How important is it to have a Will? Many would think it is a taboo subject, more so in asian societies. Pantang! Choy! Are you WILLING (pun intended) to let superstition stand in the way of making sure that your last wishes are executed the way that you want? That all your hard work and worldly posessions are distributed according to the law no matter what you think. Sometimes it might even cause familial squabbles and fallouts. If only there was a clearly written last Will and testament that cleared up all the misunderstanding that might happen…

Anyway, Wills only take effect AFTER we pass on. So do not think that if you get your will done now you will lose everything… you won’t!

So what happens when we die without a will? In Singapore, the Intestate Succession Act kicks in when it comes to distributing the deceased person’s estate.

As seen on the image titled “What happens if i die without making a will?”, the law has a fixed way of allocating your assets.

A week ago, I was invited to a Prudential talk which had FortisWills‘s Patrick Tan talking about the importance of estate planning and will writing.

He shared highlighted many situations and heartbreaking stories of family members who were left without a place to stay or whose relationships were forever affected by the fact that their loved one did not leave a last will and testament.

Life is fragile and we can never know when we might depart this world… even if we are young and healthy! That night of the talk, I learnt that there are a few things one must cover when it comes to estate planning.

  1. Make sure to do a CPF nomination for my CPF monies.
  2. Get a lawyer to do a Basic Will, appointing 2 executors and up to 6 beneficiaries
  3. Have an Advance Care Planning Workbook done, which states and documents my values and wishes regarding medical care with my caregivers in the event that I am incapacitated from making decisions on my own.
  4. Get a Lasting Power of Attorney Form 1 which is a legal document which allows me to appoint one or more perosns to make decisions on my behalf if I should lose mental capacity one day.
  5. Have a Memorandum of Digital Assets, a document which lists down all my online accounts and passwords. This should not be written in the Will and should be updated frequently.

Source: Straits Times

Source: CPF Website

Source: Straits Times

You can choose how you would like each of your nominee(s) to receive your CPF savings based on their needs.

Cash Nomination

Your nominee(s) will receive the CPF ​savings due to them in cash via cheque or GIRO. This is the default nomination type.

Enhanced Nomination Scheme (ENS) Nomination

Your nominee(s) will receive the CPF savings due to them in their CPF accounts.

Special Needs Savings Scheme (SNSS) Nomination

This scheme allows parents to nominate their children with special needs to receive the CPF savings due to them on a monthly basis.

Over $200m in CPF monies with no nomination left unclaimed was in the news on Monday, 21st of Oct 2019. So are there people out there that did not make a nomination? Unfortunately… YES.

Making a nomination is really easy, I just did it this year. Just head down to a CPF branch and get a queue number and in around 30 minutes or so I got called to the counter and had to produce my NRIC and go through the procedures… and it was done within 10 mins.

Please note that your Will can not change your CPF nomination and that once you get married or remarried, you would have to redo it as a Will is not revoked when you get a divorce. In order to stay away from any kind of further complexities pertaining to your financial affairs, you must conduct will writing for divorce as Singapore’s Wills Act enables the entitlement of a newly wedded spouse to get a share of the properties of their spouse in case the latter passes away.

If you just got married, it is imperative to prepare a new Will for including any other beneficiaries apart from your spouse. This is only if you intend them to get a portion of your assets. Complicated? Just consult lawyers specialised in Will and Estate Planning and you will get a clearer picture. Remember … the best time to get your Will and Estate Planning done was YESTERDAY… so get it done A.S.A.P