Will Writing

Who is testator?

Testator is a person who makes a Will.

Can a beneficiary or his/her spouse be a witness in a Will?

No, a beneficiary or his/her spouse must not be a witness in a Will. If he/she does, then he/she will lose his/her share in the Will. However, this will not affect the validity of the Will.

Can the witnesses and the testator sign on the Will at different time?

No, both the witnesses and the testator must sign the Will at the same time. The function of the witnesses is to confirm and verify the state of mind of the testator as being sound mind.

What happen if both witnesses to the Will have died or cannot be located when the Will is submitted to the Court for Probate?

Under the rules of court, the court has a discretion to require the affidavit of both witnesses. If so, they are required to execute an affidavit of witness to be filed in the grant of probate application. In the circumstances that they have passed away or they cannot be located, the court may instruct for another affidavit to be filed to exhibit the death certificate of the deceased witness or the evidences that attempts has been made to contact the missing witness or any other court directions that the court deems fit.

Can I make alterations to my Will without writing a new Will?

It is advisable to write a new Will if the alterations are substantial. If it is a minor alteration – a typing error, for example, you can alter your Will and sign beside the alteration in the presence of the same witnesses. After that, the witnesses will also be required to sign beside the alteration in order for it to be effective.

Does a Will need to be stamped and sealed?

A Will does not need to be stamped to be valid. Sealing a Will only serves the purpose of confidentiality.

I have written a few Wills, which I have lost. Recently I had another Will written. If any of my old Wills are recovered after I die, which will be the valid Will?

The latest one.

Can I sell off my assets mentioned in my Will?

Yes, you can, once you have sold off any of the assets mentioned in the Will, the respective beneficiary will receive nothing as on the date of your death, there is no such asset.

Can I appoint guardians for my children and make a prearrangement to pay my guardian in the Will?

Yes, you can appoint guardians for your young children in a Will. As for payment to the guardian, special instruction can be drafted in your Will to pay them periodic payments only if they act.

Under what circumstance a testator need to appoint a Guardian and Trustees?

When there is a minor beneficiary named in the Will, the Trustees will hold on trust till beneficiary has attained the age of 21 and a Guardian is to take care of the minor children if both parents predeceased.

After signing the Will, the testator divorces his wife whom is a beneficiary in the Will, will she be able to receive the gift mentioned in the Will?

Yes, she will. Divorce, unlike marriage, does not revoke a Will. Therefore, if you have divorced or separated, you should consider rewriting your Will.

I am going to inherit some assets from my father when he passed on in future. Can I specify them in my Will even though I do not own the assets at the time when I write my Will?

Yes, you can. It is because one of the characteristics of a Will is that it only takes effect upon death. As such, even though the assets do not belong to you at the time of writing your Will, they may belong to you at the time of your death, in which case you can pass them on to your beneficiaries.

I have written a Will recently. I am going to purchase some new assets next month, do I need to rewrite again? Will there be anyone receive these assets when I passed on without writing a new Will to include these new assets?

No, the new assets will fall under the residuary clause and distribute accordingly. However, if you do not want the beneficiaries named in the residuary estate to benefit from these new assets, then you need to write a new Will and name your preferred beneficiary for the new assets acquired after the date of the Will.

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