What are a Parents’ worst nightmare?
Their sudden accidental deaths, with no local family support, leaving orphaned children without any arrangements for their ongoing care and maintenance would surely be it?
A lot of questions immediately arise like:
Who will temporarily provide a familiar environment your children from that very first night?
Who will accept the responsibility of bringing your children up?
Where will the children live and be educated and can your assets cover the cost?
Who will sort out the money matters and see the guardian has sufficient funds?
Later in life, other issues arise depending on your circumstances such as, how to help your children get started in life, how to cover the increasing cost of advanced education, how to decide when the children will be old enough to handle their inheritance responsibly.
Alongside all these concerns may be the imposition on the family of gift tax, capital gains tax or other death duties.
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Why would you make a Will in Singapore?
If an Expat has already made a Will in the home country, the chances are that it will be valid to also cover assets, such as bank accounts, furniture, car and other possessions acquired here in Singapore.
Conversely, should you wish to make your first Will here, there is every prospect that because you are resident here, the Will is valid in every country where you have assets.
There is virtually complete freedom in Singapore to dispose of your assets as you wish. Whether a Will made in Singapore is also effective in distributing your estate as you desire, depends on the law’s limitations if any, in the home country.
Parents’ main concern will be about the care of the children and Wills are the place where Guardians are appointed to care for each child, until he or she attains majority (21 years in Singapore).
The permanent Guardian is likely to live overseas and temporary guardianships are increasingly used to cover the short period until the legal guardian arrives and can take over. The authorities will be relieved to find the parents have appointed a friend or neighbour known to the children until the guardian can fly in.
Common misconceptions about Wills
If a Will has been made in the home country, another is needed for Singapore.
A Singapore Will can cover real estate in countries which have Civil Codes such as Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The balances on joint bank accounts will be immediately available to a surviving Spouse on the death of a partner.
Wills are the place to appoint Temporary Guardians and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Wills are where you donate organs for transplants and make Living Wills to cover terminal illness care.
Once you have bequeathed legacies to beneficiaries, you can direct where the investment or cash should go (or should not go) on the beneficiary’s death.
Talking to a financial adviser to provide for the children’s financial protection and to a lawyer about the provisions of a will are the most responsible steps you can take for your family!
To get your affairs in order, contact Jeremy Grey
(Client Relations & Marketing to Jeremy Grey) to arrange for free guidance and also to receive a free Temporary Guardianship Form for your personal use.