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Common myths about making a will

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  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    265,302 posts since Dec '99
    • Common myths about making a will that we need to stop believing now


      Myth 1: Making a will is expensive and only for rich people.

      Most people only require a simple will that will cost a few hundred dollars to have a professional draft for them. Many people in Singapore are “asset rich but cash poor”. While they may not have large amounts of ready cash at their disposal, many people in Singapore are putting away money towards their home, which alone is often worth at least half a million dollars in today’s prices, and likely to increase over the years. It only takes a small investment to ensure that your assets (which may number in the millions in a couple of years) are properly distributed after you are gone.


      Myth 2: I will just leave everything to my spouse

      That’s fine most of the time, but what happens if your spouse passes on before you? Or if you both pass on together (such as during a car accident). What if at some point your spouse remarries, or has children or step-children with another partner? By making out a will you can ensure that your estate is distributed in the way that you want, to protect the legacy that you leave behind, in a way that does not disadvantage your spouse. Another important aspect of your will would be to designate a guardian for your children if they are still minors when you pass on.


      Myth 3: My family will sort out my estate for me

      If a person passes on without a will, in Singapore the Intestate Succession Act (the “Act”) will apply, but only to provide for default and very general rules as to how a person’s estate shall be distributed. For example, under the Act, siblings often do not receive any portion of an estate unless the person passed on without being survived by any spouse, parents, or issue. In addition, there is an issue of appointing an administrator of the estate. Since there is more than one person who will be eligible to administer your estate under the Act, disputes may arise between beneficiaries as to who should administer your estate.


      Myth 4: I’m still young and don’t need a will

      The reality is, we will never know for sure when and how we will pass on. In the absence of a will, issues such as the appointment of guardians, and distribution of monies may take many months, sometimes years if there is lengthy litigation, to resolve. In the meantime, life for our loved ones such as young children are severely disrupted especially if they have no means of supporting themselves in the meantime.


      Myth 5: Executors cannot be beneficiaries in a will

      There are no restrictions at law in appointing a beneficiary of your will to be an executor as well.


      Myth 6: A will and its contents remain private forever

      Although it is recommended that you keep the contents of your will private and confidential, eventually its contents will be made public upon your passing. This is because probate is a public legal proceeding, the details of your estate may be publicly accessed by practically anyone. Including busybody neighbours and companies looking to sell your beneficiaries products and services. They can find out things such as the balance in your savings account, the properties you own, and the like. If you are interested in exploring possibilities in keeping your private affairs confidential, do consider speaking to a competent estate planning lawyer.



  • Tactical Boots's Avatar
    11 posts since May '17
    • You're right, making a will is important and we shouldn't let misconceptions stop us from doing so. Thanks for busting the myths :) 

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