Wills & Legacies

  • WILLS – 4 W’s of Wills:
    • What
    • Why
    • Who
    • When
  • What is a Will?
    • A Will ensures your wishes are carried out in respect of your assets after you die.
    • Allows you to provide for your spouse, children, parents etc…
  • Why make a Will?
    • You decide who gets which assets.
    • Helps avoid unnecessary arguments on who gets what and how much.
    • Allows you to appoint an executor of your choice.
    • You can create a trust for your children.
    • Simpler documentation, court procedure to obtain a Grant of Probate (where there is a Will) compared to Grant of Letters of Administration (no Will).
    • Shows planning in your life.
  • Who can make a Will?
    • 21 years old and above. Sound mind.
  • When does a will operate?
    • Upon death.

Important Terms in a Will

  • Testator : Person making a Will
  • Beneficiaries : Those who will inherit a benefit under the Will
  • Executor : Person appointed to carry out the terms of the Will
  • Trustee : Person appointed to distribute the assets
  • Testate : Person passes away leaving valid Will
  • Intestate : Person passes away leaving no valid Will


What assets can be included in a Will?

  • Assets in sole name.
    • E.g. house, care, shares, insurance policies, monies in bank accounts, cash, jewellery.


What assets cannot be included in a Will?

  • CPF monies.
  • Some insurance policies.
    • E.g. where beneficiaries have been nominated under the insurance policy:
      • a) Pre 1 March 2009 * Death benefits – according to nomination.
      • b) Post 1 March 2009 * Trust (non-revocable) nomination – does not form part of the deceased’s estate [S.73CLPA] * Revocable nomination – Will if made after nomination, prevails over nomination.
  • Joint Assets : Properties or assets in joint-names – Right of Survivorship.


Important Note

  • A Will is automatically revoked upon marriage.
  • A Will should be made known to family and executors and where it is kept.
  • Wills may be registered at Wills Registry – fees payable.

When to review Will?

  • If you change your name.
  • If an executor dies or cannot carry out his duties due to ill health.
  • If a beneficiary dies.
  • If you sell away property mentioned in the Will.
  • If there is any significant changes in circumstances e.g. acquire property.
  • If you divorce, remarry, or have more children.


Points to consider when making a Will

  • Executor / Trustee
    • 21 years old and above
    • Not undischarged bankrupt
  • List of Beneficiaries
  • List of Assets
  • Identify gifts to Beneficiaries
  • Guardian for minor children?
  • Trust for children during minority?
  • Signing of Will – 2 witnesses (21 years old and above) to be present at the same time

*Note : Witnesses cannot be Beneficiaries or spouse of any of the Beneficiaries.

No Will? (Non-Muslims)

  • Applicable Law : Intestate Succession Act