In Singapore, writing a will can be a straightforward process – so why do so many people still put it off?
Writing a will is probably not a topic that comes up much at dinnertime conversation – and it’s not hard to see why. Part of it is due to a general discomfort around talking about death, but a bigger part is due to the many misconceptions surrounding legacy planning. For example, many people still think writing a will is something exclusively done by wealthy people with plenty of assets.
That’s simply not true.
It’s important for every person to put a will in place as it ensures your loved ones will be financially taken care of even when you’re no longer around. A will is a legally binding document that outlines which assets you’ll like to apportion and includes a clear set of instructions on how to carry out your wishes after you pass away.
In this article, we clear up five common misconceptions about writing a will:
Misconception 1: It’s only for the rich
As long as you have some form of assets – be it property, cash, stocks or life insurance payouts – that you would like to pass on after you die, you should prepare a will. This ensures your hard-earned money goes to your intended beneficiaries and prevents any disputes that may arise. A will also specifies who will execute your will and who will be appointed as the legal guardian of your minor children should both parents pass away. In other words, a will is more than just about your assets – it is also about the care of your loved ones, and entrusting your assets to be handled by someone you know/trust.
Misconception 2: It’s complicated
Writing a will does not have to be a complicated process. In fact, MoneyOwl offers a convenient will writing service that takes just 10 minutes to complete. All you need is to prepare the full name and identification numbers of your beneficiaries and executor(s) and how you would like your assets distributed. Once you’re done, you just need to download and print your will, and get two witnesses to sign it – and you’re done! This will can be updated at any time on our platform, free of charge. Just note that your witnesses have to be more than 21 years old and cannot be your spouse and/or a beneficiary of the will.
Misconception 3: It’s expensive
Many people put off writing their will because they think it’ll involve exorbitant lawyer fees or forking out a large sum of money to a financial adviser. That’s not true. As mentioned above, MoneyOwl offers a simple and convenient way to write your will – and at absolutely no cost. All you need is to get two witnesses to sign on every page of the printed document and it will be legally admissible.
Misconception 4: I need a lawyer in order to draft a will
In Singapore, all the law requires for a will to be legally binding is that the will was written in sound mind and that it is endorsed by two witnesses. As demonstrated above, MoneyOwl has made the process even easier by having everything automated online. All you need to do is key in your information, print out your will and get it endorsed by two witnesses.
Misconception 5: I can distribute my CPF funds via my will
Unfortunately, your CPF funds cannot be distributed through a will. To ensure your CPF funds get channelled to the intended beneficiary after you pass on, the law requires you to make a nomination via the CPF website or in person. The nomination allows you to specify the person(s) and/or organisation(s) that will receive your CPF savings after you pass on and in your specified proportion. If no nomination is made, the authorities will fall back on intestacy laws to determine who gets your CPF savings.