When you are preparing a Will and planning to give your assets to your beneficiaries after your demise, you may not feel that your beneficiaries will outlive you. However, that is a possibility, especially since you do not know what is going to happen in the future. In the event that you outlive your beneficiaries, or if your beneficiaries pass on shortly after you, a predeceased clause in Will or a survivorship clause in Singapore will be very helpful.
If the Beneficiary Dies Before the Testator (i.e. Person Making the Will)
Under normal circumstances, the beneficiary needs to survive the deceased in order to receive his/ her share of the estate. If the beneficiary were to predecease the deceased, his/ her share will be split according to the residuary clause in the Will. A residuary clause will indicate how residuary assets not covered specifically in the Will are dealt with.
In the event that the beneficiary to the residual clause were to predecease the testator, the assets will be distributed according to Section 7 of the Intestate Succession Act.
To avoid this kind of situation, you may wish to insert a predeceased clause in your Will.
For instance, you may decide to give the share of assets due to the deceased beneficiary to his/ her children. If you wish for beneficiary X to be given 10% of your assets, you may have a predeceased clause in your Will to state:
“If X does not survive me, I give 10% of my assets to X’s children in equal shares.”
You may also decide to give the share of assets due to the deceased beneficiary to your remaining beneficiaries. For instance, if you have 5 beneficiaries (excluding beneficiary X) you may give X’s share to the remaining beneficiaries (at 2% each).
If the Beneficiary Dies Shortly After the Testator
In such a case, a survivorship clause in Singapore will be helpful. This will include the minimum period that the beneficiary will have to outlive the deceased in order to inherit the assets. The survivorship period can be as short as 1 day or as long as 6 months.
An example of a survivorship clause in Singapore will look like this:
“None of the gifts provided for in this Will shall take effect unless the beneficiaries stated herein survive me for a period of 30 days.”
You can also indicate alternate beneficiaries if your intended beneficiary does not outlive you for the survivorship period.
A survivorship clause in Singapore will be helpful to ensure that your assets are given to your intended beneficiaries. In the unfortunate case that your intended beneficiary passes on shortly after you, he/ she may inherit your assets and his/ her beneficiaries may then go on to inherit your assets in chain.
If There is No Will
In the event that you did not prepare a Will, the rules of succession under Section 7 of the Intestate Succession Act will apply. You will have less control over the issue on the division of your assets. Hence, it is highly recommended that you execute a Will.
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