Estate planning is not just about finances. Legacy planning is a special tool that gives you the ability to leave a message to your heirs. This can take many forms, from a video to a book to a simple letter. These tools help you memorialize your wishes, lessons learned, and hopes and dreams for future generations.
You may have a clear vison of your legacy, or you may have some ideas that are still unformed. Members of our team have experience helping clients think through these important decisions and patiently facilitating a step back and look at the big picture.
A legacy plan can be a powerful gift to those you love. We help determine the appropriate vehicle and assist you in articulating the message so you can share it with your families and friends.
A will is a legal document that instructs the administration and distribution of what a person owns (his ‘estate’) among his beneficiaries after his death. This person is called the ‘testator’. ‘Beneficiaries’ are those who inherit or benefit under the Will. The ‘Executor’ is the person nominated by the testator to administer and distribute his estate upon his death. Usually, the same person is appointed as executor and trustee (a person who has the power to hold the estate of the deceased upon his death).
If there are beneficiaries who are minors (persons under the age of 21 years) named in your Will, it will be preferable to have at least two Executors/Trustees who will be able to administer or hold any assets or invest or use any money for the benefit of the minors.
A trust is a powerful estate planning tool if it is properly structured and understood. Essentially, a trust is a legal arrangement where an individual transfers assets to a third party (called a trustee). The trustee is bound by a deed to follow a set of directives and rules to hold and manage the assets for the benefit of others (known as the beneficiaries).
The individual who transfers the assets into a trust is known as the settlor or grantor.
The trustee becomes the legal owner of the assets entrusted to him by the settler, but the beneficial interests are with the beneficiaries of the trust. This dual ownership of assets is given recognition and legality under the body of law known as equity.
Life insurance occupies a unique place in estate planning which is not replaceable by other assets. This is because several of Singapore’s statutes and case laws happen to give unique and advantageous legal positions to a life policy which are not available to other assets. Therefore, a properly structured life policy can magnify your estate and provide a smooth estate transfer to the next generation without problems typically experience by other assets. The 4 main advantages of life insurance are as follows:
1. Creates & guarantees immediate capital to your estate for your loved ones.
2. Provide liquidity to your estate without probate
3. Proceeds can be protected from your estate’s creditors
4. Policy can be nominated or assignable to third party to facilitate estate distribution objectives.
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