Wealth management is an investment advisory service that helps serve generations of families for an effective transfer of family wealth. It is vital to be fully-equipped regarding your wealth structuring needs such as philanthropic intentions, family governance, probates as well as estate administration on any tax and legal issues.
More importantly, the steps you’re taking with the help of a private wealth advisor, ensuring that these solutions are catered towards your needs and how the entirety of your assets will be planned to work with the family’s dynamics.
What is it?
Nominations are arrangements regarding who are the nominees that will receive the insurance proceeds in the event of death or permanent disability.
- Defining who you would like to benefit from your estate, when, how and in what proportions
- Identifying the individuals or companies you want to manage the distribution of your estate and helping ensure they have the time and experience to handle succession tasks
- Ensuring your family has sufficient funds available to meet estate and inheritance taxes along with other important financial obligations
- Support in planning for all eventualities, such as a family member becoming incapacitated
What is it?
- A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that allows a third party, or trustee, to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries.
- Traditionally used for minimizing estate taxes and can offer other benefits as part of a well-crafted estate plan.
Basics of a trust
A trust is a private management, in which a settlor will transfer the legal ownerships of the assets to the trustee (the one who manages and holds the assets in place for the beneficiaries.) The beneficiaries may include you and your family members.
Choosing a Trustee
Selecting someone who will be administering your structure is as important as your succession plan. Trustees are the ones who will accept the responsibilities of personal and legal liability for financial welfare of the trust fund. Hence, the key decision in choosing a reliable trustee who will manage, protect and distribute the assets, will have its lasting implications.
Essentially, it is best to have a trustee that has professional legal knowledge and financial expertise, as it may require generations worth of workload, detailed record-keeping and coordinating with lawyers, accountants and other necessary parties. Therefore, with its complex management, it often comes alongside with challenging financial and investment decisions.
Why is administering family trust so imporant?
- It is essential to set up this type of trust with credible companies that have experience in serving several thousands of clients for wills and executorships. This automatically ensures secured ties with the team of professional consultants to have future appointments whenever the need arises.
- Despite trust business being in its infancy, the growth and accumulation of wealth in Singapore would inevitably require trust planning surrounding family trust. Numerous trust planning surrounding wealth and properties would be necessary in order to be passed down to the next generation.
- Trust business continues to grow steadily from year to year. Therefore, a trust created in the present can be expected to provide great returns as a continuous stream of trust administration income for the following years. The life of the trust and its termination could be decades away. Similarly to the nature of longevity of trust, trust companies will also benefit from it with equal longevity.
What is it?
The estate refers to your money and savings that will be distributed after your death. Thus, estate planning guarantees that the people and the causes you care deeply about will be able to receive what you hoped to give them. This will ensure your assets will be distributed specifically to your requests.
- Estate planning sample template prepared for online visitors to refer to.
Choosing the right executor for Estate Planning
The execution of estate planning requires a high level of legal and professional expertise due to its nature of spreading over multiple jurisdictions. Professional executors are the ones who will ensure that all your assets are collected, all your debts are appropriately settled and that your net assets are properly distributed even after a person’s lifetime, the one in line with their will. Thus, choosing a young, professional trustee will make sure that the administration of your estate is in the best interests of your next generation. Lastly, by appointing a professional will avoid conflicts of interests that may happen between family members. This will help minimise its confrontations among the beneficiaries of the your estate, whilst providing continuity which an incompetent executor cannot offer.
Wills are governed by the Wills Act in Singapore. It states that a testator may devise and bequeath or dispose of his real or personal estate via a will.
What are the requirements for a valid will in Singapore, then?
- The testator must be at least 21 years old.
- The will must be committed to writing.
- The testator’s signature must be witnessed by 2 or more witnesses, who must also sign the will in his presence.
- The 2 main witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of the will, or spouses of beneficiaries.
- The testator must sign the will at the foot of the will.
- If the testator is unable to sign at the foot of his will, another person may be allowed to sign it in his presence, on his behalf.
- Witnesses apart from the 2 main witnesses can also be beneficiaries.
What should be included in a will?
- Your assets list.
What cannot be devised? A jointly-owned bank account or house.
- Your liabilities list
What must be stated? How do you want your debts to be paid off, before the assets are distributed to the beneficiaries.
- The beneficiaries (assets recipients) and guardians (when the beneficiaries are too young), and how much each one is to receive.
Optional to include: Reserve/ backup beneficiaries in the event of simultaneous death.
- The executors (to carry out your will).
A beneficiary may also be the executor.
- The advisors.
Such as accountants and lawyers.
A revocation clause to revoke any and all previous wills.
- A residuary clause that distributes any remainder of your estate according to your wishes.
If a beneficiary dies before you, the asset bequeathed to him becomes the remainder.