Estate planning ensures that your loved ones are cared for when you're not around. Find out why estate planning needs to be part of your financial plan, and what happens if you don't leave a Will.
- Planning your estate now is planning for your family's future well-being.
- You don't have to be rich to plan your estate.
- If there's no Will, intestacy laws will determine who gets what.
- Your Will does not cover your CPF money. You will need to make a separate nomination.
Do you need an estate plan?
Some people think estate planning is only for the rich. Actually, estate planning benefits everyone. More so if you have dependants like young or disabled children or elderly parents.
You want to make sure their lives are not disrupted, and they are provided for even when you're not around.
An estate plan states how you want your money to be used to care for your loved ones. It gives you the final say on who gets to keep your assets. So as long as you have savings, investments or an HDB flat, you have assets to leave behind. After death, these assets are your "estate".
If you need help, you can also seek professional advice to plan your estate.
Why estate planning is important
Estate planning is essential as it helps you take care of your loved ones and provide for their needs.
Think about how you want your money to be handled when you're not around. Is there someone you can trust to do it? Who is the best person to watch over your family or your business? An estate plan lets you control where or to whom your money goes. It's the best way to plan ahead.
TipIf you have a special needs dependant, you want the guardian to know where to get financial help if necessary. The Special Needs Trust Company (SNTC) can help you plan now for their future needs.
What if you don't have a Will when you pass away?
If you don't have a Will, a judge will appoint someone to handle your assets and affairs should anything happen to you.
Without a valid Will, your assets will be distributed according to Singapore's intestacy laws. This may mean your assets may not be distributed according to your wishes.
What if you don't make a CPF nomination?
CPF savings (balances left in a deceased member's Ordinary, Medisave and Special/Retirement Accounts) do not form part of the estate and are not covered by a Will.
If you don't make a CPF nomination, your CPF savings would be transferred to the Public Trustee’s Office (PTO) for distribution to your family under the Intestate Succession Act or the Inheritance Certificate (for Muslims). PTO charges an admin fee for the service.
You should make a CPF nomination if you want your CPF savings to be distributed according to your wishes.
What estate planning can do for you
A good estate plan will help you:
- Distribute your estate according to your wishes
- Take care of the needs of your minor children
- Identify a person to carry out your plan
- Find the best way to transfer your assets