After the signing of your Will, the next step is to contemplate about Will custody in Singapore.
Having a Will alone does not solve all problems. Your executor will need to know where your Will is kept, so that he/ she is able to apply to the Family Justice Courts for grant of probate. Getting a grant of probate will allow your executor to administer your estate. Without the original Will, your executor will have difficulties in applying for the grant of probate to administer your estate.
Safe Will custody in Singapore is important and you need to take this seriously. Your Will should be kept in a safe location where it cannot be easily destroyed and tampered with. A tampered Will that is destroyed will result in problems when your executor applies for the grant of probate. There may even be legal disputes over the validity of your Will.
Keeping Your Will at Home
While it is fine to leave your Will at home, you should keep it in a safe location at home. For instance, it should not be in a place where your family members/ helper may inadvertently (without knowing what the document is) find it and throw it away. Your executor should also know the exact location where the Will is kept to avoid a situation where your executor needs to comb your home to locate the Will before applying for grant of probate.
Keeping Your Will with Third Parties
If keeping your Will at home is not an option, there are professional Will custody services in Singapore that you may consider. For instance, some companies offer to keep a soft-copy of your signed Will and keeping the original signed document in a fire-proof and water-proof vault- preventing damage and tampering.
You may also consider depositing your Will with local banks’ safe deposit box services. You may also keep other valuables in the safe deposit box.
Wills Registry in Singapore
The Wills Registry is not an option for Will custody in Singapore. The original Will is not kept by the Wills Registry in Singapore. Rather, the Wills Registry collect the following information from the testator:
1. Details of the testator (i.e. person making the Will)
2. Date of Will (this is important if the testator had a previous Will and made amendments to his/ her Will).
3. Details of the preparer of the Will (likely to the Wills lawyer, if there is one).
4. Details of the location of the Will.
The information will be kept with the Wills registry for a small fee until the 120th birthday of the testator.
Why should you leave the information with the Wills Registry?
In the event of death, the family members of the testator will be able to do a search with the Wills Registry to gain more information on the Will. This is especially important if the testator did not adopt strong Will custody in Singapore and the Will cannot be found. The family members of the testator and the executor will be able to find out the exact location of the Will, locate the Will and make an application for the grant of probate.
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