A recent Straits Times article commented on a recent landmark ruling by the Singapore Court of Appeal regarding joint tenancy.

When a property is held in joint tenancy, it means that the co-owner has the automatic right to inherit the property (the law of survivorship) upon the death of the other co-owner. However, the recent case on appeal accorded some leeway to this law when it ruled that the surviving joint owner of a property will not have this automatic right to inherit it if it was clearly not intended to be so by the co-owner.

More details of the case may be found in the Straits Times article. However, it suffices to say that properties are one of the most common assets held by Singaporeans. After all, our home ownership rate is at 90%, one of the highest among market economies.[1] Therefore it is inevitable that property disputes are common, especially when properties are not passed down properly via a will.

In the article, the author suggested various ways to mitigate joint ownership disputes. One of the ways was for joint owners to take an extra step to record their intention in unequivocal terms, that the inclusion of a name as joint owner is purely for administrative convenience, and that the joint owner has no intention to give the property to the other joint owner. In this digital age, digital proof such as a Whatsapp message or email would also suffice as a record of said intention.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Enter the heritance App.

With our Memory Time Capsule (MTC) feature, you can upload a memory to record the day that you added someone as a joint owner to the property. You can write your intentions in the description box, that you added this name out of administrative convenience and you do not intend to give the property to this person. Schedule the MTC to be released upon your demise. This MTC can also be added as a clause in your SmartWill.

And voila! Upon your demise, you have the requisite proof encapsulated neatly in your SmartWill, and you will be able to go in peace, knowing that your family will not be torn apart by a piece of property.

It is a responsible act to do a proper will.

Get started with the heritance App and explore the MTC and SmartWill features today!

Read more about what the heritance App can do here!


[1] https://www.adb.org/publications/housing-policies-singapore