Tackling a morbid but vital topic

Tackling a morbid but vital topic

This series is brought to you by Standard Chartered

Nothing is certain in this world except death and taxes, Benjamin Franklin famously said.

This may not be quite the sort of assurance that investors are looking for in today's uncertain economy.

But combining this with the fact that Singaporeans are growing richer - and greyer - just means that estate planning is becoming all the more crucial.

Rising asset prices mean that people now have more wealth, on average, to distribute among their heirs.

"The topic of estate planning might be a morbid one, but it is a necessary conversation to have," said Standard Chartered Bank Singapore's head of branch banking, Mr Jeffrey Tan.

Singapore had around 91,200 "high net worth individuals" in 2011, according to the most recent World Wealth Report by consulting firm Capgemini and the Royal Bank of Canada. Data for last year is not out yet.

The figure refers to people with investable assets of at least US$1 million (S$1.26 million), excluding their homes.

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