Before you think of the process involved in how to make a will, you have to be, first, mindful of the following considerations. The last thing you want is a making a will that goes against your loved ones’ interests. By being aware of these considerations, you can be sure to make a bulletproof will that has your beneficiaries interest at heart.
1. Create a Will Instructions Questionnaire with answers provided – okay, what does a will instruction questionnaire have to do with my will? You might ask. Well, sometimes the instructions we give can be pretty confusing, so making a Q&A is helpful for clarifying things. This is a good way to prevent confusion if your instruction in clause 4 is a bit hard to understand having an explanation makes it clearer.
2. Your will takes effect when you die, but you can revoke anytime during your lifetime – after you die your will becomes your testament, it is legal, and it contains your intentions or commands concerning your estate. While you’re still alive you can easily revoke any wills you have made, let’s say you made a will in 1994 and had a kid in 2006, you can make your 1994 will void and invalid by making a new will date 2006.
3. Give away assets in two ways lifetime gifts or testamentary gifts – lifetime gifts are the gifts you give to your heirs or to anyone at the matter to someone while you are still alive. Testamentary gifts are assets you transfer to your heirs after your die (via a will or trust).
4. In your will you can have special gifts – special gifts are different from your general devices and residuary estate. Special gifts are what you give to your beneficiary in a will, example:
“To my daughter Jennie, I give $1,000,000 which she will receive when she leaves her job.”
1. If there are errors in your will, it can be amended by a codicil – let’s say you wrote your kid’s name wrong or you gave your daughter the gift meant for your son, don’t worry wills can be amended and you can correct errors you make.
2. Marriage woes – if you made a will while single but you intend to get married someday, you can state in your will “clearly” that you made your will in contemplation of marriage. Let’s say you write something like “To my future spouse…”. This is because marriage causes wills to be invalid, so if you made a will before marriage it could become invalid if it was made not in consideration of marriage life.
3. Jointly owned properties go to the surviving owner – any property you co-own with someone under joint tenancy becomes that someone’s property after you die. This is because of the law called “right of survivorship” that states when one of the co-owners dies his share of the property goes immediately to the surviving co-owner.
4. Beneficiaries of an Insurance Policy can be named in a Will – you can choose to mention your beneficiary to an insurance provided that they match the nomination form you submitted.
5. CPF monies cannot be willed away – your CPF account either Ordinary, Special, Medisave and Retirement will go to the people you have written in your nomination form. Other investments made using CPF monies though can be included in your Will.
6. You must have the testamentary capacity – when you make your Will, you should be in a sound state of mind. Otherwise, you require the aid of a medical practitioner who will confirm your lucidity. Failing to comply with this will make your will invalid.
7. Benefits and your spouse cannot be witnesses – making them your witnesses prevents them from getting anything out of your will since they are automatically excluded.
8. Deliberate exclusions must be justifiable under the IFPA – if you wish to exclude your spouse or your child from your will make sure you have left them provision due to them because if you don’t the High Court will do it for you. Wills and probate have this fixed rules that state a parent must provide provision for his or her children (also known as) your moral duty to your spouse or child.
9. Divorce does not revoke a will – if you divorced your spouse, make sure that you make changes in your will or make a new one altogether because divorce does not revoke a will. Marriage, on the other hand, revokes a will, as state earlier.
10. You can appoint guardians – if you have young children you can appoint a guardian who will take care of them in case you die early.
11. Children under 21 cannot generally own property – your appointed executors and trustees will hold the property for them until they reach the age of 21 or another future age that you state in your will.
12. Consider creating a trust to protect your assets – giving your beneficiaries their inheritance outright may cause them to squander it away but storing it away in a Trust will protect your monies from going to the wrong place. A bonus is you can put conditions in a Trust that would dictate when your beneficiaries will get the money.
13. There are restrictions on the disposition of gifts by Muslim persons – the Muslim law has its own restrictions concerning inheritance.
14. Take into considerations dependants with special needs – create a trust (since it is most suitable) or put provisions in your will as to how their shares of the estate will be named or protected.
15. You can leave assets in life interests and remainder interest – you can leave assets to your spouse in the form of life interests wherein he or she will occupy the property or will receive benefits from a property so long as he or she lives. After he or she dies the property or the benefits will go to your children or other beneficiaries.
16. If you support any charities or philanthropic activities you can leave provisions in a trust – assigning trustees to give to a certain charity provisions or amounts that would help the charity achieve its objectives.
17. Keep a record or list of your properties – doing this makes it easier for you and the will writing service firm you hired to distribute your property accordingly. Doing this also lowers your cost of writing a will since your assigned will maker doesn’t need to do research just to distribute all your property.
When others think of the words make a will, they imagine the heavy cost and tedious processes, but that is in fact far from the truth, creating an estate plan is crucial to securing your hard earned work as well as your family’s future. Stop wasting time and create one now!
For queries on making a will, feel free to contact us. We will be glad to be of service.