What Can't You Give Away in a Will

There are two main things you cannot give away by a Will.

What can't you give away in a Will

CPF

Many of my clients tell me to include their CPF in their Will.

Unfortunately, CPF cannot be given away in a Will.

You will need to download a nomination form at the CPF website, sign it before two witnesses and send it back to CPF for processing.

You can also go down to CPF personally and sign it before two of the CPF employees.

After you die, CPF will notify the beneficiaries (that you have stated in your nomination form) of the amount that they will inherit and the monies will usually be credited to their bank account.

Joint Property

You cannot give away joint property (e.g. joint bank accounts and condos / HDB flats that are held as joint tenants).

This is because under the doctrine of survivorship, when one of the joint owners die, the other automatically gets the property. Usually, all is required is showing a copy of the death certificate to the bank / HDB.

However, you can include joint property in a Will if both joint-tenants execute a mirror Will. They should also include in a clause to state that if one party dies first, and the other gets the property, then it can only be distributed after the second persons death.

For example, A and B are husband and wife. Both A and B hold a DBS joint account and a condo that is held as joint-tenancy.

To do a mirror Will to deal with the above two jointly-held property:-

(a) B's Will should state "In the event that A dies first and I become the sole owner of the property, I give the property as follows..... 50% to X, 20% to Y and 30% to Z"

(b) A's Will should state "In the event that B dies first and I become the sole owner of the property, I give the property as follows..... 50% to X, 20% to Y and 30% to Z"


Benjamin Li Yong Le

About the Author

Benjamin Li Yong Le (“Ben”) is an Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore. Ben is currently running his own boutique corporate and commercial law firm under the name and style of L’Avocat Law.