Lasting Power of Attorney
WILS, PROBATE & LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY IN SINGAPORE
At Luo Ling Ling LLC, we understand that planning for the future is a sensitive matter. Issues relating to wills, probate and lasting power of attorney can be intricate and emotional in nature. An ambiguous Will can often lead to disputes between family members or beneficiaries over the distribution of assets, making the already difficult process of coping with the loss of a loved one even more challenging.
Such disputes usually arise due to:
disagreements over the interpretation and validity of the Will;
allegations of undue influence, coercion or fraud; or
concerns about the deceased person’s mental capacity at the time the Will was created.
Our lawyers are trained to approach each case with compassion and professionalism and will guide you through the complexities of the legal process with care and attentiveness.
OUR PROBATE LAWYERS
We have a talented team of probate and estate lawyers in Singapore who are proficient in representing families, executors / executrix, administrators / administratrix, trustees and beneficiaries in contentious matters such as the construction of wills, presumption of advancement, inter vivos gift, and testamentary capacity within the legal framework governed by Probate and Administration Act.
Our lawyers are also equipped to advise you on applications for letters of administration or probate matters, as well as the creation of Wills for Muslim estates under the Administration of Muslim Law Act (“AMLA”).
Where a person left behind a Will
The estate should be distributed according to their wishes, and the executor(s) named in the Will is responsible for this process.
Generally, the executor(s) must tender a list of documents to the Court to apply for a Grant of Probate.
Applying for a Grant of Probate
A Grant of Probate authorises the executor(s) to manage the deceased's estate according to the wishes of the deceased as expressed in his/her Will. Before submitting a Grant of Probate application, we will verify that the Will identifies the executor(s) and that the Will is validly created.
An application for the Grant of Probate should be made within six months of your loved one's passing. Our estate lawyers can help by filing an originating application (formerly known as originating summons) and the necessary documents for the application.
Applying for Letters of Administration
If there is no Will or if the deceased's Will is incomplete or invalid, a spouse or other next of kin must apply to the Court to become the deceased's personal representative and estate administrator. This process is called the Grant of Letters of Administration.
Letters of Administration allow an eligible person to become an administrator and distribute the deceased's estate according to Singaporean law.
The Intestate Succession Act provides the seven classes of eligible persons in order of priority, as follows:-
the deceased's children;
nephews and nieces;
uncles and aunts.
When it comes to writing wills, we offer personalised solutions to address every client’s unique requirements. We identify the tangible and intangible assets to craft a Will that gives effect to testators’ intentions.
Our probate and estate solicitors and professionals are able to communicate in English, Mandarin, Malay including various dialects such as, Cantonese, Hakka, and Hokkien. We consistently advise our clients to create a Will, as it guarantees their assets would be allocated according to their desires upon their passing. A Will enables specific bequests to loved ones and ensures sufficient support is provided for dependents. We understand that creating a Will can be complicated and confusing. We are committed to ensuring that your experience crafting a Will with us is hassle-free.
Writing a Will
We highly recommend engaging a lawyer to draft your Will. As your lawyer, we will ensure that the drafting of your Will abides by the legal rules governing the disposition of the various classes of assets and the different groups of beneficiaries.
A Will drafted by a layperson may not accurately reflect your wishes and could be open to challenges in the future, if it does not meet legal requirements. Having our team of lawyers draft your Will can prevent disputes and ensure that your wishes in relation to your estate and arrangements for dependents are recognised by the laws of Singapore.
Your Will should detail your estate distribution after your passing and appoint someone to manage this process, the Executor. Your estate includes everything you own, such as property, investments, and personal belongings. Your Will can specify how these assets will be allocated and address other matters, like guardianship of dependents and funeral preferences.
Amending a Will
If you already have an existing Will, you must not stop there! Updating your Will to reflect changing circumstances is as important as creating a Will. Consider revising your Will if your estate size changes or significant relationship shifts occur. Keep in mind that a marriage invalidates any previous Wills unless explicitly stated otherwise. On the other hand, a divorce does not affect a Will's validity. In either case, we highly encourage you to review and consider updating your Will.
Our lawyers can guide you on whether a codicil suffices to amend your Will or if a new one is necessary.
Contesting a Will
In certain situations, you may want to contest a deceased loved one's Will. The law in Singapore allows the contestation of a Will under specific circumstances, such as inadequate provisions for a dependent. To contest a Will on these grounds, an application for a maintenance order to alter the estate distribution needs to be made within six months from the date on which representation in regard to the deceased’s estate is first taken out. Do note that these provisions are not applicable to Muslims.
When deciding on maintenance, the court will assess a variety of non-exhaustive factors such as:
your past, present or future financial situation;
your conduct in relation to the deceased;
whether or not the deceased intentionally avoided leaving a part of his estate to you; and
any other relevant matters.
LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY (“LPA”) & MENTAL CAPACITY ACT (“MCA”) APPLICATIONS
As life expectancy increases, planning for physical and mental health has become increasingly vital. We believe in the merits of early personal welfare planning, as well as property and affairs management through executing a Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”). As an LPA Certificate Issuer, we can draft a customised LPA based on your specific needs and preferences.
What is LPA?
LPA is a legal document that allows you to appoint a person or persons of your choice (known as the Donee(s)) to make decisions on your behalf should you lose mental capacity. This can include decisions related to personal welfare, such as healthcare and daily living arrangements, as well as property and financial matters.
Why is LPA important?
Without an LPA, your loved ones may have to apply to the court for a Deputyship Order in order to make decisions on your behalf. This can be a time-consuming and a costly process. With an LPA in place, you can have peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be respected and your interests will be protected. You also get to pick the Donee(s) that you trust to manage your affairs.
Our LPA Services
We offer a range of services relating to LPA, including:
Consultation and Advice: Our team of experienced lawyers will provide you with clear and concise advice on LPA and guide you through the entire process.
Preparation of LPA: We will assist you in drafting your LPA and ensure that it complies with the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act.
Form 1 Certification: We are qualified certificate issuers in Singapore.
Form 2 Drafting and Certification: Other than certifying LPA Form 1, our lawyers are also experienced in drafting LPA Form 2 for clients who need to scope the powers granted to their donee or donees.
Registration of LPA: We will assist you in registering your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian ("OPG") to ensure that it is legally valid and enforceable.
Do not wait until it’s too late! Schedule a consultation with our experienced lawyers today to plan your Will, Apply for Probate, and/or Apply for a Lasting Power of Attorney in Singapore.
Who can make a Will?Anyone who is 21 years and above, of sound mind, and not suffering under coercion or undue influence.
What are the requirements of a Will?1. The Will must be in writing. 2. The testator must sign at the foot of the Will. 3. The signature must be made in the presence of 2 or more witnesses. 4. The 2 main witnesses cannot be beneficiaries, or spouses of the beneficiaries of the Will. 5. Each witness must subscribe to the Will in the presence of the testator.
What the testator cannot sign the Will?The testator may authorise another person to sign on his behalf in the testator's presence and by the testator's direction. This signature must be made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time. Each witness must subscribe the will in the presence of the testator.
Is it possible for the Will to be made electronically?Currently, it is not possible for a Will to be made electronically in Singapore. Until amendments are made to the Wills Act, an electronic Will has no effect in Singapore.
What happens if you have no Will?In the absence of a will, your estate will be distributed according to Singapore’s Intestate Succession Act. The distribution of the estate must be in accordance with the prevailing laws under the Intestate Succession Act. Beneficiaries will also have to apply to the court for a document known as Grant of Letters of Administration to administer and distribute the deceased’s estate.