Like any other major life event, death
can bring its own set of changes to your loved ones. Preparation on your part
can help the people you care for better cope with the loss and manage the assets
that you have left behind.
Your 1st Steps
Making decisions about your estate in the prime of your life helps ensure that your loved ones are not burdened by uncertainties, when you pass on. When planning your estate, you should also determine how you want your savings in the Central Provident Fund (CPF), as well as any other insurance policies that you may hold, to be distributed.
Your Will determines how your estate, which includes all your immovable and movable property, will be distributed when you pass away. As with all legal matters, it is advisable that you consult a legal professional when preparing your Will. If your beneficiaries are too young to make financial decisions, you should consider appointing a trustee to manage your assets until they come of age.
Find out more about making a Will.
Should you pass away without a Will, your assets will be distributed under Singapore's intestacy laws or Muslim inheritance laws, which govern how a deceased's assets are distributed.
Find out more about how asset distribution is performed under the intestacy laws.
Planning ahead minimises the uncertainties of how your assets are distributed and gives you and your family peace of mind. Appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney can also help with managing your financial matters in the event you become incapable of doing so, while you are still alive. Find out more about a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Just like your cash savings, property and other assets, you can decide how your CPF savings are distributed through a CPF Nomination. Your CPF Nomination governs the distribution of your CPF monies, which include:
- Balances from your Ordinary, Special, MediSave and Retirement Accounts
- Any unused annuity premiums from CPF LIFE
- Remaining Retirement Account savings deposited with a participating bank or used to buy an annuity from an approved insurer
- Discounted SingTel shares
There are three types of CPF Nominations:
- Cash Nomination - Your CPF savings will be paid in cash (via cheque or GIRO) to your nominees upon your death.
- Enhanced Nomination Scheme - Your CPF savings will be paid to your nominee's CPF accounts, instead of in cash.
- Special Needs Savings Scheme - Parents can nominate their child/children with special needs to receive monthly disbursements from their CPF savings upon their death.
For more information on the CPF Nomination Scheme, click here
Do note that other assets you may have, such as insurance policies (without having done a prior nomination), investments, un-invested cash under the CPF Investment Scheme and other properties, will not be covered under the CPF Nomination and will be distributed according to the instructions in the Will instead.
If you have used your CPF savings under the CPF Education Scheme or for the purchase of your home, the savings withdrawn and its accrued interest need not be refunded to your CPF account.
Should you pass away without making a
Nomination, your CPF savings will be distributed under Singapore’s intestacy
laws or Muslim inheritance laws.
Last Medical Bill
You may incur medical bills during your final days and if you pass away in hospital, the last medical bill can be paid using your MediSave savings, before your CPF savings are distributed to your beneficiaries.
To utilise your MediSave savings, you should complete the MediSave Authorisation Form. If you find that you are unable to function optimally or pass away before you are able to sign the form, an immediate family member (who is at least 18 years of age) or a deputy/donee (who is appointed under the Mental Capacity Act) may sign the form on your behalf.Property
If you own a property, its distribution upon your passing will depend on how it is held. If your property is held in:
- Joint tenancy – it will be passed on to the surviving spouse; OR
- Tenancy in common – it will be distributed according to your Will or the intestacy law
You can protect your family members from having to worry about any outstanding housing loans if you are covered under the Home Protection Scheme or any mortgage reducing insurance.
Find out more about the Home Protection Scheme here.
Estate planning provides you with
peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care. Take note of the
different needs of your loved ones when doing estate planning to ensure your
assets are distributed properly and according to your wishes.