In the context of will writing, have you ever come across the Mental Capacity Act Singapore? As one of the pillars of will writing, it provides the framework you need to make a logical and rational will. It protects your estate from ill-intentions of people around you in case you suffer from a disability. And lastly, it is the determining factor used by the High Court to check the validity of any wills made. This Act protects your beneficiaries or even you if you are entitled to an asset, from false claims and losing your inheritance.
The Mental Capacity Act of Singapore
What is the Mental Capacity Act About?
Before we go to the wealth protection aspect of the Act, it is important to get the details first. The Mental Capacity Act of Singapore was enacted in 2008 and revised on the 31st of March, 2010. And it provides the framework for determining the testamentary capacity of testators. The Act states the conditions and requirements for declaring that a person is incapable of making decisions for his or her estate. It also states the situations that will not make a person mentally incapacitated.
The main purpose of the Act to create the legal framework for validating the wills made within the country’s borders.
Who is the Mental Capacity Act for?
This act is for those who don’t have the mental capacity to make decisions and are not determined by a person’s age, behavior, or means of communication. It is solely focused on whether a person can* make decisions or not.
Say, your friend makes bad decisions all the time, your friend still has* the capacity to make decisions—but your friend just chooses the bad ones. The Mental Capacity Act is for the people who, by any means, cannot make any decisions.
This incapacity to make decisions is defined as:
- Unable to comprehend the information given to him, what more make decision related to that information.
- Cannot remember the information given to him/her
- Cannot balance and weigh decisions to be made
If the testator has an Alzheimer’s Disease or any cases of Dementia during the writing of the will— the written will is invalid.
When it comes to will writing, it is important that the testator is fully aware of what he/she is doing at the time the will is being written and being executed. However, there have been instances where the court declared that the written will is valid because, at the time the will is being made, the testator was given instructions and was able to understand them.
What does the Mental Capacity Act protect?
Singapore’s Mental Capacity Act aims to protect those who lack the capacity to make decisions from being taken advantage of.
If you are a person who wants a fair distribution of your wealth among your loved ones, and who took care of you. You should consider getting an LPA, also known as Lasting Power of Attorney, or write a will before Dementia hits you. This is to ensure that you have a good mental state as during the will writing and the will won’t be considered void to the court.
Wealth Management, Asset Management, and Estate Planning require you to make well-thought-of decisions. It is something that you shouldn’t declare overnight, so you better make your will when you still have the capacity to make reasonable decisions.