What is a Will?

A Will is a document made to provide for the administration and distribution of a person’s estate (assets such as savings, cars, properties and insurance policies)
upon his/her death.

Form

There is no specific format for a will. It does not have to be drawn by a lawyer or any other specific professional.  However, there are certain rules and governing principles that must be followed or the document may not be considered as effective and legally binding.

Basic Rules

If you are making a Will, the rules to follow will include the following:-

You must be above 21 (however, if you are a soldier in active military service, or a mariner or a seaman at
sea, you may make a Will even though you are below 21 years of age).
Your will must be written.
You must sign the Will before at least 2 witnesses.
The witnesses must be present at the same time.
The witnesses must not be beneficiaries or a spouse of any beneficiary.
The witnesses must be above 21.

Contents

Your Will should include:

A list of all your assets & liabilities (with instructions on how you want to settle them)
Name of your beneficiaries & what each will receive
Name of your executors whom you trust to execute your wishes
Name of a trustee if you have beneficiaries who are young or incapable of handling large sums of money
A residuary clause that distributes any remainder of your estate not covered above.

Making Known Your Will

You should let your family and your executors know that you have a Will and where you have kept it. You may also deposit information of your Will with the
Wills Registry maintained by the Insolvency and Public Trustee’s Office.

The registration at the Wills Registry is not compulsory, but it provides a simple means for your family to ascertain the location of your Will when you pass away.

All information deposited with the Wills Registry is confidential. Only the following people may make a search for information related to a Will:-

· The person who made the Will.
· The solicitor who is helping someone draw up any further Will.
· The solicitor acting for the estate of someone who has died.
· The next-of-kin of someone who has died if they produce the death certificate and documents showing their relationship to the person who has died.

 

You do not need a lawyer to make a Will, but it may be a good idea to seek advice if you are unsure of all the legal formalities of drafting and signing to make a Will a valid and effective one.

 

References and Related Links –

Planning Your Estate

Guides For Wills Registry

Public Trustee

CPF Nomination

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