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Why is it important to do estate planning in Singapore?
Life is unpredictable, for that matter everything you think you own can be lost in a matter of minutes. It could be an earthquake, a sudden loss of fortune where you lose all you have in debt, a heart attack or anything else. When wisdom tells you that change is the only constant, then why not be prepared for it in advance. The whole aim of estate planning in Singapore is to be prepared for the worst. This might come across as pessimistic to some of you and wise to few others. When Sherlock Holmes says, “Fear is wisdom in the face of danger,” it was certainly a call for caution.
Estate planning is the preparation of tasks that manage an individual’s asset base in the event of their incapacitation or death. Attorneys usually help people with their estate plans. These are people who have a considerable amount of experience in the field of estate law. They help you with the relevant legal procedures to prepare your estate plan.
So, why do people do their estate planning in Singapore? Is it only to determine their distribution of assets after they are gone or is there more to it? Read on to find out
The primary reason is the systematic distribution of assets
Let’s say you own assets worth $5 million, then you will want to, at some point, figure out how it will be distributed after you are gone. If you have loved ones, then you might want to split your assets among them or maybe give it all to some charity institute. In Singapore, if you don’t write a will, then the Intestacy rules of the state come into force. As per the law,
- Surviving spouse, no issue, no parent – Spouse: 100%
- Surviving spouse and issues – Spouse: 50%
- The surviving spouse and issues – Issues: 50%
- Surviving spouse and parents – Spouse: 50%, Parents: 50%
- No spouse, no issue – Parents: 100%
- No surviving parent – Siblings:100%
- Without surviving parent, sibling – Grandparents: 100%
- No surviving parent, sibling, grandparent – Uncles & aunts: 100%
- No next-of-kin – Government: 100%”
This is precisely why Singaporeans proactively do their estate planning well in advance. They get to decide who owns what and how much of it. Apart from the discretion to give away their assets to the people they want, estate planning has other benefits as well. Read on to know more.
The possibility of reduced tax payments
If your assets are high, then there is a possibility that you would have to pay high taxes to your state. You would have to pay an Estate Duty Tax, which is the total market value of a person’s assets at the time of his or her death. And if there is some sort of income that you earn from your assets, then even the income tax will be applicable. Income tax is technically the tax you earn from the assets left behind by the deceased for the period after the date of death until the assets are sold or transferred. Estate planning will help reduce the probate fees involved and inheritance taxes. This could actually be a potential strategy to ethically cut down on your taxes.
The need for effective control and management of assets
Merely having talent is not enough, if you don’t know what to do with them. You could be a great writer, but if you don’t do anything with the skill, then you are potentially losing out on opportunities. Similarly, owning assets is not enough. You need to know what to do with it and how to make the most of it. Estate planning in Singapore will help you understand the true potential of your assets and how to better manage and control them.
Lastly, estate planning also provides clarity with regards to your final wishes regarding asset distribution. Estate planning takes away the guessing and provides a detailed plan of who, what, where and when.
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