Wills, Probate and Letter of Administration
It is of crucial importance to make sure that you have a Will. You should always be prepared for any situation as life is unpredictable. Our lives are precious, so are the welfare and interests of our spouse and children. With a Will properly drafted and signed, it will bring certainty to your loved ones or beneficiaries. At Circular Law Chambers, we advise our clients on estate planning which enables them to have a clear plan for distribution and managing of their assets in the event of death. Our team of highly-skilled lawyers will be able to assist our clients in their succession planning by helping them to prepare a valid and proper Will. We also represent clients in applying for Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration. We also act for clients in a scope of inheritance and estate related disputes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What are the advantages of writing a Will?
Having a Will will enable you to distribute your assets according to your wishes, appoint a suitable person to administer your estate and appoint guardians for your young children, as well as set out funeral arrangements.
2. What are the requirements for a valid Will?
The Will must be in writing, the Testator must be at least 21 years of age, the Testator must sign at the foot of the Will, the Will must be witnessed by 2 or more witnesses and they must also sign the Will in the presence of the Testator. In addition, the 2 main witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of the Will or spouses of the testator. You should also take note that if you are getting married, any Will executed prior to your marriage will be void.
3. What should I include in my Will?
You should include a list of all your assets and liabilities, the beneficiaries and guardians and how much each one is to receive, the Executors, a revocation clause as well as a residuary clause.
4. Can I include money in my CPF account / jointly owned bank accounts and property in my Will?
Not all your assets can be distributed. Money in your CPF account, jointly owned bank accounts and property cannot be included in a Will.
5. Is there government tax on the assets of the estate?
No estate tax is payable in Singapore, unless the date of death is before 15 February 2008.
6. Where should I keep my Will?
You should keep it somewhere where your Executor is able to have access readily to retrieve it.
7. What if I pass on with a Will?
Your Executors will apply for a Grant of Probate. The Grant of Probate will give your executors the power to administer your estate, in accordance with your Will.
8. What if I pass on without a Will?
Some disadvantages of not having a Will may result in your estate not being distributed according to your intentions or that you would not be able to decide who would be your children’s guardian. If you pass on without a Will, then a Letter of Administration has to be applied for at court in order to appoint a person as the administrator in order to manage your estate. The state can direct the distribution of your assets according to the Intestate Succession Act, which follows a priority of distribution. This means that you will not have a choice of the person who would be distributing and administering your estate. Making a Will is planning for the future. Because of the onerous requirements of a Will, engaging a professional adviser such as a lawyer to devise the Will is advisable.