Be aware of the following events that may invalidate a will.
Are you getting married?
If you are about to get married, it is best to only draft your will after marriage. Under Section 12 of the Wills Act 1959, a will can be invalidated by the testator marrying or re-marrying (unless a clause has already been inserted, providing for the coming nuptials). However, a divorce does not invalidate your will.
Are you having children soon?
You can designate all your children to be beneficiaries in your will, including children below the age of 18, children from previous marriage, current existing children, and even children en ventre sa mere (yet to be born). Children in the last category must be specifically detailed avoid the trouble of changing your will every time a new child is born.
Are you converting to Islam?
Converting to Islam will also revoke your will. If you are already a Muslim, you need to speak to a Syarie lawyer, as Islamic inheritance laws is a whole different set of rules. Click here to find out more.
“I Would Like to Revoke my Will!”
If you merely want to change the details of your will, you can do so by simply reviewing and amending it via a codicil. If the changes are material, and you would like to avoid the risk of confusion, you may want to consider revoking your old will and writing a new one.
Changes in your circumstances, such as the birth of children, marriage, divorce, or the death of an executor/beneficiary/guardian/trustee are all events that should make you considering changing your will. You cannot have two existing valid wills at the same time. Every will usually begins with a clause declaring that you hereby revoke all your earlier wills and any other instruments to that effect.
To determine whether or not you need to alter your current will or write a new one, please contact us.
If you are dealing with problems arising from someone who died intestate (without a will to distribute his or her assets), there could be serious implications. Please contact us to learn more.
A will can be challenged in court if it is perceived to be suspicious (by being not properly executed, not properly witnessed, or likely forged), or if the testator is incapacitated or otherwise coerced. If you would like to challenge the will of a recently deceased person, please contact our Litigation Department.
This article was written by Caleb Goh from Marcus Tan & Co’s Litigation Department
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Marcus Tan & Co. All rights reserved. The views and opinions attributable to the authors or editor of this publication are not to be imputed to the firm, Marcus Tan & Co. The contents of this publication are intended for purposes of general information and academic discussion only. It should not be constructed as legal advice or legal opinion on any face of circumstance. You are advised to seek independent legal advice for any furtherance of the subject matter.