So now you have finally made yourself sit down and get down to the business of getting your Will written (If you have not written your Will, read Why write a Will). As you listed all your beneficiaries, you realized that one of your loved ones is pregnant with child and will not deliver till 6 months later.
Can you bequeath a part of your estate to the unborn child ?
It may be of some interest to some people as to whether a Will maker can state that a certain property or percentage of his estate is to be provided for an unborn child.
This question might cross the mind of a grandparent who is making a Will just as a daughter or daughter-in-law is carrying an unborn child.
And why not ?
After all, there is a heart beating in a foetus as early as 6 weeks old. Although it is usually only possible to hear the first heartbeat with a fetal Doppler when the foetus is 10 to 12 weeks old.
And under the Penal Code of Singapore, doing any act which causes death to a “child” (while a foetus but who is capable of being born alive) is a crime which may lead to an imprisonment term of up to 10 years. The laws of Singapore recognizes that a foetus who is at least 28 weeks old, will be regarded as being capable of being born alive.
In the law books, you will find descriptions of the son or daughter, en ventre sa mere, who is entitled to the estate of a person who had passed away.
In Latin, the term : en ventre sa mere, means “in the womb”.
There is no provision in statute law which specifically states that you can include a bequest in your Will to an unborn child.
It is only by inference. It is from the recognition of the unborn foetus as a beneficiary of the estate of a person, that we can conclude that a person making a Will, can do so.
Under Singapore Laws, the “Inheritance (Family Provisions) Act, Cap. 138 specifically defines : “son” and “daughter”, to include also, the son or daughter of [a] deceased, en ventre sa mere, at the date of the death of the deceased.
You can definitely make a bequest of a portion of your estate for an unborn child. You need only make sufficient description of the unborn child by reference to the parents and the estimated period that his/her birth is expected.
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