When a person (non-Muslim) dies without leaving a will, he is said to have died intestate. Sometimes, even if a person has a will, the will may not be properly drafted and certain assets are left out of the will. These assets will fall into intestacy.
In Singapore, The Intestate Succession Act (Cap. 146) applies in these situations. According to the law, regardless what the person may have intended, the remaining assets will be distributed as below:
|A Person Dies Leaving:||Distributed to:|
|Spouse (no children, no parent)||> Spouse (whole)|
|Spouse, children||> Spouse (1/2)
> Children (1/2 to be shared equally)
|Spouse , parent(s) (no children)||> Spouse (1/2)
> Parent(s) (1/2 to be shared equally between surviving parents)
|Parents(s), children||> Children (whole to be shared equally)|
|Parent(s) (no children, no spouse)||> Parent(s) (whole to be shared equally between surviving parents)|
|Brothers and sisters and their children (no spouse, no children, no parent)||> Brothers and sisters and children of deceased brother or sister (whole to be shared equally)|
|Grandparents (no spouse, no children, no parents, no brothers or sisters and descendants of deceased brother or sister)||> Grandparent(s) (whole to be shared equally among surviving grandparents)|
|Uncles and Aunts (no spouse, no children, no parent, no brother or sister, no grandparent)||> Uncles and aunts (whole to be shared equally among surviving uncles and aunts)|
|No spouse, no children, no parent, no brother or sister, no grandparent, no uncle or aunt||> Government (whole)|
If you do not have a will, the law decides how your assets are distributed, even if the consequences may seem unfair and undesirable. There are many cases where the remaining family and relatives fell apart due to fight over the distribution of the assets. Your hard-earned money may be given to people whom you don’t like or someone whom you don’t even know. It is simply common sense that you make sure that you have a valid and up-to-date will.
There are many other practical difficulties to distribute assets without a will. As a Professional Estate Planner, I am able to help you set up a proper will with professional will writing firms.
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