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International wills in Singapore

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 25 Feb 2014 11:09 pm

PNGMK wrote:All you guys seem to be planning to die with assets. I'm going to die monstrously in debt.


I don't want to screw anybody, and as someone else said, "I want the last check I write to bounce".

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Postby Beeroclock » Tue, 25 Feb 2014 11:26 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:Our Singapore wills (I will see if I can find a copy) did reference the USA wills, stating the date and place of the will, and providing instructions that all Singapore funds were to be transferred to the executor of the USA estate for distribution under the US will.
thanks again Strong Eagle, this makes sense I will have to look into doing a simple Singapore will along these lines to supplement my Australian will.

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Postby qwe7410 » Wed, 26 Feb 2014 2:24 am

It depends on where majority of your assets are.

Dividing cash will be easy.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 26 Feb 2014 6:45 am

qwe7410 wrote:It depends on where majority of your assets are.

Dividing cash will be easy.


What is this supposed to mean?

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Postby PNGMK » Wed, 26 Feb 2014 10:12 am

One thing to note is that some (actually quite a few) types of Singapore assets have rules/regs/laws that over-ride wills...

For example:

HDB flats; usually go to the surviving family members (if listed as co-owners).
DPS insurance - goes to the nominated person/s
CPF - goes to the nominated person/s CPF acc.
Joint accounts (in a bank if named Mr Smith And/Or Mrs Smith) to the survivor AFAIK.
Cash/Jewellery in the house - to whoever gets their hands on it.
Private property can be held as tenants in common so the survivor gets it.
Cars - to the survivor if jointly named.
Share/broker accounts can be jointly held as well.
Insurance - to the nominated beneficiaries.

You 'almost' don't need a will in Singapore except for taking care of minor children (i.e. nominating guardians and setting up trusts for their education). I honestly believe most Singaporean's don't have a will.

My wife has one for her US affairs and I have one for my children's welfare.

The main concern is if we're in a plane/auto crash together. That's the one even we need to plan for.

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Postby Beeroclock » Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:17 am

PNGMK wrote:One thing to note is that some (actually quite a few) types of Singapore assets have rules/regs/laws that over-ride wills...

For example:

HDB flats; usually go to the surviving family members (if listed as co-owners).
DPS insurance - goes to the nominated person/s
CPF - goes to the nominated person/s CPF acc.
Joint accounts (in a bank if named Mr Smith And/Or Mrs Smith) to the survivor AFAIK.
Cash/Jewellery in the house - to whoever gets their hands on it.
Private property can be held as tenants in common so the survivor gets it.
Cars - to the survivor if jointly named.
Share/broker accounts can be jointly held as well.
Insurance - to the nominated beneficiaries.

You 'almost' don't need a will in Singapore except for taking care of minor children (i.e. nominating guardians and setting up trusts for their education). I honestly believe most Singaporean's don't have a will.

My wife has one for her US affairs and I have one for my children's welfare.

The main concern is if we're in a plane/auto crash together. That's the one even we need to plan for.
Thanks PNGMK, yes guardianship is actually the most important issue for me, and having kids the key prompt to get our wills in order. As I said earlier it can be morbid thinking through the various scenarios but important to plan, get it done, and not to forget having the conversations with the people nominated as executors / guardians to make sure they understand and agree to go ahead with the plan.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 26 Feb 2014 12:18 pm

PNGMK wrote:One thing to note is that some (actually quite a few) types of Singapore assets have rules/regs/laws that over-ride wills...

For example:

HDB flats; usually go to the surviving family members (if listed as co-owners).
DPS insurance - goes to the nominated person/s
CPF - goes to the nominated person/s CPF acc.
Joint accounts (in a bank if named Mr Smith And/Or Mrs Smith) to the survivor AFAIK.
Cash/Jewellery in the house - to whoever gets their hands on it.
Private property can be held as tenants in common so the survivor gets it.
Cars - to the survivor if jointly named.
Share/broker accounts can be jointly held as well.
Insurance - to the nominated beneficiaries.

You 'almost' don't need a will in Singapore except for taking care of minor children (i.e. nominating guardians and setting up trusts for their education). I honestly believe most Singaporean's don't have a will.

My wife has one for her US affairs and I have one for my children's welfare.

The main concern is if we're in a plane/auto crash together. That's the one even we need to plan for.


Actually, most of the stipulations you mentioned hold for the USA as well... and I suspect other countries.

I question your assertion, however, that these stipulations override wills in Singapore. Most places, they come into effect with the absence of a will.

In the USA, insurance beneficiaries are not subject to probate... they get the cash. Same with retirement accounts with a specified beneficiary.

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Postby PNGMK » Wed, 26 Feb 2014 2:57 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
PNGMK wrote:One thing to note is that some (actually quite a few) types of Singapore assets have rules/regs/laws that over-ride wills...

For example:

HDB flats; usually go to the surviving family members (if listed as co-owners).
DPS insurance - goes to the nominated person/s
CPF - goes to the nominated person/s CPF acc.
Joint accounts (in a bank if named Mr Smith And/Or Mrs Smith) to the survivor AFAIK.
Cash/Jewellery in the house - to whoever gets their hands on it.
Private property can be held as tenants in common so the survivor gets it.
Cars - to the survivor if jointly named.
Share/broker accounts can be jointly held as well.
Insurance - to the nominated beneficiaries.

You 'almost' don't need a will in Singapore except for taking care of minor children (i.e. nominating guardians and setting up trusts for their education). I honestly believe most Singaporean's don't have a will.

My wife has one for her US affairs and I have one for my children's welfare.

The main concern is if we're in a plane/auto crash together. That's the one even we need to plan for.


Actually, most of the stipulations you mentioned hold for the USA as well... and I suspect other countries.

I question your assertion, however, that these stipulations override wills in Singapore. Most places, they come into effect with the absence of a will.

In the USA, insurance beneficiaries are not subject to probate... they get the cash. Same with retirement accounts with a specified beneficiary.


Pretty certain they do in almost all cases.... I know there's been major issues with DPS (and other insurances) being paid out to beneficiaries against the direction of a will (or in the lack of a will, the obvious heirs). HDB rules almost certainly override wills. Private property tenants in common definitely protects the other tenants in the even of death of one. Joint accounts are perhaps not exactly protected by are certainly accessible by the survivor. CPF always follow your nomination (which is why lawyers here stress that you need to change your nominations on divorce/death and birth events). Where a will is absolutely needed is when you have a large amount of property held solely in your name and you want is distributed as per your wishes.

My point isn't so much that asset rules over ride the direction of the will but that a lot of assets classes in Singapore have built in provisions for the death of the asset holder (or one of the asset holders) and that if your asset classes are protected in this way, then maybe only an overseas will is needed. An example might be someone who owns a HDB jointly with his wife and has a joint bank account and a CPF account with a nomination and his insurance policies have beneficiaries nominated. Really a will has little point in his case AND I prefer it this way - it is much harder for a disgruntled ex wife to argue out every case with the asset manager than a probate judge with complete authority.... (not that I'm thinking of my own ex wife here) - if the law says my CPF goes to my nominations (my current wife) then there is nothing to challenge really. Unlike a will that might leave nothing to the ex AND doesn't mention specifically why she is excluded and the probate judge decides she has a case to challenge but all the money was spent in legal fees fighting the challenge....

Also - one important point - if you're Muslim in Singapore there is a completely different scenario that applies under Syariah law - the male heirs (sons, brothers) inherit most of the assets of the female heirs (in short - more complex than that).

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Will Providers in Singapore

Postby ComingSoon » Wed, 26 Feb 2014 9:51 pm

Semar wrote:Does someone have contacts for will drafting / registering in Singapore ?


I used http://www.simplywills.com.sg/

It was a good experience and they will probably be fine for most people here. I don't recall the cost, but the second will (for my wife) was a 'mirror will' so it was a bit cheaper than the first will.

Before they create your will they send you a fact find sheet that you are supposed to fill out. I didn't like the idea of sending in private details without seeing where they were going so my wife and I went to the office Tajong Pagar. The main fellow, Patrick, seemed knowledgeable and the whole process was pretty smooth. In fact all the delays were on our end since there are a few decisions you need to make in advance of the will being prepared.

One suggestion I would make to married people is to add their spouses as joint owners of their bank accounts. This means that the money in the bank accounts doesn't have to go through probate since it is held in joint-ownership and automatically reverts to the second owner.

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Postby Semar » Wed, 26 Feb 2014 10:34 pm

Thanks ComingSoon.
Will chek them out.

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Re:

Postby kai810 » Thu, 01 Jun 2017 12:31 pm

PNGMK wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:
PNGMK wrote:One thing to note is that some (actually quite a few) types of Singapore assets have rules/regs/laws that over-ride wills...

For example:

HDB flats; usually go to the surviving family members (if listed as co-owners).
DPS insurance - goes to the nominated person/s
CPF - goes to the nominated person/s CPF acc.
Joint accounts (in a bank if named Mr Smith And/Or Mrs Smith) to the survivor AFAIK.
Cash/Jewellery in the house - to whoever gets their hands on it.
Private property can be held as tenants in common so the survivor gets it.
Cars - to the survivor if jointly named.
Share/broker accounts can be jointly held as well.
Insurance - to the nominated beneficiaries.

You 'almost' don't need a will in Singapore except for taking care of minor children (i.e. nominating guardians and setting up trusts for their education). I honestly believe most Singaporean's don't have a will.

My wife has one for her US affairs and I have one for my children's welfare.

The main concern is if we're in a plane/auto crash together. That's the one even we need to plan for.


Actually, most of the stipulations you mentioned hold for the USA as well... and I suspect other countries.

I question your assertion, however, that these stipulations override wills in Singapore. Most places, they come into effect with the absence of a will.

In the USA, insurance beneficiaries are not subject to probate... they get the cash. Same with retirement accounts with a specified beneficiary.


Pretty certain they do in almost all cases.... I know there's been major issues with DPS (and other insurances) being paid out to beneficiaries against the direction of a will (or in the lack of a will, the obvious heirs). HDB rules almost certainly override wills. Private property tenants in common definitely protects the other tenants in the even of death of one. Joint accounts are perhaps not exactly protected by are certainly accessible by the survivor. CPF always follow your nomination (which is why lawyers here stress that you need to change your nominations on divorce/death and birth events). Where a will is absolutely needed is when you have a large amount of property held solely in your name and you want is distributed as per your wishes.

My point isn't so much that asset rules over ride the direction of the will but that a lot of assets classes in Singapore have built in provisions for the death of the asset holder (or one of the asset holders) and that if your asset classes are protected in this way, then maybe only an overseas will is needed. An example might be someone who owns a HDB jointly with his wife and has a joint bank account and a CPF account with a nomination and his insurance policies have beneficiaries nominated. Really a will has little point in his case AND I prefer it this way - it is much harder for a disgruntled ex wife to argue out every case with the asset manager than a probate judge with complete authority.... (not that I'm thinking of my own ex wife here) - if the law says my CPF goes to my nominations (my current wife) then there is nothing to challenge really. Unlike a will that might leave nothing to the ex AND doesn't mention specifically why she is excluded and the probate judge decides she has a case to challenge but all the money was spent in legal fees fighting the challenge....

Also - one important point - if you're Muslim in Singapore there is a completely different scenario that applies under Syariah law - the male heirs (sons, brothers) inherit most of the assets of the female heirs (in short - more complex than that).


Hi Hi,

Sorry to reply to such an old post but can't help to correct some misconceptions here.

Most of the items mentioned above like HDB distribution etc are mostly accurate except for some that I think need to be better clarified.

HDB Flats / Private property

Depends on the ownership – Sole Name / Joint Tenancy (based on survivorship) / Tenancy in Common (based on percentage agreed – may not be so good for business owners who are personal guarantors for bank loans)

For HDB flats - Tenancy in Common might be tricky.

You can’t own 2 HDB flats in Singapore. E.g. Husband 50%, Wife 50%. Husband passes away and his 50% forms part of his estate for distribution. If he has children, estate distribution becomes Wife 50%, children 50%. (Intestate Succession Act, if without a Will)

Since the house is part of that estate, the children has to sell back their share to their mother if they are already HDB owners themselves or they have to apply for the HDB flat to be held in Trust for the mother (subject to approval from HDB)

CPF – Goes to nominated person(s) but not in CPF, but cash or bank transfer.
Processing time: about 5 weeks. Bypasses the Will. (Nominations are revoked by marriage)

Insurance – nominated beneficiaries… bypasses the Will as well. Fuss free way to pass on your inheritance. However one thing to note is if your policy is bought before Sept 2009 and your named beneficiary is your e.g. Ex-Wife, you cannot change the beneficiary without his/her consent (Section 73 trust)

A good will should also encompass a Total Disaster Clause.

Writing your own will is possible but risky… any mistakes made will render it useless and revert your estate distribution back to following the state law of the country.

Joint Accounts also bypasses Wills but case to note is this: if your joint account is with e.g. Child A and you pass on without a Will… Child B and C etc can contest in court that the Joint Account is held in Trust, and not for Child A to inherit.

Anyone in the midst of divorce should do a Will fast… Divorce takes time to finalize (months/years). If anything were to happen before that, your estate will still be distributed to your current spouse a.k.a ex-honey.

Best advice to all is find a proper Will consultant that does financial planning too.
Cheers!


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