4 Pitfalls to Avoid When Writing A Will

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Personal Financial Planning plays an important part of our life. We plan many things in our life from Wealth Creation, Wealth Maintenance, Wealth Accumulation to Wealth Distribution. If we plan it right, our life will be less miserable as we spend within our means, have sufficient retirement and education funds for our children and have sufficient protection against our wealth. However, most people overlook Wealth Distribution and also give excuses that “why bother since they are no longer around to enjoy the wealth?”.

My argument to those people who do not pay attention to Wealth Distribution planning is “we  have spent our whole life taking care of our spouse, our children, our elderly parents or even our favorite charities, we have the responsibilities to make sure they are being taken care off financially when we passed on.” We should not pass our liabilities to our family and we have to prevent our family enter into legal lawsuit over our own estates.

What Happen to Our Wealth After Death?

You can start planning your Wealth Distribution by writing a Will. The following are the 4 Pitfalls to avoid when writing a Will in Singapore.


#1 Valid Execution

There are many Will writing templates on websites and anyone can take up a pen to fill in the blank to write a will on their own to save cost. However, it is important to make sure the Will is recognised by the Singapore court as a valid Will,  the wishes can be executed and not subject to contest. A poorly written and invalid Will equal to NO Will.


#2 Marriage

Accordingly to the legal system in Singapore, a Will is revoked if the testator (the person who writes the Will for wealth distribution) gets married or remarried. However, one’s Will will not be revoked if the person divorces. This means that one’s ex-spouse may still be entitled to the half’estate.


#3 Properties with Joint Name

Not all the properties with joint names can be distributed in a Will due to Right of Survivorship. Joint properties, such as joint bank account or joint house ownership, are regarded as assets outsides of a person’s estate.

It is important to know whether one’s property is held under Joint Tenancy or Tenancy in Common. Only percentage owned by the deceased under Tenancy in Common can be willed away to their beneficiaries. Thus, always remember to check the status of all your real estates in Singapore before writing them into the Will. In other word, real estates under Joint Tenancy in the Will do not have any meaning at all.


#4 CPFs money

All money in CPF such as OA, SA and Medisave account cannot be willed away. Instead, CPF nomination needs to be done to distribute your CPF savings to your loved one. Else, your CPF money will be distributed according to Intestate Succession Act.

If you have used your CPF money to purchase a house or invest in shares, the distribution will be accordingly to Will or Right of Survivorship but not CPF nomination.


Estate Planning and Wealth Distribution is NOT as simple as just filling up with a template or forms. There are many more pitfalls if you don’t plan it properly and your estates will be leaked to pay unnecessary taxes, legal cost and miscellaneous costs.


It is advisable to seek professional advice if you have concerns over your estate distribution. Comment below to share your concerns and your thoughts, or send me an email kkloh163@gmail.com for private discussion.

REGISTER to attend a free Estate Planning Seminar here https://mystocksinvesting.com/events/

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Will writing seen as PANTANG among some Singaporeans

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I summarized what Lorna Tan’s article “Will writing seen as taboo among some Singaporeans” published on July 16, 2017 here for easy reference.

  1. Some think it is costly, not realising the trouble that can arise for beneficiaries without one.

  2. Estimates that no more than 10 to 15 per cent of Singaporeans have made wills. This contrasts with a figure of more than 40 per cent in the United Kingdom.
  3. Some people think it is costly to get a will made, time-consuming and that all assets must be listed. Older people also consider it taboo to discuss death.
  4. A will is very important because it will protect your family and avoid disputes.
  5. When a person dies without a will and leaves behind multiple potential beneficiaries, the court will need to work out who gets what according to the Intestate Succession Act, depending on which family relations are still alive, leading to high legal fees.
  6. “Without a will, you’re adding layers of trouble to an already very troublesome process.”
  7. “People today are wealthier and have fewer children compared with 15 years ago… There is increasing concern about where their money goes”

I will be organizing an Estate Planning Workshop to address WHERE will your Assets go to according to Intestate Succession Act (ISA) if you pass on without a Will. I will go through different case studies and scenarios to enhance your understanding. You can sign up the Estate Planning Workshops here.

Continue Reading Will writing seen as PANTANG among some Singaporeans

10 Key Points on Why many delay making their wills and trusts

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I summarized what Lorna Tan’s article “Why many delay making their wills and trusts” published on July 16, 2017 here for easy reference.

  1. Lack of knowledge on how to go about it, and who to appoint as executor or trustee.

  2. Lack of awareness of estate planning and how instruments such as wills, family trusts and other options can be used.
  3. At a national level, no more than 15 to 20 per cent of Singaporeans have drawn up their wills.
  4. Most people do not know how and where to start their Estate Planning.
  5. 25 per cent of respondents had foreign assets, which can make issues like probate, estate duty, stamp duties, transfer and capital gains taxes and forced heirship trickier. These people will likely need more specific advice on how they should deal with these assets through the use of a second will, a corporate vehicle or trust.
  6. 39 per cent of respondents said they did not have enough assets to settle a trust, or felt that their beneficiaries could handle the funds themselves.
  7. Only around 15 per cent of respondents had done a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and/or an Advance Medical Directive (AMD), with most citing procrastination or ignorance on how to get started.
  8. A common thread in some of the responses as to why people have delayed drawing up a will or other documents is that they do not know a person they could trust to act as executor or trustee.
  9. There is more urgency for people aged over 35 to do estate planning. “The person who is above 35 and married with a spouse and children would fit the profile of persons with more pressing needs and thus ready to engage in estate planning.”
  10. People who are single, divorced or widowed would involve estate planning to deal with their own welfare and property affairs at the time of old age and elderly vulnerability. “This group will be interested in instruments for asset protection of their property affairs and appointment of trusted parties and putting in place advance care plans to deal with mental incapacity and infirmity.”


I will be organizing an Estate Planning Seminar to address most concerns on WHERE and HOW to get your own Estate Planning started. You can sign up the Estate Planning Seminar here.

Continue Reading 10 Key Points on Why many delay making their wills and trusts