Issue 101


Grassroots with passion


persons who have no understanding or are mentally ill. Competency to make a Will is determined at the time of the execution of the Will. A mentally ill person may have lucid intervals during which a valid Will can be made, while an "OK" person, who is in a drunken stupor, can lose his capacity to make a valid Will even if temporarily. Who May Be a Beneficiary? Any person including minors and mental patients, with the exception that a person cannot benefit from his own crime. When appointing an Executor, choose someone younger than yourself, is a resident in Singapore, is close to you and your family, is trustworthy and is on good terms with you. The functions of an Executor are to find and value your properties, obtain details of your debts, file probate, pay estate duty (where liable), settle debts and expenses, sell property (if necessary). What Property May Be Disposed Of By a Will? Everything that belongs to you. However, please note that a Will is revoked by subsequent marriage. So if you have made a Will and then got married, do make a new Will, if necessary. Properties Not Disposable by Will • Life interest in property – This is because you do not own the property but only have an interest in it for your life. • Joint interest - Where you own the property as a joint tenant with someone else (spouse, sibling or other party), there is a right of survivorship ie., the survivor gets the property. [However if you are the survivor, you can dispose of the property by Will). • CPF Monies where nominations have been made under CPF rules. • Insurance policies where benefi- ciaries were nominated and assigned

• Trust property - You are a Trustee (holding somebody’s property in trust). What Are the Requirements of a Valid Will? 1. The maker must be 21 years of age (with the exception of Privileged Wills). 2. He or she must intend to make a Will and is mentally able to do so (ie., he or she must want to, must know and must be willing to make the Will). 3. The form of the Will must be in accordance with the requirements of the Wills Act. Formal Requirements 1. The Will must be in Writing, but it need not be in the Testator’s own handwriting. It may be handwritten, printed, typed or a combination of such. It may be in ink, pencil or print and in any language. No special form of words are required and technical language is not necessary. 2. It need not be prepared by lawyers. However it should be clear and unambiguous. 3. The Will Must Be Signed by the Testator. A full signature is not required; a thumb print or mark is acceptable. The Testator’s

signature must be witnessed by two witnesses present at the same time.

Who Can Be A Witness? Generally, anyone.

Who Cannot Be a Witness? A person of unsound mind, a blind person, a very young person and a person benefitting under the Will including spouse of such person, cannot be a witness. So when you are making a Will make sure your beneficiary is not your witness nor the spouse of your beneficiary. Looked at from another perspective, if your mother-in-law is making a Will, don’t volunteer to be a witness or the gift to your husband will be bad! After you have made your Will inform your loved ones. And then put it under lock and key ie., don’t leave it lying around for everyone to see! In summary, we do not have to be extremely rich to make a Will. So long as we have some property, we can make a Will. By making a Will, we have a say as to how we want our property to be distributed in the event of our death.

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