In the advent of the digital age, it’s no surprise that Singapore has also adapted to this new era by creating a confidential Wills Registry where testators can deposit information to Wills that are drawn up. This digital registry is not only useful in probate cases, but it provides a place for storing precious data, should the original Will go missing.
Functions Covered by the National Wills Registry
- Allows for Will Searches – the Wills Registry allows for searches to be conducted for information regarding wills. Should a Will be destroyed, for example, persons who are hoping to get the grant of probate can search up the Will Registry if the deceased has created a possible will before his passing.
- Makes Estate Administration Smoother and Efficient – by having a central depository of wills, it makes it a lot easier to trance and safeguard wills. Having a save digital copy provides protection for the testator and his beneficiaries in the event that someone tampers his written will. The information of the will stored in the Wills Registry will ascertain if there had been unauthorised changes to the written will such as the date and year did not match the date recorded in the Registry.
- Safeguards With Confidentiality – the Registry ensures strict confidentiality over all deposited information pertaining or relating to any wills left in the Registry’s care. The information concerning the Will is only released to the testator, to lawyers acting for the testator or the estate of the deceased testator, and the next-of-kin or beneficiary of the deceased testator. This means that not anyone can go to the Wills Registry and demand that they get information about a person’s will.
Who handles the affairs of the Wills Registry?
The Wills Registry is administered by the Public Trustee’s Office under the Ministry of Law. All affairs of the Registry is handled by the aforementioned government office.
What type of Information is stored in the Wills Registry?
A digital copy of the will or the will itself will not be stored by the Registry but only the following information relating to the Will:
- Particulars of the testator – the details of the person who made the will, such personal information like his or her name and that of his or her beneficiaries.
- Date of the Will – when was the will created? This can come in handy in the case of multiple wills and other supposed wills that pop out after the testator has died.
- Particulars of the lawyer who drew up the will – the details about the lawyer who made the will.
- Particulars of the custodian of the will – who is keeping the will safe, or who has been instructed by the testator to protect his or her will in the advent that he or she perishes.
Information concerning a will deposited in the Wills Registry will be kept for 120 (one-hundred-twenty years) from the date of birth of the person making a will.
Does Registering A Will In The Will’s Registry Have a Fee?
Depositing a will in the Registry has a fee. The fee including the (GST) is stated in the table below:
Storing your Will’s information in the Wills Registry can help you and your family a lot should something happen to your will in probate court, though it does not contain the contents of the Will it can help in finding out who made your will and who is keeping it.
For more information, please visit www.mlaw.gov.sg/pto or give us a call. Rockwills is a trusted company known for handling legal cases concerning wills and trusts.