Making a Will in Singapore during a pandemic

Why you should make your Will ASAP

Making a Will in Singapore could become trickier with new COVID restrictions announced by the government. As unknown community transmission cases increase the chances of a new Circuit Breaker being announced becomes greater.

Why should CB make it trickier to make a Will?

During the last CB the government did allow various exemptions.

It was widely believed that you could continue to make a Will even during CB but is that view correct?

Essential Legal services

During the last CB the Govt announced the following:

“Urgent and essential Wills and Probate related services (for example the drafting of wills and execution of lasting powers of attorney for the vulnerable) required within the period 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020 (both dates inclusive), for which no deferment may be made”.

When are legal services ‘essential’?

There appears to be a qualification that applies BEFORE the making of a Will can be said to be “essential”. The qualification is that the Wil must be one “for which no deferment may be made”.

When is a Will one that cannot be deferred?

If the will maker is gravely and terminally ill there can be no argument. However, can you say the Will cannot be deferred if a person tests positive for COVID-19?

Considering that a COVID-19 patient could be asymptomatic is such a person able to argue that for him making a Will cannot be deferred?

The answer may be irrelevant. After all anyone who isn’t terminally ill cannot really say that his Will cannot be deferred.

If the ability to defer the will making is the sole determining factor does that mean the making of a Will by anyone other than a terminally ill person is non-essential?

What does a reduced group size of 2 mean when making a Will?

Assuming we don’t care about the niceties and just wish to make a Will regardless. Why should a CB stop you making a Will then?

Well, for a Will to be valid it must be signed by the will maker. The signing must occur in the presence of at least 2 other persons.

So at least 3 persons must be at the same place at the same time.

During a CB you are not allowed to be present with 2 other persons unless an essential service is being provided.

Other than a terminally ill person making a Will it may not be possible for anyone else to make a Will if a CB is announced. It seems that way.

So please consider making a Will sooner rather than later. Just in case of a CB.

Postscript

When this post was added to our blog on 11 May you could be in a group of 5 persons. It has now been announced that from 16 May group size is reduced from 5 to 2.

Anyone making a Will on 15 May can have peace of mind.

11 May 2021.

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