Why you should make a will - and how to do it

Why you should make a will - and how to do it

Many Singaporeans put off making a will, yet it can be as simple as picking up a pen and writing it yourself.

The most common misconception is that a lawyer is needed to write a will. But anybody can write one, as long as they are well-informed.

A will is a legal document that gives specific instructions for the distribution of your assets.

Experts recommend that wills be registered with the Insolvency and Public Trustee's Office (IPTO).

If you do not have a will, the state can direct the distribution of your assets according to the Intestate Succession Act.

This lists nine rules dictating how the assets of a deceased non-Muslim citizen can be distributed. They vary according to marital status and if the person is survived by his parents, spouse, children or siblings, said will writer Patrick Chang, who will be speaking on the topic at the 50plus Expo 2013 this Friday.

For example, the assets of the deceased will be split in half between his surviving spouse and children.

But no two families are the same, and one may have differing opinions on the distribution, warns Mr Chang, so it is imperative to make a will to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

The Sunday Times looks at why you should consider making a will.

You don't have to be rich to make a will

There is no sum that is too small for a will. Most of us can easily have a net worth of more than $100,000 if our home, insurance policies and bank accounts are taken into consideration.

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