Picture this: you’ve worked hard your entire life, accumulating assets and building a legacy.

But what if, upon your passing, 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 of what the person (non-Muslim) may have intended, the remaining assets will be distributed as below:

If you do not have a will, the law decides how your assets are distributed, even if the consequences may seem unfair and undesirable. So what to do if you want to decide how to distribute your assets?

You need to write a will.

Why does a Will matter to you?

It’s crucial to understand the consequences of intestacy to ensure your hard-earned assets are distributed according to your wishes.

Dying intestate can lead to undesired consequences, including disputes among family members and distributing assets against your wishes.

To ensure your assets are distributed as you intend, it is crucial to have a valid and up-to-date will.

There are many cases where the remaining family and relatives fell apart due to a fight over the distribution of the assets.

A real case example of this is the story of Mr Tan, who died in 2019 without leaving a will. He had two sons and a daughter from his first marriage, and a son from his second marriage. His second wife predeceased him in 2018. According to the intestacy laws, his estate was divided equally among his four children. However, his daughter from his first marriage claimed that she had contributed more to his care and expenses than her brothers and that she deserved a larger share of his estate. She also accused her half-brother of hiding some of her father’s assets and manipulating him before his death. This led to a bitter legal battle that lasted more than a year and strained the family relationships.

This case illustrates the potential problems that can arise when you die without a will. If Mr Tan had written a will, he could have specified how he wanted his estate to be distributed and avoided the conflict among his children. He could have also appointed an executor to administer his estate and ensure that his wishes were carried out.

Writing a will is not difficult

Writing a will is not difficult or expensive. You can consult a lawyer or engage a professional will writer. The important thing is to make sure that your will is valid, clear and up-to-date. Doing so, can protect your loved ones and give yourself peace of mind.

To help you have a deeper understanding of the subject of will writing. We are hosting an online workshop via Zoom. In this Legacy Planning workshop, you will learn

  • What are the consequences if you do not have a will
  • Common misconceptions about writing a will
  • Tips and tricks when writing a will
  • What is Lasting Power of Attorney and why is it important
  • How to do an LPA

If you do not want your hard-earned money to be given to people you don’t like or someone you don’t even know, it is simply common sense to get your will done.

Scan the QR code below to register for the webinar to learn more about will writing and LPA.

About the Author

Ivan Guan is the author of the popular book "FIRE Your Retirement". He is an independent financial adviser with more than a decade of knowledge and experience in providing financial advisory services to both individuals and businesses. He specializes in investment planning and portfolio management for early retirement. His blog provides practical financial tips, strategies and resources to help people achieve financial freedom. Follow his Telegram Channel to join the FIRE community.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This does not reflect the official position of any agency, organization, employer or company. Refer to full disclaimers here.

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