How Do I Make a Will?
In Singapore, wills are governed by the Wills Act, which states that a testator may devise, bequeath or dispose of his real or personal estate, via a will.
How to Make a Will in Singapore
The requirements for a valid will in Singapore are:
- The will must be committed to writing.
- The testator must be at least 21 years old.
- The testator must sign the will at the foot of the will.
- The testator’s signature must be witnessed by 2 or more witnesses, who must also sign the will in his presence.
- The 2 main witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of the will, or spouses of beneficiaries.
If the testator is unable to sign at the foot of his will, he may allow another person to sign it on his behalf and in his presence. In addition, witnesses apart from the 2 main witnesses can also be beneficiaries.
What to Include in a Will
- A list of all of your assets. A jointly-owned bank account or house cannot be devised by a will.
- A list of all your liabilities. You must state how you want your debts to be paid off before your assets are distributed to the beneficiaries.
- The beneficiaries (who to give the assets to) and guardians (for if the beneficiaries are too young), and how much each one is to receive. You may also want to include reserve (i.e. backup) beneficiaries in the event of simultaneous death.
- The executors (to carry out your will). A beneficiary may also be the executor.
- The advisors. For example, lawyers and accountants.
- A revocation clause to revoke any and all previous wills.
- A residuary clause that distributes any remainder of your estate according to your wishes. For example, if a beneficiary dies before you, the asset bequeathed to him becomes the remainder.
For more information, refer to our checklist for drafting a comprehensive will.
Will Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies be covered by your will?
As CPF savings are not covered under your will, you must make a CPF nomination if you want your CPF savings to be distributed according to your wishes upon your passing. Each nominee will receive a proportion as specified in your nomination.
Otherwise, your CPF savings will be transferred to the Public Trustee’s Office and distributed according to the rules in the Intestate Succession Act.
Cost of Making a Will in Singapore
In Singapore, it generally costs between $200 to $400 to engage a lawyer to draft a simple will. If your will is more complex (for example, if you have overseas assets to will away), your will may cost $500 and up.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Draft a Will?
You do not strictly need a lawyer to write a will. However, it is best to engage a wills lawyer if your requirements on who should inherit your assets are rather complex.
There are also will-writing services offered by non-lawyers. It is not true that these services will definitely be priced lower than lawyer services. Given the competitive legal market now, it is possible to engage a lawyer to write a will for approximately the same price as other will-writing services.
We also offer a WillMaker service for individuals to conveniently make a will online by themselves for $89 per will. This flat fee includes unlimited edits and downloads of the will document for 1 month.
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- The Complete Guide to Making Your Will in Singapore
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- Choosing an Executor for Your Will in Singapore
- How to Prepare a Schedule of Assets for Your Will in Singapore
- Appointing a Guardian for Your Children in Your Will in Singapore
- What is a Mutual Will, Mirror Will and Joint Will?
- How to Give Away Overseas Assets in a Will in Singapore
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- How Can I Change My Will?
- How to Plan for Mental Incapacitation
- Mental Capacity Assessment for LPAs and Wills
- Appointment of Deputies under the Mental Capacity Act
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- Advance Medical Directives in Singapore
- Making a Lasting Power of Attorney in Singapore
- Revocation of a Lasting Power of Attorney
- Advance Care Planning in Singapore: Why and How to Get Started
- No Executor For Your Loved One's Will: What to Do
- What is Probate? Is It Needed If Your Loved One Passes Away?
- Can the Public Trustee Administer Your Loved One's Estate?
- Managing a Loved One's Estate After Their Death in Singapore
- Applying for a Grant of Probate in Singapore
- Intestacy: Applying for Letters of Administration in Singapore
- Obtaining a Fresh Grant of Probate and Resealing a Foreign Grant of Probate
- Comprehensive Guide to Probate Fees in Singapore
- Dispute with Executor of Will in Singapore: What to Do
- Bona Vacantia: Dying With No Will or Relatives in Singapore
- What Happens If You Die Without a Will in Singapore?
- An Executor’s Checklist to Executing a Will in Singapore
- What to Do If the Will Cannot be Found
- How to Contest a Will in Singapore (Grounds and Procedure)
- What Happens to the HDB Flat When One Owner Dies?
- How to Access the Bank Account of a Deceased Spouse
- What Happens to the Car When the Owner Passes Away?
- Simultaneous Death: How are Assets Distributed When Family Members Die at the Same Time?
- Can a half-brother be considered a next of kin? (when distributing the assets of the deceased)
- What happens to property when a deceased’s next-of-kin or named personal representative is uncontactable?
- What happens to residuary property not accounted for?
- What happens to a Singapore expatriate's assets when he passes on?
- What If a Beneficiary Dies Before Receiving His Inheritance?
- How Can Your Minor Beneficiaries Receive Their Inheritance?
- Unfair Maintenance: What Can Singapore's Law Do for You?