Wills are legal documents containing information about inheriting the testator's property and asset. It could be life's most important document as it carries out our wishes when we are not around. Hence, it is critical to ensure the will is error-free.
Given its confidential nature, the mistakes usually appear after the owner’s passing. So what are standard points to remember while compiling a will in Singapore?
Ten standard mistakes made while writing wills –
1. You need two witnesses to seal your will. It is a specific requirement, but a lawyer’s negligence can prove to be detrimental. Also, the two witnesses cannot be beneficiaries in the inheritance.
2. Wills are revoked after marriage. Hence, make sure you rewrite it. An exception can be made if they will contemplate the marriage.
3. The best method of distributing property is by using percentages. Suppose you are the property’s joint owner, the title shifts to the other person on your demise. You cannot include that property in your will and distribute it.
4. You cannot include CPF money, as it is not a part of the estate.
5. For insurance policy proceeds, it depends on the kind of nomination that you make for the policy.
You can make trust nominations for your spouse or children. It takes away the ownership from you, and thus, you cannot distribute it.
6. Always remember to include a residuary clause. It states how the remaining assets will be distributed, which are not explicitly mentioned in your will.
In the absence of a residual clause, the intestacy laws apply and not your wishes.
7. If you have children, assign a guardian for them. Guardian takes care of them until they become adults by managing their needs. If your children do not have a guardian in your absence, the Family Court decides on the matter.
8. Remember to name an executor to handle your estate after you. The will becomes effective only when the executor brings it to light.
Ensure they are responsible enough to respect your wishes. In case you assign an inappropriate executor or do not name an executor, the probate court takes action.
9. Every person has to mention any debts in their will. All the dues tied to the estate need to be paid and resolved before distribution.
10. Seek legal assistance for your will as it must follow a specific order and language. Unclear wills and vague instructions can make distributions difficult.
Your Call to Action Wills can be complicated. Lawyers ensure the drafting process, and implementation is seamless. You can get in touch with the experts by filling up the form on our website.