Case Study 1: Why you should draft a Will in Singapore even if you don’t consider yourself Wealthy.

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Let us consider the following hypothetical situation.

Mr. Jason Tan worked as a taxi-driver for most of his life to support his family. Over the past two years, he switched to driving for Uber in order to increase his monthly income. He is divorced, and has three minor children, two girls and one boy.

Nathan and Alice are just hitting their teenage years at 16 and 17 respectively and Jacelyn is 5 years old.

Jason has mulled over making a will but decided it was a waste of time to have a will drafted. After all, he doesn’t consider himself a rich man and only wishes to distribute his estate equally among his children and no one else. A responsible father, Jason went to read up on the rules of distribution during intestacy, and recognized that his children would become entitled to his estate upon his death. He figures that there is no difference whether he makes a will or not, and decides not to create one.

Mr. Jason Tan is WRONG.

While it is true that the estate will be divided equally amongst his three children under Singapore law, all three children are under the age of 21. This means they are considered minors and a guardian will have to be appointed by the court to care for them. Jason has not taken into consideration the fact that there may be complications in getting his children’s natural mother to look after them, particularly if she has re-married.

Without specifying a trusted person he wants to be his children’s guardian in a will, the court may end up appointing people who may not be the most appropriate people to take on the role of guardian, such as the grandparents.

The assets of the estate will also have to be held in trust for them until they attain the age of 21. A frequently overlooked point is that children who receive an inheritance may not have the financial maturity to handle what they receive.

Jason may assume this will not matter because of a perceived lack of assets but that may be precisely the reason why he should be more concerned. With a smaller asset pool, it is even more pertinent that what he leaves behind for his children is not squandered on frivolous things. If Jason creates a will, he can appoint a trustee to look after the assets for his children until they reach an age he deems appropriate (this can be any age from 21-40).

As you can see, there are many benefits to creating a will in Singapore even if you don’t consider yourself a wealthy person.

If you'd like to hire us to draft your Will, get in touch with us here.

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