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Wills and Probate

Wills & Probate

Planning one’s estate issues is important in determining how one’s assets will be distributed upon death.

At Wilberforce TJC Law Corporation, together with our affiliations and partners in Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Taiwan, Japan and around the world, we provide quality legal service and work closely with our clients to protect their legacy and assets in different parts of the world. Our objective in our wills and probate practice is to help our clients protect their interest and ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes. We possess the knowledge and experience to address any concern regarding the validity of a will, assist in the drafting of a will, and application for probate or letters of administration, in Singapore and all parts of the world. We will assist you in ensuring the validity of your will, so that your assets can be distributed according to your wishes as expressed in your will.

 

The Importance of Will

A will is a legal document containing an individual’s wishes and intents that would take effect upon his/her death, which can be revoked at any time according to the procedure prescribed by law. As a general rule, a person should make a will in every jurisdiction where he has substantial assets to prevent complications arising from the validity of the will. Unless there is a will, we would not know to how the deceased intended for his estate to be dealt with. 

Further, a will should be reviewed when an individual’s circumstances have changed, for instance, he/she enters a marriage.

The following are some of the main considerations of having a will which can be validly executed:

  1. The existence of a will provides certainty as to the intended beneficiaries and the specific distribution of the assets to each beneficiary. 
  2. A will prevents disputes between family members which may lead to lengthy court proceedings.
  3. A will allows you to appoint your desired executor and administrator of your assets.
  4. Home-made will may be invalid for failing to comply with relevant requirements. 
  5. If you do not have a will or your will is invalid, the intestate laws in the state or country that you reside in will determine the distribution of your assets.
  6. Without leaving a valid will, your intended beneficiaries may not be able to receive the rightful bequests.

 

Probate

Probate is the legal process for dealing with a deceased’s assets according to the terms of his or her validly executed will or the general administration of the estate of a deceased person according to the laws of intestacy as the case may be in the absence of a legal will. The granting of a probate is the first step in the process that includes locating and determining the value of the deceased’s assets, paying his/her debts and expenses, and distributing the estate to his/her rightful beneficiaries.

A probate officially appoints the executor (often the person named in the will) or administrator (if there is no will) of the estate and grants him/her the power to deal with the deceased’s estate. Without a valid will, there may be disputes over who should be the administrator of the estate and this may lead to unnecessary court proceedings. 

Once the probate has been granted, the executor or administrator obtains the legal power to deal with assets such as personal bank accounts, certain immovable properties and shares in the company. 

As probate can be a difficult and time-consuming process, especially if some of the assets are located in other countries, you need legal expert who can assist you in every step along the process. 

At Wilberforce TJC Law Corporation, with our extensive networks in China and Indonesia, we are particularly experienced in assisting Singaporean clients in probate matters relating to assets in China and Indonesia. We have also assisted clients all over the world in probate matters relating to their ancestors’ assets in Singapore. Please see below some of our successful past assignments for reference:

  • Singaporean clients whose father left them with pieces of land and properties on land in China, required our assistance in ensuring legal and proper transfer and registration of ownership of those properties in China.  We provided one-stop services for all necessary preparation required by the Chinese authorities, including legal document drafting, notarisation and legalisation of the legal documents in Singapore and communication with Chinese local authorities and agent.
  • Indonesian client whose father left assets in Singapore to him, needed our assistance in the entire probate application process in Singapore. We managed every aspect of the court proceedings in Singapore to ensure this client’s interest was adequately recognised and protected.  

Contact us to discuss your legal needs for:

  • Wills; and
  • Probate Administration.