11 Simple Steps To An Estate Plan in Singapore
Are you wondering what are some of the assets or estate that you should be planning upon your demise?
Estate plan sounds too serious and complex, would you want to have a very simple and summarize information about estate planning?
We totally understand and here are very straightforward and essential information about planning your properties upon your passing.
1) Make A Will
A lot of people might think that it is a complex and complicated process.
But today, the will writing process has been made easy, simple and very affordable.
2) Consider Setting Up A Trust
Creating a trust fund will allow the ownership of the assets and properties to be owned by the trust you created. The trust created could be following a set of instructions set up by the Settlor (the person that set up the trust).
So, engaging a private trust management company is ideal for trust creation and act as your trustee to execute those instruction in the interest of your beneficiaries.
It is also a vehicle to protect your assets and properties from unwanted creditors.
3) Engage A Professional Trustee
You may engage a natural person or a corporation to be your trustee of your trust.
A natural person might fail and subject to greed and temptations.
But, the trust company with corporate governance and compliance will be able to act as your professional trustee in the interest of you and your beneficiaries.
4) Apply for Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
Today, you might be actively running around and making your own decision independently..
Have you thought that what if some day, you are not able to make decisions yourself?
Then, who is the person that you trust to handle all your financial and welfare matters?
Some people might think that ‘not able to make decision myself’ means that you are suffering from depression then this LPA will kick in.
It is broader than that.
It could include: not able to wake up from a coma, suffering from dementia where you are not able to recollect the event that happened a few hours ago or it could be due to a fatal accident and the head or brain is damaged.
So, making a LPA in Singapore is essential as you only want your trusted person to act on your interest when one day, you are not able to make decisions yourself.
If LPA is not made prior to the event, your finances like your bank account could be frozen and nobody including your spouse, parents or children is able to access them.
5) Protect Your Children’s Property
If you have a child that is a minor, you should consider having an estate plan.
You might need to appoint a legal guardian when making a will to state who you entrust your child and/or children to, upon your unexpected demise.
If you have a child that needed more attention long term, setting up a trust could be an option so that the finances will continue to provide for the child even when you are not around.
6) Central Provident Fund (CPF) Nomination
It is highly encouraged for all Singaporeans to make a CPF nomination.
CPF savings and proceeds from CPF are not allowed to be included when making a will.
If you do not make a CPF nomination, upon your demise, the monies will be paid to the Public Trustee. They will distribute based on the intestacy law (for non-muslim) and inheritance certificate (for Muslims) in Singapore.
If you have done a CPF nomination, your CPF savings will be distributed to your nominees in the proportion that you state in your nomination.
7) Protecting Your Business
If you have a sole proprietorship business, you should state what is going to happen to your business upon your demise.
A comprehensive succession plan could be laid out.
If you have partnership with other shareholders or business-owners, a buy-sell agreement should be established.
8) Consider Buying a Life Insurance
If you have dependents and you own a house (with loans), you should look into purchasing a life insurance to protect yourself so that when unforeseen circumstances happen, your dependents do not need to suffer from financial turmoil.
Your loved ones do not need to worry about the mortgage loan.
This is especially important if you are the sole breadwinner of your family.
9) Cover For Funeral Expense
The cost of setting up a funeral should be included during the estate planning process.
The cost for the different religious group might differ due to the different requirements and also, the family’s culture and belief.
One considerations would also to see whether how many days the funeral services is going to last.
10) Preferred Funeral Arrangement
You might want to think whether do you want to proceed with burial or cremation upon your demise. This should be considered and be written in your estate plan.
This decision will help you in planning for your funeral costing as well.
11) Storing Your Documents
Once you have make a will, you should store your will in a safe environment so that it is free from tampering.
Upon your demise and if this important document is not found, it is as good as you have not written a will.
We provide will custody service to keep your will.
Upon the demise of the testator, the executor (the person that is to administrate your distribution of your estate), will be informed and proceed to retrieve the important document.
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