WHAT IS A "STANDARD" WILL?

What Is a "Standard" Will?

Is there such a thing as a "Standard" Will?

Some people will say that there is no such thing and that everyone’s Will is personal to the person who makes that Will.

However, those with years of experience preparing Wills know that there is a discernible thread that goes through many Wills depending on the Testator’s family circumstances.

So, a couple with children will tend to make their Wills a certain way as will a couple without children. Singles on the other hand are much harder to predict other then those singles who keep their Wills very simple and within their immediate family.


Couple with children

Commonly a husband and wife tend to both appoint each other as Executor/Executrix and leave everything they have to each other in the first instance.

Their Wills also tend to provide that in the event of the spouse having predeceased the testator then one or more sibling/s from the husband’s and/or the wife’s side will be the substituted Executor/s in place of the spouse. If one or more of their children are adults then a child or children may be appointed as the substituted executor/s.

Their Wills then may go on to say that they leave all their assets and property to the children equally.

In many, many similar nuclear families this then tends to be the sort of Will which is made and which comes close to qualifying as a ‘Standard’ Will.

Couple with no children

Commonly where a couple have no children or have no children yet they tend to both appoint each other as Executor/Executrix and leave everything they have to each other in the first instance.

They also tend to provide that in the event of the spouse having predeceased the testator or will maker then one or more sibling/s from the husband’s and/or the wife’s side will be the substituted Executor/s in place of the spouse who has already passed away.

A couple with no children tend then to have their Wills made dividing their estate into 2 parts with one part going to the husband’s side of the family and the other part going to the wife’s side of the family. Then with each side of the family their half may go to the parents or to the siblings of that spouse in equal share

This tends to be the ‘Standard’ Will for a couple with no children.

Singles

With someone who is single if he or she has siblings then his or her Will may appoint one or more siblings as Executor/s and then either leaves everything to the parents and possibly part to siblings. If there is no sibling then usually a parent will be named as executor.

Singles tend to be the hardest to predict when it comes to the distribution of assets and properties as this is completely understandable as their relationship with family members and friends can differ very much person to person. Usually a single unmarried person will tend to leave all their assets and property to immediate family and sometimes to charity but there is then no real ‘standard’ for a single unmarried person.

Unmarried couples in long term domestic relationships

Whilst some countries (e.g. Australia) recognises and bestows on someone who is unmarried but a domestic ‘partner’ of a person the same rights as a spouse of that person (in effect treating that ‘partner’ as a common law spouse) Singapore does not recognise such relationships.

Further, the children from such domestic partnerships are regarded under Singapore law as illegitimate children having no rights of inheritance.

If you are a foreigner from another country working in Singapore long term and are in such a domestic relationship then in the event of your demise your assets and properties in Singapore could be dealt with under the Singapore laws of intestacy possibly differently than under the laws of intestacy in your country of origin.

By making a Will in Singapore a domestic partner and children of such union can then be assured of their rights of inheritance.