A will can be allowed to contain terms of endearment while in some cases a will needs rectification. In today’s article, we will be discussing the other things that can be included in a Will. Stay tuned and deepen your knowledge of what a will contains.

Terms of Endearment

A  Will is more than a document stating how a person wants his or her estate to be distributed. It goes beyond material things, and in often times touches the sentimental bone of the family left behind by the deceased.

Wills are the last parting words they hear from you, the farewell letter containing the message you want them to hear. It contains the statements you want to give to the people you leave behind. It can contain the words you want them to hear, like words to cheer them up or words to express how much they mean to you. These statements of parting are described as the non-legally binding parts of a will, the terms of endearment. It does not impact how your estate is distributed but it does leave a lasting emotion to your beloved. For grieving people, words of comfort from the ones they dearly love who has departed can have a very strong and encouraging effect.

Conditions Attached to Gifts or Precatory Words?

As a will maker, you might want to include certain conditions to the assets you will leave behind, but problems can come up when such instructions become unclear. Take a look at the example below.

It is my wish and strong desire that my beneficiaries will not sell or otherwise part with the shares of the Company. The Company is the sole shareholder of Southern Printing & Publishing Co Pte Ltd, (“Southern”) which was founded and built up by me through many years of hard work and toil. It is also my desire that my children will work together, hand in hand, to continue to grow the business of Southern. Otherwise, I entrust the business to my daughter.

The clause above caused the two siblings who inherited the company to go to court for clarifications concerning the above mentioned causes. The case Lau Tyng Tyng V Lau Boon Wee (2014), the Applicant and the Respondent were named as the joint executors and trustees of their father’s estate. The Applicant came to court because he wanted clarification to the fourth clause of the paragraph “Otherwise, I entrust the business to my daughter.” He and his sister did not come to a common interpretation of the said clause.

The High Court concluded that the contested clause was precatory in nature and that the clause 3 operated unconditionally. Precatory words can be summed up as desire, a wish or recommendation in a non-binding way. Legal courts do impose testaments or agreements made in a precatory manner, unless they are accompanied by supporting statements that express declarations or commands.

Rectifications of Wills

When Wills drafted contain clerical error or have unclear instructions then a rectification of errors will be required by the court. A good example would be the case of Marley v Rawlings [2014].

Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings died and left a will, but the problem stemmed from the wills they made. Mr. Rawlings had signed his wife’s will while Mrs. Rawlings that of her husband. This caused a problem to arise between their biological son and their so-called adopted child.

Gifts by the Testator to a Deceased Child or Beneficiary

Wills contain provisions for a testator’s beneficiaries, but what happens when the said beneficiary as died? Under Section 26 of the Wills Act, should the scenario occurs any issue left by the deceased beneficiary will take the share of the gift intended for their parent. A will maker may choose to avoid the default provision taking place by expressing a contrary intention in his or her will.

When Two or More Persons Die at the Same Time on the Same Occasion

If there are simultaneous deaths of two or more persons, namely the testator and his beneficiaries, and there is a lack of evidence as to who died first, a presumption will occur that the younger survives the older. This means that the order of deaths would be first the older person followed by the younger. This has a legal effect on determining whether the estate passed from one to another (order of ownership passing). This is to avoid going through probate twice over in a short space of time.

Terms of endearment and precatory words let us see a deeper side to a Will than mere fortune and estate. These aspects of a Will allows to see the extent of affection and love a testator has for their loved ones. So in making your will, don’t be afraid to include terms of endearment. They leave a big impact to the lives of the people you leave behind.

Haven’t drafted you will yet? Call us or send us a message, we’ll be glad to offer you our assistance. If you want to learn more about Estate Planning and Wills, then make sure to grab a copy of book “The Rockwills Guide To Succession and Trust in Wealth Management” by clicking the link below: