How to Find a Will Record in Singapore and Why It Matters

Unlock the process of finding a Will record in Singapore with ease. Discover why proper record keeping and legal validity are crucial. Learn practical strategies for different scenarios and see how WillCraft makes Will creation and maintenance a breeze.

Liane Yong

Liane Yong

Lawyer, Managing Director

12 min read •

This article aims to guide individuals through various scenarios where they may need to locate a Will for a family member or loved one. It provides an in-depth insight into the process of finding a Will record in Singapore. Whether you’re a next of kin trying to locate a Will or a testator wanting to ensure your Will is legally valid and securely stored, we will help you navigate through it all.

”Circumstances could be challenging, but with the right knowledge and tools, you can simplify the search process for a Will record. As we delve into this topic, consider how you can ease this difficult journey for your loved ones with proper estate planning and explore how WillCraft can assist you in this endeavour.”

Scenarios that demand locating a Will

  • Unexpected Death

Sudden tragedies, such as accidents or sudden illness, may prompt family members to search for a Will to understand the deceased’s final wishes.

Imagine this scenario.

Natalie receives a call informing her that her brother, Ryan, has been involved in a tragic car accident and has passed away suddenly. As Natalie and her family come to terms with the shock and grief of losing Ryan, they realise they are unsure of his final wishes regarding his assets and personal affairs. With no previous discussions about a Will, Natalie and her family are left scrambling to search for any documentation that may provide guidance during this difficult time.

  • Terminal Illness

Individuals facing terminal illness may have updated their Will, necessitating family members to locate this document to ensure their wishes are carried out.

  • Executorship

Named executors must locate the Will to fulfil their duties in administering the estate according to the deceased’s instructions.

  • Inheritance

Beneficiaries may seek to locate the Will to understand their entitlements and rights to inherit assets or properties from the deceased.

  • Dispute Resolution

In cases of disagreement or ambiguity, accessing the Will record can help resolve disputes regarding asset distribution or the validity of the Will.

Picture this scenario.

Jennifer and her siblings are at odds over the distribution of their late father’s assets. While Jennifer believes their father’s Will clearly outlines his intentions, her siblings are questioning its validity and claiming that certain provisions are ambiguous. To resolve the dispute and ensure their father’s wishes are honoured, identifying where his Will is kept will clear all ambiguity to clarify any uncertainties and reach a fair resolution for all his children involved.

[Please keep in mind that all the scenarios listed above serve as general guidance and the specifics will vary based on individual circumstances.]

Other Relevant Scenarios for Will Searching

Additional circumstances that necessitate locating a Will include:

  • Multiple Relationships

An individual might have had a number of personal relationships such as second marriages, mistresses, or children out of wedlock. In these complex situations, identifying a Will could help clarify the deceased’s intentions regarding asset distribution among all parties.

  • Missing Will

In some cases, a Will may go missing or its location might be unknown. If attempts to find the original Will prove unsuccessful, you may apply to the Court for probate based on a copy or draft of the Will, as per Section 9 of the Probate and Administration Act. Notice, however, that this process can be quite complicated and may require legal assistance.

  • Probate Application

Prior to applying for the Grant of Letters of Administration on behalf of the deceased, it is always recommended to conduct a thorough Will search. This is to avoid any inaccurate assumptions about the deceased dying intestate (without a Will).

Discover what to do when you’re faced with a sudden passing and unsure of the next steps with our article - “Probate or Letters of Administration - A “What Do I Do” Guide”. We’ll walk you through the essential processes, whether a Will was left behind or not, helping you navigate the probate or letters of administration process with confidence.

  • Intestacy

If no Will can be found, or it is proven that the deceased did not execute a Will, the deceased’s assets will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act.

Explore our article - “Guide to Intestacy Law in Singapore with WillCraft” for comprehensive insights into the laws of intestacy and the governing rules. Delve deeper into this topic to gain a thorough understanding of its implications and intricacies.

How to find a Will record In Singapore

  • To start your search, begin by thoroughly searching the deceased’s home and personal effects. They may have kept their Will in a designated or hidden location for safekeeping.

  • Next, consider speaking to close family members or friends of the deceased. Very often, individuals who create Wills will confide in someone close to them regarding its existence and whereabouts. For example, if the deceased had a family lawyer, you can ask them if a Will was made. Reaching out to these individuals could lead you to the needed documents.

  • Additionally, you can check with the Wills Registry maintained by the Singapore Academy of Law. Provide them with the necessary supporting documents based on your relationship with the deceased to conduct the search. This Registry contains essential information, including the date of the Will, the lawyer who prepared it, and its location.

    To search for a Will in the Wills Registry (maintained by the Singapore Academy of Law), follow these steps:

  1. Start by navigating to the Wills Registry’s website.

  2. Once you are on the page, you should see an option to ‘Search for a Will’. Click on this option.

  3. Click on “For Individual Users”, and easily login with your SingPass.

  4. You will then be required to key in specific information such as the full name and identification number of the deceased, your relationship with the deceased, and the reason for your search. You may also be required to upload supporting documents such as the death certificate.

  5. After you have filled in the necessary details, click on the ‘Search’ button.

  6. The system will then process your request and you will receive an email informing you that you will receive the results within 3-5 working days.

    Please note that the Wills Registry keeps only information about the Will, such as the date it was made and where it is being kept, and not the actual Will or its copy. Access to this information is restricted to designated individuals like the maker of the Will, solicitors, and next-of-kin of the deceased. If you are not enlisted in these categories, you may need permission from the aforementioned parties or a court order to access the information.

    _When preparing to access a Will record from the Wills Registry, it’s important to be aware of the applicable fees. These fees support the maintenance and operation of the Registry. _

    _The cost to search for a Will record on the Wills Registry in Singapore is S$10.00 (inclusive of GST). This fee is payable regardless of whether a Will record is found or not. It covers the cost of the administrative effort of searching the register. _

    _To submit a record of a new Will or to update an existing record, a fee of S$50.00 (inclusive of GST) is charged. This cost ensures that the most pertinent and up-to-date information is constantly maintained on the registry. _

    _All payments made to the Wills Registry are non-refundable, to cover the resources that go into operating this crucial service. Therefore, it’s essential to be certain of your actions before proceeding with any transactions. _

  • Alternatively, consider reaching out to legal professionals. They can provide advice or inquiries about Wills, estate administration, and related matters. These professionals can often guide you through the appropriate legal processes in locating a Will.
  • Don’t forget about financial institutions. If the deceased had a safe deposit box or accounts with a bank, the institution might have a record if they deposited a Will for safekeeping.

Many Singaporeans often wonder if a loved one left behind a Will after passing away. Searching systematically through available channels could lend clarity to the asset distribution and other wishes of the deceased, providing closure to bereaved parties.

Keeping Detailed Records: Making the Process Easier for Your Loved Ones After Your Passing

One of the key elements that often get overlooked in the process of estate planning is maintaining proper, up-to-date records. This is especially true when it comes to Wills. Having a comprehensive Will not only helps in serving the deceased’s wishes but also facilitates the settlement of the estate. However, it gets complicated when family members or loved ones are unaware of its existence or can’t locate it.

This is where the importance of proper record keeping comes in. By maintaining a well-organised record of your Will, it also allows for expedited access to critical information when needed, improving accessibility in times of uncertainty for your loved ones. This helps in avoiding potential disputes or disagreements among family members regarding the distribution of assets in an already emotionally challenging time.

A systematic approach towards Will record keeping can prove beneficial in the long run. This includes updating the Will whenever there is a significant change in your life such as marriage, divorce, childbirth, acquisition or disposal of substantial assets. It’s equally important to inform your trusted confidants, the executor of your Will, or your lawyer about the location of your Will.

A nifty solution to organise and securely store such a valuable legal document online is WillCraft. It not only assists in writing a legally valid Will but also ensures that your records are safely stored online. By leveraging WillCraft’s services, it provides an opportunity to ensure that your Will can be easily located, eliminating the risk of it being lost or accidentally destroyed.

Ensuring Your Will is Legally Valid

In Singapore, a valid Will must meet several requirements:

  1. It must be in writing, ideally typed for clarity.
  2. You, as the testator, should be over 21 and of sound mind at the time of writing the Will.
  3. The Will must be signed at the end by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses who then sign in your presence. Notably, these witnesses, or their spouses, cannot be beneficiaries within the Will.
  4. Lastly, a valid Will should clearly and individually identify the beneficiaries and specify how you want your assets distributed among them.

Ensuring Your Will Can Be Found

To ensure your Will can be found after your demise, consider leaving a copy with your lawyer or trusted advisor, in a safe deposit box, or with reputable Will storage facilities. Also, you could inform a trusted family member or friend where your Will is, especially your executor - the person appointed to carry out the instructions in your Will.

Moreover, to ensure your Will is accessible after death, consider depositing information about your Will with the Singapore Academy of Law’s Wills Registry. Registering the existence of your Will on this platform doesn’t mean depositing the actual Will but rather recording that a Will has been made and where it is stored. This makes it easily traceable and accessible by your family members, your lawyer, or the executor of your estate. Remember, ensuring your Will is easily found is as important as drafting one.

Planning Ahead with WillCraft: A New Age Approach to Wills and Estate Planning

Not only does drafting a Will ensure your desires are carried out after your demise, but it also eliminates possible feuds among your loved ones trying to discern your intentions. Employing an online Will creation service like WillCraft comes in handy.

“Why, you may ask?”

Well, there are numerous advantages tied to our services.

✔ ️Let’s begin with Ease of Access.

Regardless of where you are, you can draft your Will at a time convenient for you. This is a stark contrast to traditional methods where you had to schedule appointments, which could be time-consuming, especially for the busy individual. WillCraft provides intuitive, user-friendly tools and templates at your disposal, streamlining the whole process of creating a Will.

✔ Next, we consider Accuracy and Completeness.

Crafting a comprehensive Will that addresses every essential aspect of your life, from caretaking arrangements for your pets to property distribution, can feel overwhelming for those unfamiliar with the intricacies of Will-writing. However, with WillCraft’s step-by-step process, we ensure thorough coverage while making the task easier. Our online Will making template simplifies the process, ensuring accessibility and intuitiveness every step of the way.

✔ Now let’s talk about Timeliness.

In today’s world, every second counts. With our expedient online service, you can craft your Will in a fraction of the time it would take using traditional methods. Once completed, you can promptly register your Will with Singapore’s Wills Registry, ensuring it’s officially documented.

✔ Last but not least, we consider Documentation.

A crucial part of ensuring your Will is found and executed according to your wishes is secure storage. WillCraft provides that assurance, offering safe digital storage options for your Will. This means when the need arises to register with the Wills Registry or access your Will, everything is right at your fingertips, reducing the worry of a lost or damaged document. However, always remember to keep your original Will in a safe place as it is necessary for the probate process.

Given these substantial advantages, it’s high time you considered drafting your Will with us!

Start planning for the future now, and rest assured that WillCraft will guide you every step of the way.

With WillCraft, you are in good hands. Plan now and leave the heavy lifting to us.

Don’t leave anything to chance. Plan ahead and start crafting your Will with us today! Remember, it’s not just about creating a Will; it’s about creating peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Visit our website now to learn more about us and get started on your estate planning with WillCraft.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is for general guidance and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a lawyer to seek legal advice that is specific to your needs.
Published on , and updated at .