Basics of Writing a Will in Singapore
When making a Will or Writing a Will in Singapore there are really only 2 things you absolutely must get right. They’ve both “non-negotiable”.
First, your Will must say how your estate (ie everything you own) is to divided between your beneficiaries.
Second, you must comply with all the formalities set out in the Wills Act (Cap. 352).
Until you get these 2 things right you’ve failed to get the very basics of writing a Will in Singapore right.
Aren’t there other things that’s just as essential?
Beyond these 2 things everything else (no matter how important they may be) doesn’t stop your Will from having effect.
So, whether your Will says or not say where your ashes should be kept or what should happen to your pet dog they don’t matter. At least they don’t matter as much.
To be clear we are not talking about all of the requirements for a valid Will which can be found here : https://ezwills.com.sg/valid-will/. We are only talking about the very absolute minimum before a Will becomes invalid or fails completely.
The purpose of writing a Will Singapore residents/Singaporeans must remember
The purpose of a Will is to make sure that your family and loved ones are provided for.
People with no experience or limited experience in drafting or writing wills start by listing every important asset they have. They then try to make sure all assets are listed in the Will and beneficiaries named for each asset. This is a basic, ‘rookie’ mistake.
How to start writing your Will
Begin by drawing up a list of everyone that’s important to you, your family members and loved ones.
Then decide how your entire estate is to be divided between each of your beneficiaries.
Whether your estate should be divided equally or unequally and in what proportion between your beneficiaries is up to you.
So long as your Will lists who is to benefit from your Will and what each person gets you’ll the most important part is done. If your entire estate is divided equally or by proportion rather than by individual asset you’re good. You won’t end up with any part of your estate falling into intestacy.
You must comply with all formalities
Under the Wills Act your Will is not valid until you have signed the end of your Will before at least two adults witnesses. Both witnesses must be present to see you sign your Will. Then all three of you must also be present when each of your witnesses signs the Will as your witnesses. Your Will is NOT valid unless and until this is done correctly.
Say after you and the 1st witness both sign your Will, whilst the 2nd witness is about to sign as witness the 1st witness leaves the room and does not see the 2nd witness sign. If this happens not all the formalities are met. The Will you signed is not valid.
So if your Will clearly everything you own amongst your beneficiaries and all the formalities of signing are done properly you will have a valid Will.
It’s really that simple.
Of course, you should say in your Will who you want to be your executor and trustee.
However, even if you forget to appoint an executer, made an invalid appointment or otherwise mess up the appointment of your executor the Will itself will still be valid so long as you state how your estate is to be distributed and the Will is properly signed,
Now if you choose to use EzWills to make your own Will then our guided process will ensure that you do not overlook anything. Just start the process here: https://ezwills.com.sg/get-started/ .
26 March 2022