valid and legally binding in court.
WillsSmith.com.sg made a commitment to increase value at lower cost for all our clients.