Quick Guide to the Different Types of Wills
Possibly life-changing, the will is one of the most important documents that you need to have. This article is a quick and simple guide to all you need to know about wills.
What is a will and why do you need it?
It is a document that encompasses your instructions and wishes on how you want your assets (money, property, possessions etc) to be distributed after your passing. Essentially, your will is a medium that conveys your intentions when you are no longer physically around. Therefore, should you happen to pass on without a will, not only do you rob yourself of your voice, but your assets will also not be distributed according to your wishes.
In Singapore, a person’s assets in the absence of a will is distributed according to prevailing intestacy laws. For example, if you are married with children, your assets will automatically be distributed to your spouse (50%) and children (remaining 50% split equally amongst them) even though you might want to also provide for your elderly parents or siblings.
In short, without a will, your wishes may not be fulfilled.
What are the different types of wills and how can they be used?
There are a variety of wills available to meet the different needs of individuals. In this section, we will cover the 4 most common ones.
- Testamentary will
- A testamentary will is prepared and signed in the presence of two witnesses. You can either draft it yourself or hire lawyers to do it for you. This document is useful as it can prevent potential contestations made by family members or business partners.
- Online will
- Bypassing the traditional method of drafting up wills through lawyers, the online will is created online, DIY. Needless to say, it comes at a fraction of the cost. It is prudent to check the authority and legality of these services before proceeding.
The heritance app offers affordable online will drafting services in accordance with Singapore law. Learn more about heritance here!
- Joint wills
- Joint wills are usually made by married couples. This single legal document is made by two individuals and is unchangeable when a partner dies. This document helps to ensure that the surviving partner will not change his/her mind when the other partner passes away
- Mutual will
- Another will that is usually made by married couples, a mutual will refers to 2 separate wills with similar contents. It is mutually binding as each party will sign a separate agreement not to revoke the mutual will without the consent of the other party.
Who should have a will?
As long as you are above the age of 21, you should have a will! Everyone has a loved one in their life to pass something on to. Even if you do not want to give something to your family or friends, you can always choose to give to a charitable or religious organisation.
Writing a will may still be a foreign concept to many. Perhaps this is because it reminds us of our mortality or one may have certain misconceptions about the necessity to write a will. However, spending time to write a will is one of the best things we can do for our loved ones and ourselves. Do not leave the distribution of your assets to default, but take charge of yours and your family’s future today.
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- Singapore Statutes Online. (22 November, 2021). Intestate Succession Act. Retrieved from Singapore Statutes Online: https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/ISA1967#:~:text=If%20an%20intestate%20dies%20leaving%20a%20surviving%20spouse%20and%20issue,one%2Dhalf%20of%20the%20estate.&text=If%20an%20intestate%20dies%20leaving%20a%20surviving%20spouse%20and%20no,other%20half%20of%20the%20
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