Passing Away Without a Will- How Will Division of Assets be Determined?
If someone were to pass away without a Will in Singapore, Section 7 of the Intestate Succession Act will determine the division of his/ her assets.
If the deceased is married with children, half of his/ her assets will go to his/ her spouse and half to his/ her children.
If the deceased is survived by his/ her parents and spouse, half of his/ her assets will go to his/ her spouse and half to his/ her parents.
If the deceased is unmarried, his/ her parents will get all the assets.
Siblings will receive the assets in equal proportions if the deceased is unmarried and his/ her parents are no longer around.
Grandparents will receive the assets in equal proportions if the deceased is unmarried, has no living parents and siblings.
Uncles and aunties will receive the assets in equal proportions if the deceased is unmarried, has no living parents, siblings and grandparents.
These rules do not apply to Muslims.
The next-of-kin should apply to Court for a grant of letters of administration (i.e. an order for authorizing the administrator to administer the estate and distribute the assets according to the rules in the Intestate Succession Act).
Disadvantages of Passing Away Without a Will
The biggest disadvantage of passing away without a Will is that you are not able to decide who gets your assets. For instance, consider the following scenario:
1. You are married without children. Your parents are alive.
2. Your spouse passes away shortly after you.
3. If you do not have a Will, half of your assets will be inherited by your spouse. Subsequently, your spouse’s family members (instead of yours) will inherit 50% of your assets from your spouse.
4. This may not be in accordance to your wishes.
What You Should Do
You may wish to consider making a Will. When making a Will, you should consider:
1. The assets you own.
2. Who should inherit the assets you own and in what proportions?
3. Who do you wish to appoint as your executor (i.e. a trusted person appointed to administer your estate and distribute your assets)?
4. Who do you wish to appoint as guardian of your children, if you have children under the age of 21?
5. Do you have a preferred funeral arrangement which you wish to indicate in your Will?
You are able to prepare your own Will. However, you should take note of legal requirements of a valid Will. For instance, the signing of the Will should be witnessed by 2 witnesses. If you have a minor beneficiary in your Will, you should appoint 2 executors.
Alternatively, you may wish to appoint a Will lawyer to assist you in preparing your Will. Even though it may cost slightly more, you are assured that the legal requirements of a valid Will are met. You are also assured that the Will is worded in a manner such that your wishes are succinctly crafted and easily understood.
Contact us at +6598330314 (whatsapp) for more information on writing a Will in Singapore.
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