CPF Nomination and Making a Will

The recent saga involving the will of the late founding father of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, has cast a spotlight on will. Of course, it is ridiculous to question the validity of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s will as he was a trained lawyer. But most Singaporeans are not lawyers by profession. So, it is important to understand the legal framework to avoid the devastating outcome of making the wrong will. In this article, I will also share what is the outcome if you did not make a CPF nomination.

Basically, a will is a legal document that indicates the instructions on how you wish to distribute your assets after you passed on. Technically, everyone can craft his own will without the aid of legal advisors. Although this is the case, it is not advisable to do so because most of us are not familiar with the laws in Singapore. I have seen so many sad stories of legal disputes involving the challenges on the validity of wills. The biggest tragedies are often the broken ties and damaged family relationships.

CPf nomination

Before proceeding, I need to clarify that I am not a lawyer by training and this article is not meant to be a form of legal advice. I am writing this article to the best of my knowledge. If there are any mistakes on my research, please feel free to point out to me.

Should you make a will?

The question most often asked is whether is there a need to make a will in the first place. If so, what is the correct age to make a will? Under the Wills Act, only those who are 21 years and above can make a will. If you are not married, you are eligible to make a will. But note that the will would be revoked when you get married. Thus, in my own opinion, it is not ideal for those who are not married to draw up a will because the family nucleus will change further down the road.

Most people are not aware that their wills would be revoked by marriage. Henceforth, many years down the road, there are often serious implications. In Singapore, the Intestate Succession law gives top priority to the spouse and children. The second priority are the surviving parents of the deceased.

If you have made a will before you get married and allocated some assets to your parents, the will would be [This is a premium article. The rest of the content is blocked and can be accessible by SG Wealth Builder Members only. To read the full content, please sign up as member.]

Read my other articles on CPF:

  1. Devastating HDB Loan and CPF Accrued Interest
  2. CPF’s Home Protection Scheme (HPS)
  3. The Dark Side of CPF Housing Withdrawal Limit

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2 thoughts on “CPF Nomination and Making a Will

  • September 11, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Will is also not invalidated by divorce … Just to take note.

    Also impt to consider what happens if both parents die, leaving young kids behind. Will with testamentary trust can help… But still need trustworthy parties / relatives to ensure your instructions carried out properly n kids looked after etc…

    Home for staying is best to be joint tenancy unless you don’t trust ur spouse n want to specify who will also co-own.

    Even if joint tenancy, can still specify in will in event both joint owners passed away. E.g. If both die in plane crash, the law takes it as the older die first, followed by the younger. If the wife is younger, she would be the last sole owner before demise. Without specifying in will, the home will be distributed according to intestate. If there are no children, the home will go entirely to wife’s parents or her siblings. The husband’s side will not get the home.

  • September 12, 2017 at 4:48 am

    Hi Sinkie,

    Thank you for pointing out that a will is not invalidated by divorce. I didn’t know that.

    On the joint tenancy part, I am not sure whether you are able to will your property in the event both joint owners died. This is because the manner of holding for joint tenancy is actually the right of survivorship. Regardless of whether there is a will, my understanding is that the Intestate Succession law will intervene if the joint tenants all died. This is different from tenancy-in-common.

    Again, I may be wrong because I am not a lawyer by profession. Perhaps a lawyer can advise better on such technicality.


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