Wills & Estate Planning

Home About Services Seminars Cases

Plan now before it is too late!

If you don't plan your estate now, the Singapore government will do it for you by using Intestate Succession Act to distribute your assets when you pass on. This means that your assets may land in the wrong hands. Your family and loved ones may not get what you have intented them to have. You can avoid much problem and headache for your family if you have properly planned your estate.


If you are a keyman in your business, you must read this.

A Sad Story (dramatised to illustrate certain points)

As a business person, John had been very successful.  Through his hardwork and determination, he had provided adequately for his family.  They lived in a nice big bungalow in one of the expensive and posh area.  John drove a Mercede Benz and owned shares and other properties.

One fine day, God decided to take him home.  As John had been a good God fearing Christian using his money wisely to help the church mission to spread the gospels and doing all sort of good deeds, he managed to go to heaven.

John was having a good time in heaven singing and praising God.  Then one fine day, while he is happily playing his harp singing praises to God, a thought came into his mind, wondering what happened to his family on earth?

God sensed his thoughts.  God decided to let John visit his family on earth.  John was thrilled of the idea of seeing his family again.  God sent John back to earth.......

On reaching his home, he was surprised to see many people crowding around near rhe front gate of his house.  He saw his brother, his bankers and his lawyer.  Wondering what had happened, he moved forward to listen to their conversation.

"M'dm, I am sorry to tell you that as your husband died without a Will, the probate process will takes 2 to 3 years to complete.  Meantime, all the bank accounts of your late husband had been frozen by the banks until the probate process is completed," John heard his lawyer telling his wife.

"I don't have any money now to continue living!" John's wife replied weepingly.

Now John remembered that his lawyer had number of times asked him to prepare a will but he always jokingly told him off that he was not ready to die yet.

"I really regret not listening to my lawyer to have a Will," John lamented to himself.

"Remember last year I send your friend, Joe, to talk to you about estate planning?  What did you tell him?  You tell him off on the face not to be a messenger of death," God reminded John.

"I am sorry, God.  I don't know that Joe was sent by you," John meekly replied.

"I also send your niece who just joined the insurance industry to talk to you about financial planning.  You shooed her off by puchasing a very small policy from her," God added.

"John died without making any provision for his business.  As he is the keyman of the company, now our business is really affected.  Our creditors are getting nasty now.....they want us to pay cash instead of credit.  Our company is having a financial crunch," John's brother told John's wife.  John's brother is one of the director of John's company.

"And the worst thing is that John has personally guaranteed the loans from the bank as he is the managing director.  Now the banks are calling back the loans.  I don't know what to do now," John's brother told his wife.

"I only wish he had taken up the advise from Mike, our accountant, to take up a keyman insurance policy," John heard his brother lamented.

Now John remembered that his accountant had advised him to consider getting keyman insurance for the company.  He turned it down as he had considered such expenses to be waste of money.

"The banks want to foreclose our company if we don't come up with the money soon.  Also, the banks want to force a lien over the house as John has act as guarantor for the loans for the company," John's brother said.

"If the bankers take away my house, where should I and my children stay?" cried John's wife.

!@#$%^&*(), cursed John.   "What the hell is this?  I've given the banks so much business over the years and yet they treat my family like this," John lamented.  At this point of time, God reminded John no cursing and profanity were allowed in heaven.

John then approached God and asked :" God, why don't you warn me earlier before you take me home?"

"I did.  I sent Joe, the estate planner.  You are not interested.  I then send your niece to approach you but you shoo her off by purchasing a small policy.  I sent your lawyer and your accountant, you also don't listen. So, how can you blame me for not warning you first?" God reprimanded John.

Then God took John to his beloved church.  John saw his pastor and elders having a very serious meeting.

"Gentlemen, we have bad news.  Due to lack of running funds, the mission in Papua New Guinea and Thailand have to be curtailed," said the pastor.

"I only wish that our beloved brother, John, is still around.  He will surely support and fund these missions," added one elder.

"We need to pray to God for a miracle," said another elder.

"Remember one of your church member Kenny?  He shared with you how you can use Charitable Trust Fund to support your church mission activities?  What did you tell him?  You tell him to go fly a kite and mind his own business!" said God to John.

By now, John was so ashame of himself that he hung his head in deep remorse.  If only he knew.....

It may be too late for John to do anything.  You can do something now for your family financial well-being.  Plan now.  Contact us for a no obligation estate planning



 When you are gone.....

  Source:  pixabay.com             angel-1107707_640


These may happen:

  1. Your business went belly up due to lack of
    support from banker, creditors and employees.
  2. Your family forced sell the business at low price.
  3. Your competitors take opportunities to take over your customers.
  4. Bank foreclose your company loans by garnishing your estate assets; thus affecting the financial wellbeing of your family.
  5. If you have no will, the probate process will take long time, costing much more money in legal and court fees.
  6. If you don't have assets inventory list, your executor / administrator will find it very difficult to identify your assets for the probate process. Time spend in hunting for the legal documents for your assets will take long time.
  7. Your family may not have sufficient funds to carry on living.

Plan now before it is too late!

If you are a business person, the following will apply when you pass on:

  1. Sole Proprietorship : your creditors and bankers can force a lien over your estate assets to recover the debts. The firm ceased in existence when you pass on.
  2. Private Limited Company : Since the company is a separate legal entity, creditors and banks cannot force a lien on your estate assets for the debt, unless you personally sign as guarantor for the debts. However, the question is will the company be able to continue running without you? Who will take over the management? You need to have a Business Succession Plan in place.
  3. Partnership : The surviving partner(s) can buy over the shares (at what price?) or sell their shares to the heir. Problem is that the heirs may not be professionally qualified (e.g. if the partnership is a CPA firm) or want to take over the firm. Also the survicing partner(s) may not have the cash to buy over the shares. This problem can be solved if the partnership has a buy-sell agreement plan using life insurance as source of funds.
  4. Limited Liability Partnership : When one partner dies, his shares are automatically transfered to the surving partner(s) -- this means your heirs get nothing. May not be fair as you may have put in many years and effort to build up the partnership. One way is to have a Golden Handshake plan in place so that on retirement or early demise, the life insurance will pay a lump sum.

Contact us for a no obligation discussion on your business succession and estate planning needs.




More Articles  |1|2|3|


Bookmark this page
Facebook Google Bookmarks Reddit Twitter Yahoo My Web

All Rights Reserved (c) 2013 Lawrence Tham