Guide to making a will in Singapore
The Wills Act governs the making of a Will in Singapore. The Wills Act states that a testator (the person making the Will) may devise, bequeath or dispose of his real or personal estate via a Will.
The following contains the key points concerning Will writing in Singapore. Please note that this article is meant as a general guide. For more specific advice relating to your situation, you should consult a reputable wills lawyer.
Requirements of a valid Will
In general, when preparing a will, the following must be in place.
- The Will must be written.
- To make the Will, the testator must be of at least 21 years of age.
- Upon preparation by the testator, the Will must be committed with their signature at the foot of the will.
- After the preparation of the Will, 2 witnesses must be present to witness the signing of the Will by the testator. The witnesses must also leave their signatures on the Will in the presence of the testator.
- The 2 witnesses present must not be beneficiaries of the Will.
Recommended clauses in a Will
When making a Will, you should include the following clauses:
- Your personal particulars and information.
- A revocation clause to revoke any previous Will that was made previously.
- Your marital status.
- The name of your executor(s) who will execute your written Will. A beneficiary of the Will may also be appointed as the executor.
- Appointment of up to 2 guardians to take care of any minor children.
- The name of the beneficiary or beneficiaries who will receive the assets.
- The percentage of your assets each beneficiary is to receive.
- A residuary clause on how to distribute remaining assets based on your wishes.
CPF money may not be included inside a written will. As such, if you wish to distribute the money inside your CPF account upon your passing, you will need to nominate a beneficiary for your CPF account. This can be done with the CPF Board. Each nominated person will receive a portion of your CPF money as indicated in your nomination. If no nomination has been made, the money inside your CPF account will be automatically transferred to the Public Trustee’s Office and made available to your next of kin.
What happens after the Will has been prepared?
Once you have done up your Will, please keep it in a safe place and inform the executor and your family about the Will.
Make a fresh Will upon marriage and divorce
You should keep in mind that if you get married, any Will you did before your marriage will automatically become invalid unless you had indicated in your Will that it was made in contemplation of marriage. However, in the case of a divorce, the reverse is true – any Will you made before the divorce remains valid.
Remember these 2 simple rules: your old Will is revoked upon marriage. However, it is not revoked upon divorce.
Wills writing services by PKWA Law
While not a mandatory requirement, engaging a reputable wills lawyer is recommended. A lawyer is governed by the Law Society and must observe certain careful rules when drafting a Will. For example, a trained lawyer will determine if the instructions received are indeed from the client and are given without duress. Further, a lawyer is covered by insurance. Professional advice from a trained lawyer will thus help you devise the necessary content to include in a will, preventing unnecessary losses, conflicts or confusion in the long run.
PKWA Law has over 30 years of experience in estate planning and we work with our clients to customize a plan that achieves each client’s specific goals. Our family lawyers and estate planners will help you to draft your Will, create a Trust to protect your assets, draft your Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), make your CPF nomination.
PKWA family lawyers are consistently named as leading Singapore lawyers by the Straits Times, Benchmark Litigation, Asian Legal Business, Singapore Business Review, and Doyle’s Guide. Our firm has more than 130 employees and 30 years of history.
Our fees are fixed, clear and transparent