How to Prepare a Schedule of Assets for Your Will in Singapore
What is a Schedule of Assets and Why Make One?
In Singapore, a Schedule of Assets is a list of all your assets comprising your estate, such as your properties and debts, including their estimated value, at the point of your death. It is a supporting document attached to your will.
If you do not leave a Schedule of Assets, a personal representative will be required to draw one up and file it with the Family Justice Courts when applying for a Grant of Letters of Representation.
A “personal representative” is the general term for both administrators and executors, who are persons responsible for administering your assets, while the “Letters of Representation” is the general term for both a Grant of Probate (applied by the executor) and a Grant of Letters of Administration (applied by the administrator).
Writing a Schedule of Assets before your death will make it easier for your personal representative to identify what assets you own, and ascertain how much they are worth, and help distribute your assets faster after you have passed away.
Without a Schedule of Assets, it will take your personal representative a long time to write to institutions, such as banks, and verify your assets under them.
Your Schedule of Assets can be referred to by your estate’s beneficiaries (i.e the persons you are leaving assets to) and creditors to ascertain the assets of the estate.
It will also be used to confirm the value of your estate and affect the legal fees payable for the application of the Letters of Representation if your personal representative engages a probate lawyer to do so.
This article will discuss what a Schedule of Assets should include, and how to make one, while you still can.
What Should be Listed in the Schedule of Assets?
The Schedule of Assets should contain all your local and overseas assets, an estimated market value of the assets, and your outstanding debts (which are secured by mortgage).
All your assets should be listed in the Schedule of Assets regardless of whether you want to distribute them or not (the reasons for this will be explained below).
Your assets can be both real estate, and personal property. Some examples of real estate include:
- Your HDB flat
- Your private property such as a condominium or landed property
- Your share in a flat or property
Some examples of personal property include:
- The monies in your bank accounts (including fixed deposit accounts and unit trust accounts)
- Your stocks and shares
- Your insurance policies (However, if you have assigned your policies – i.e. transferred the rights of your insurance policy to someone else, you cannot include them as your property, because your rights to the insurance policy would have been terminated)
- Your vehicle(s)
- Your jewellery
- The items in your safe deposit box
You do not need to include in your Schedule of Assets the monies in your CPF accounts. If you wish to distribute your CPF savings to others, you should make a CPF nomination instead. Otherwise, your CPF savings will be distributed by the Public Trustee according to the rules in the Intestate Succession Act.
How Does a Schedule of Assets Look Like?
The specimen form for the Schedule of Assets can be found in Form 226 of the Family Justice Courts Practice Directions. It requires you to structure your assets under the 3 main categories:
- Local property
- Outstanding local debts
- Overseas property
and state your assets’ corresponding market value, up to the current date.
A simplified example of a Schedule of Assets looks like this:
SCHEDULE OF ASSETS
|A. Deceased’s Property in Singapore||
Market Value as at
1 January 2020 (S$)
|HDB Flat known as Blk 1 Orchard Road #09-09 Singapore 876543||600,000.00|
|Savings account 987-65432-1 with POSB||40,000.00|
|Shares in CDP account||100,000.00|
|Insurance Policy 1234567 at NTUC Income||50,000.00|
|Motor Vehicle: Toyota SAB1234C||30,000.00|
|B. Outstanding Debts in Singapore which are Secured by Mortgage
(For immovable property only)
|HDB Flat known as Blk 1 Orchard Road #09-09 Singapore 876543||100,000.00|
|Net Estate Value||720,000.00|
|C. Deceased’s Property outside Singapore
(for deceased person domiciled in Singapore at date of death)
Market Value as at
1 January 2020 (S$)
|Account 123123123123 with Maybank Kuala Lumpur (RM 9,000)||3,000.00|
How Will Your Schedule of Assets be Used After Your death?
When a personal representative applies for the Letters of Representation, the Schedule of Assets will be filed with a supporting affidavit through the service bureau (if the personal representative is making the application themselves) or eLitigation portal (if the personal representative has engaged a lawyer to assist with the application).
The supporting affidavit is a sworn or affirmed statement of facts that has to be filed within 14 days of the main application for the Letters of Representation. It includes the particulars of your death, your death certificate, and your will (if any). The personal representative will also have to affirm the truth of the details in the Schedule of Assets.
Are there any Special Requirements for Making the Schedule of Assets Legally Valid?
No, there is no special requirement to make a Schedule of Assets. This is different from making a will, where you must sign your will in the presence of at least 2 witnesses, who will also sign the will in your presence.
Regardless, you should make sure that you do not miss out any essential information in your Schedule of Assets. Therefore, it is important that you, as far as possible, follow the format in Form 226.
For this purpose, it may be wise to engage a lawyer to draft both a will and Schedule of Assets for you at the same time. However, note that you may incur an additional fee for engaging a lawyer to help you draft both a will and a Schedule of Assets, instead of engaging a lawyer to draft your will and then writing your Schedule of Assets yourself.
If you use our WillMaker service to make a will, you may download a template of the Schedule of Assets form for free after you have finished making your will.
What Happens If the Schedule of Assets Does Not List All the Assets You Have?
If the Schedule of Assets appears to be incomplete, your personal representative will have to contact the relevant institutions (e.g. banks, insurance companies, and government agencies) to obtain information on your assets, and their values, in order to complete the Schedule of Assets. This will prolong the process of applying for the Letters of Representation.
In addition, even if the personal representative is aware of your ownership of a particular asset that hasn’t been listed in the Schedule of Assets, institutions will not release that asset to your personal representative unless it is listed in the Schedule of Assets.
For example, if your personal representative knows that you have $5,000 in your ABC bank account but that account is not listed in the Schedule of Assets, your personal representative will be unable to distribute the monies in the ABC bank account.
If the Schedule of Assets has already been filed but does not list all the assets you have, it will have to be amended to include the missing asset(s) for your personal representative to have access to it. Such amendments to the Schedule of Assets will have to be done by way of a separate application and will also increase the time needed to obtain the Letters of Representation.
Updating Your Schedule of Assets
You should review your Schedule of Assets periodically to ensure it’s as up-to-date as possible so that your personal representative will not have trouble confirming the assets you own after you have passed away.
On top of updating your Schedule of Assets, you should also update your will in order to remove outdated instructions on how your assets should be distributed, or add new instructions on how new assets should be distributed.
If you’ve used our WillMaker and downloaded our Schedule of Assets template, you can reuse WillMaker to update your will as many times as you want, for up to 1 month, at no extra cost. There is no time limit for updating the Schedule of Assets template.
If you have updated your will or Schedule of Assets, you must inform your personal representative of the changes, so that he/she can then file your most updated will and Schedule of Assets with the Family Justice Courts when they apply for the Letters of Representation after your death.
Consider engaging a wills lawyer if you need assistance in preparing your Schedule of Assets or with writing a will. The lawyer will be able to help you organise your Schedule of Assets and write a will in accordance with your wishes for the distribution of your assets after your death.
As mentioned, we also offer a WillMaker service for you to conveniently make a will online by yourself at $89 per will. This service allows you to download a Schedule of Assets template upon completion of your will. You can use WillMaker here.
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