Learning more about will writing and LPA – it is not about how much you have, but rather how you value what you have and preserve it for your loved ones.
We work hard most of our lives to create a better life for our family and loved ones – yet there will come a time when nature runs its course and we have to face the inevitability of death. As sobering a thought it may be, have you considered the other important question of “what will happen to my money/assets when I die?” Being unprepared for death can bring many problems; being unprepared for what happens after death can be fraught with challenges as well!
On 20 August 2016, Summit Planners held a seminar where our Principal Consultant Mr Stephen Chew spoke about the essential to-know of will writing and Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). For many in attendance, they may have heard of these terms briefly in passing; yet most were uncertain of the appropriate measures to take, the correct people to seek and what needed to be done.
The seminar agenda included the importance of having a will, what can be included in a will, how to go about writing a will and the consequences in the absence of a will. For a clear understanding, Stephen outlined them succinctly and definitively as follows:
A will is a written instrument by which a person signifies his wishes as to the distribution of his estate after his death, taking effect only upon death and only what is left at the time of death (including property acquired after the Will is made) is distributed.
What are the factors to consider before writing a will?
- Who am I going to appoint as Executor?
- Who are my intended Beneficiaries?
- If my beneficiaries are too young, who can I appoint as guardian or joint guardian?
- Who can be my two witnesses?
- What assets do I possess?
- How do I wish to distribute them?
What happens if I do not have a Will?
- If you do not have a Will or if your Will is invalid, then your assets will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act
A Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows a person who is at least 21 years of age (‘donor’), to voluntarily appoint one or more persons (‘donee(s)’) to make decisions and act on his behalf as his proxy decision maker if he should lose mental capacity one day.
Making a LPA will allow you to decide who will take charge of your affairs and protect your best interests should anything untoward befall you.
What are the factors to consider when applying for LPA?
- Who can I appoint as Donee(s)?
- Must be above 21
- Not bankrupt
- Trustworthy character
- Not too advanced in years
- How many Donee(s) should I designate?
- Jointly or Jointly & Severally?
- Basic LPA or Conditional LPA?
- Powers to be granted?
With the understanding laid in place, he furnished his explanations with various case studies to illuminate his point, such as familial disputes over estate claims, legal woes over illegal will and the infamous local example of China-born tour guide Yang Yin’s misappropriation of a wealthy widow’s funds.
Now that you are equipped with the fundamental knowledge, how and where can Summit Planners help you?
- Will Writing
- A review on your Assets and Liability
- Discussion on Assets Distributions
- Summit Law will vet and draft out contents of the Will
- The Lasting Power Of Attorney
- Discussion on who to appoint as Donee(s)
- Be your Witness
- Engage Summit Law as your Certificate of Issuer
- Advance Medical Directive (AMD)
Writing a will is one of the most important things you can do for your loved ones (and yourself). Penning down your wishes in black and white can help prevent unnecessary and ugly disputes, and you live with peace of mind knowing that your treasured possessions will end up in the intended hands.