Few in Singapore think about estate planning. This is because they consider the process boring and morbid, and if they do happen to think about it, they probably place it at the bottom of their to-do list.
You could be preoccupied with making money, expanding your estate, and much more.
What would happen if you were to die without putting your financial affairs in order? The answer is simple: a big headache to your loved ones. You will leave them with the burden of making very important decisions on the management of your estate. Some will end up battling each other in the Singapore Courts.
It is therefore very important that you plan ahead on what will happen to your once you are gone. You need to make a smart decision to keep your money and property within your family. Below are five estate planning tips.
#1. Make a Will
A will is a legal document with instructions on how your assets will be distributed when you pass on. Most people in Singapore avoid making wills. Upon your death, there will be a need to distribute your property to your beneficiaries. The process in the Probate Courts is expensive and time-consuming and your assets will not be distributed in the manner according to your intentions. So, to keep your money within the family, you need to make a will in advance.
#2: Create a Living Trust
Setting up a trust will allow you to appoint a trustee to distribute your wealth. The living trust will allow the trustee to distribute your property and possessions to your beneficiaries and there will be no need for probate proceedings. The use of a trust facilitates proper and timely distribution to your beneficiaries and this results in savings on fees related to inheritance.
#3: Create Joint property ownership
To ensure that your property remains within your family it is important to establish joint ownership of property. The “right of survivorship” ensures that any jointly-owned property passes to the surviving owner. This is another simple way of avoiding probate.
#4: Have a Lasting Power of Attorney
An LPA allows somebody else to make decisions on your behalf once you are unable to. In Singapore, if you become mentally incapacitated, the court will have to appoint a deputy to oversee the administration of your affairs. The deputy will act and make all decisions on your behalf. To avoid this, you may appoint an LPA in order to appoint someone to make decisions on issues concerning both your health and property.
#5: Gift Your Money While Still Alive
Giving your money to your beneficiaries while you are still alive is the best and simplest way of keeping your money within the family. When you die, you will have given out your money to your family members and this ensures that the money remains in the family.
You do not have to own a vast estate in order to plan. Even the little you have, without any estate planning, can end up being depleted due to the costly court processes in Singapore. It is never too early to plan. Plan for your property now if you wish to keep your money within the family.