People change all the time, and so do their circumstances. How you appraise the transfer of your assets may be different at age 30 than when you’re in the latter part of your life, say, 60 years old. It is the main reason estate planners recommend reviewing your Will periodically, such as every three to five years or if there is a notable change in your personal or financial affairs.
Your Will will not expire, provided that you set it up properly. But if it is out of date, it can cause disputes among your family members and setbacks if funds get held up in court. Your estate may even be burdened with crushing taxes.
If it has been a long time since you have closely examined the contents of your Will, take a look at these prompts that indicate it is time you update it.
When a Child Reaches the Age of Majority
Your Will names beneficiaries who are to receive assets and guardians if the beneficiaries are too young. This means that when your child is a minor, your Will appoints a guardian for him or her. But once the minor beneficiary reaches the age of majority (i.e., 21 years old, according to Singapore Legal Advice), they can receive assets as adults. Your assets may have also grown significantly over the years. This is a significant reason to review your Will.
When You Get Married or Divorced
When it comes to marriage affairs, your Will must reflect your intentions, regardless of any bumps in the road. This can include a common-law relationship, a second marriage or a marriage breakdown. Any discrepancies should be reviewed if you want to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of.
When You Retire
Your financial situation may change when you hang up your hat. It is essential that you go over your Will with the goal of alleviating taxes your estate would be responsible for when you pass on. You may decide to make a gift of real estate to your beneficiaries at this stage.
When Executors Fall Ill
Executors, guardians and trustees for children can become unfit to take on the task for various reasons, such as getting sick, moving away or growing old. When this happens, it is best to appoint new people and reevaluate your Will. Many people turn to a trust officer to be the executor. While it comes at a cost, they bring invaluable knowledge and experience and can be a neutral party should there be disagreements among beneficiaries.
A well-designed estate plan ensures that your wealth will be distributed in an efficient and organised manner in favour of people you wish to benefit. So get your affairs in order ahead of time. For more information on estate planning, please visit https://estateplanning.com.sg/estate-planning-tools/.
This article and the pages it links to are not substitutes for professional advice. For specific advice tailored to your individual situation, please contact the team at Summit Planners.