LPA for Widow and Make Your Will if You Are a Singaporean
While many Singaporeans realize the importance of making an LPA for widow, very few actually end up doing so. The article highlights all you need to know about the legal aspects, consequences, and benefits of doing so.
Lasting Power of Attorney
It is basically a proper legal document that enables a person, also referred to as a donor aged 21 or above to appoint a single or multiple persons referred to as donees to make decisions on the former’s behalf. An LPA covers aspects such as:
- financial affairs
- Personal welfare
To appoint your deputy to act on your behalf when you are mentally incapacitated, an application has to be made in the court of Singapore. There are many such instances when there have been conflicts between the family members regarding the appointment of a deputy.
In fact, the Lasting Power of Attorney enables donees to function in a couple of areas. These include property and personal welfare. It is hardly sensible to wait until the time a person demonstrates symptoms of the mental or physical vulnerability prior to executing a Lasting Power of Attorney. There is complete peace of mind when there one has made provision for their future. After all, there is hardly anyone who can predict the exact occurrence of health deterioration or sickness.
In fact, the provisions mentioned in any Will only becomes effective when the person passes away. On the other hand, when an individual succumbs to a loss of mental capacity like suffering a brain injury, mental health problems, a stroke, or goes into a coma, the clauses of the Will does not apply.
LPA for Widow: Know More About This
So, when an LPA for widow has been appointed, you can get faster access to the resources essential for your maintenance and care. Singaporean banks will permit the LPA to take control of your accounts when they present the necessary papers. An example is a medical report, which certifies your lack of mental capacity for managing your affairs and the original LPA.
In case you lost your mental capacity without a Lasting Power of Attorney, no one can touch funds available in your account. To do so, they have to obtain a court order selecting an individual as your deputy. Your loved ones may face inconvenience and stress and meanwhile may also have to bear expenses for your maintenance and care. Additionally, they have to bear costs pertaining to applying for an order from the court.
So, a Lasting Power of Attorney opted for as a part of the estate planning for any individual. Plus, it is incorrect that it is a tool for legacy planning only for the affluent and the aged people. Not only is an LPA for marriage is relevant today, so is an LPA for a widow in Singapore.
Typically, couples in Singapore make Mutual Wills to safeguard themselves and their offspring if one or both the parties expired. In other words, it is a plan to combat a common disaster. A Mutual Will is also an alternative to a situation where both the spouses make separate and individual Wills. A Mutual Will passes the personal property/estate to specific persons and leaves the rest to the spouse that survives.
The spouse who survives enjoys the right and privilege to use that property the way he/she desires to do so. When both spouses pass away, the remaining property is divided into the named beneficiaries as mentioned in the Will.
Reasons for Getting Mutual Wills
Many people opt for getting a Mutual Will so that their beneficiaries enjoy better protection. After all, it is a kind of agreement between the husband and the wife. When one of them dies, the surviving spouse will not alter the Will to negate the prevailing joint intention.
If a Mutual Will’s first testator expires, the property’s constructive trust remains with the survivor when the Will of the deceased spouse arises. Such a trust arises instantly and the survivor is linked to the property of the deceased left to her/him.
The key goal of getting Mutual Wills is to ascertain that its clauses are necessarily enforced. When a couple shares a harmonious relationship, then there is a reduction in the requirement of getting a Mutual Will. Ideally, the intention of going ahead with a Mutual Will is that the couple makes sure that their children are benefited from their assets. They do not want the spouse of a widow or a widow after the latter remarries to benefit.
Who Can Create a Mutual Will?
It recommends that a couple should take legal advice prior to determining their estate distribution. The reason for this is a lawyer or a solicitor can come up with different viable alternatives and suggest a number of practical management considers to administer Wills. The lawyer can also give suggestions that are in the best interests of a couple.
Couples need to also take the help of an expert professional for drafting their Mutual Will. After all, it is important that the contract has proper evidence between both the parties. There should be also an agreement of not revoking the Wills.
Conditions to Make a Mutual Will
Ideally, two people make Mutual Wills. Also, both sign two similar Wills that relate to the same estate possessed by them make the Will for beneficiaries. Plus, they cannot revoke it without the agreement of the other. Any two persons can create Mutual Wills but usually, married couples in Singapore create them.
There are three conditions to complete to create a Mutual Will.
- A Mutual Will cannot be revoked by a person without the consent of the other spouse
Prior to the passing away of either the husband or the wife in their Mutual Will, it can be revoked. That is possible if both the testators i.e. individuals making the Will agree mutually. In case, one of the spouses dies, the survivor inherits the estate as a constructive trust created for the beneficiary. Because of such a constructive trust, a survivor cannot revoke a Mutual Will nor can that Will changed to benefit some other person. The purpose of a Mutual Will is to only benefit the beneficiary mentioned in that Mutual Will.
- A Mutual Will should be kept as flexible as possible
While Mutual Will is usually one for couples, it is better not to opt for it. Also, it can curtail the survivor’s freedom and also lead to plenty of rigidness and inflexibility in their lives. In case one wants to offer benefits to the beneficiary, it should be done by making a regular Will. The reason for this is they get benefits directly rather than getting a Mutual Will.
Having said so, a Mutual Will can be of great benefit in certain situations. It is beneficial when the beneficiaries (kids of the parents) get the estate. Thereafter, they opt to remove the survivor once they obtain the property.
- Mutual Wills are common though they can be rigid
A couple consents to prepare their will in a specific form for Mutual Wills. There is proper proof suggesting that such wills cannot be revoked by one of the parties, Further, their property must distribute in a particular fashion. A survivor has to adhere to the agreement for the rest of their lives for Mutual Wills. As the wishes and circumstances can alter over a period of time, such a Will may not be apt always. The surviving spouse or widow has the liberty to manage assets, may not able or adequately experienced to do so. These assets may include company stocks whose value may depreciate when not managed properly.
Thus, LPA for Widow really comes in handy as the surviving spouse can manage the assets of the deceased spouse.