What is a Will?


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According to the Wills Act,

a will includes a testament and an appointment by will or by writing in the nature of a will in exercise of a power and also a disposition by will and testament and any other testamentary disposition.

In other words, it is a legal document to appoint someone who you trust (aka executor) to carry out your instructions on how to manage your estate upon death.

What can a Will do?

The testator can use a will to appoint an executor to manage both personal estate and real estate.

Example of Personal Estate: Moneys, shares of a company, intellectual property, animals

Example of Real Estate: Land

At the same time, a will can be used to appoint guardians of minor children.

Moreover, the testator can include a letter of wishes to express his final words, statement of encouragement and love for his loved ones.

What are the requirements to make a valid Will?

There are 3 requirements to make a valid will.

1. The will has to be made in writing and the testator must sign at the foot of the will.

2. The testator must sign the will in the presence of at least two witnesses.

3. The witnesses must sign as witness in the presence of the testator.

Who can make a Will?

Anyone who is at least 21 years old and of sound mind can make a will. Besides, it is worth noting that the beneficiaries and the spouse of the beneficiaries should not sign as the witness in the will. Otherwise, they will not be entitled to any gifts in the will.

SEE ALSO:  The Probate Process on Dying with a Will in Singapore

Privileged Will: A will made by an individual (can be under 21 years old) who is in active military service or a mariner or seaman

When is a Will activated?

A will is activated upon the death of the testator. To prevent confusion, only gifts that are present at the time of death is distributed according to the will. Such gifts do not have to be existent at the point of drafting the will.

Furthermore, a will is revocable and there are four ways to revoke a will.

Do I need a Will?

A will is a simple and responsible way to manage my assets upon my death. Above all, it cuts the queue on the lengthy administrative process for my family to find out what are my assets, who should distribute my assets, and how much each person should receive (though this is often fixed by the Intestate Succession Act). What’s more, items that are of value to me might seem worthless to others, e.g. my stamp collection.

My 20 year old stamp collection
My 20 year old stamp collection

So, what is a will? To me, it is a simple document that keeps my family together and to preserve things the way I want it to be.

Share Your Thoughts 💭

1️⃣ Have you written your own Will?

2️⃣ Do you think a Will is necessary in Singapore?

3️⃣ What are your considerations when drafting a Will?


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