Review: WillCraft or OCBC Online Will Generator?

There are many online will writing services out there that offer an inexpensive and simple alternative to hiring a lawyer. This article helps you compare the two leading online will writing services: WillCraft and OCBC’s online will generator, to help you make an informed choice.
Alvin T'ngThu Aug 05 2021

When a person dies without leaving a will, all their assets will be disposed of and distributed to beneficiaries under Singapore’s Intestate Succession Act. This law lays down default rules on who is entitled to the estate of the deceased. The people included are the deceased’s spouse, children, parents, siblings, etc.

Although there are default rules on intestate succession provided for by law, the drawback is that the person will have no control whatsoever over the distribution of their estate. Neither can their successors decide on the proportion of their corresponding shares. On top of this, if there is an absence of all the mentioned people entitled to the estate under the Act, the assets of the deceased will go to the Government of Singapore.

For these reasons, drafting a will is important. Through a will, the deceased can provide, during their lifetime, who they want their assets to go to when they pass away. The testator, or person who writes the will, can provide for the property, the proportion, and the person the assets should be distributed to. This gives room for more control on the part of the deceased in the disposition of the estate.

But a hindrance faced by many is the lack of knowledge on how to draft a will. And oftentimes, one has no means to hire a lawyer to help them. Fortunately, online will writing services are here to make writing a will easier, faster, and more efficient.

This doesn’t however mean that all online will writing services are created equal. You must consider the quality of the will these online services can provide for you. A defective will might face problems at the point of execution. Some of these issues can even result to your will being nullified.

As a general rule, there are three things you have to consider in choosing an online will writing service — ease, functionality and legal compliance.

In Singapore, there are two leading online will writing services: WillCraft and OCBC’s Online Will Generator. Taking into consideration the factors of ease, functionality, and legal compliance, WillCraft is unquestionably the best choice in the market. ## Ease Writing a will is not as hard as it sounds, especially now given the availability of online will writing services. But not all online services are easy to use. Some might even take up more of your time compared to hiring a lawyer and drafting a will from scratch.

This is not the case with WillCraft. WillCraft makes will writing quick, affordable, and fuss-free. It has a user-friendly interface, with functions that guide you every step of the way. With the easy, broken down steps of the interface, you can write your will in just 30 minutes!

Unlike OCBC’s Online Will Generator, WillCraft allows you to save your work and come back in case you want to change anything. It also allows you to amend your work, which comes for free within 7 days! ## Functionality When looking for an online will writing service, ease is not the only thing to keep in mind. Sure, it’s easy to use, but does it offer a wide set of functions to help you write a good will?

Functionality is another thing to consider. You want to be provided with features that will enhance your will. There must be enough options for you to choose from with regards to legal technicalities like your beneficiaries or the number of assets.

OCBC’s Online Will Generator only allows you to add certain properties and fixed sums of money. You have no liberty to set the types of assets you wish to include, or the amount of money you wish to fix. WillCraft on the other hand, gives you options. It allows up to 5 categories of assets, enabling you to more accurately allocate your resources. This is important to give you more control of the assets you want to distribute. Further, it provides the executor of your will more specific allocations and instructions on how you want your assets to be disposed of.

WillCraft also allows you to have multiple substitute beneficiaries and gives you the freedom to choose and control the terms of distribution. Substitute beneficiaries are important in cases when the person you stipulated predeceases you. If this happens, the substitute beneficiary you indicated will be the one who receives that share. OCBC’s Online Will Generator does not include this function. It sets a default allocation, which provides that if any of your beneficiaries predecease you, their share will be given to the surviving beneficiary. This undermines your control on the distribution of your estate.

An executor is a person who carries out the provisions of your will. He or she follows the instructions you left, and distributes your assets according to what you provided for. An executor’s job is a lot of work. Appointing only one to carry out your will might cause unnecessary delay. This is just one of the benefits of having joint executors. When you have two or more people as executors, you cause the execution of your will to expedite. They can also dispose of your assets more efficiently because their knowledge or skill sets might coincide with certain provisions, making them more efficient.

OCBC’s Online Will Generator does not allow the appointment of joint executors. It only allows you to appoint a main executor and an alternative executor. WillCraft on the other hand provides you with the option of appointing multiple executors. Bear in mind, however, that in Singapore, only a maximum of 4 people are allowed to be appointed as executors of a will with respect to the same property. [1]

In a will, the testator can also provide funeral instructions which lay down how they want their burial to be conducted. OCBC’s Online Will Generator provides for some settings for funeral instructions, but these are incomplete. WillCraft offers more options and specifications to enable you to lay down your last wishes more accurately.

Before finalizing your will, you have to make sure all the information you provide is correct and accurate. Some mistakes might constitute a defect in your will. This is why the online will writing service you choose must have verification procedures. Unlike WillCraft, which allows you to verify, edit, and amend the information you put in, OCBC’s Online Will generator does not provide the same functions. It does not verify information, which might be considered important. An example is the National Registration Identity Card (NRIC), the identification document used in Singapore. OCBC’s Online Will Generator does not verify if NRIC’s are correct before allowing you to proceed.

Security is another important issue to consider. Some provisions in a will are better kept confidential for the privacy and safety of the beneficiaries or other persons involved. WillCraft’s security features are top-notch. They make sure your data is kept safe and secure. ## Legal Compliance Probably the most important question to ask when choosing an online will writing service is if it complies with the laws of Singapore. A testator is free to stipulate whatever they desire in their will, provided it does not go against the law. The courts will not enforce an illegal stipulation.

WillCraft complies with all legal requirements and formalities in drafting a will. The same cannot be said for OCBC’s Online Generator, which includes some functions that might cause negative legal effects in the enforcement of your will.

One example is its function that allows additional instructions. This might sound like a good thing, but it is prone to negative effects. Additional instructions might run counter to other provisions in your will. If there is conflict, some gifts or donations you provided for can be nullified.

OCBC also doesn’t verify the information you inputted nor does it check whether your beneficiaries are the same. This is a problem because you are not allowed to give the same gift or allocate the same asset to one beneficiary twice.

Generally, you do not need a lawyer to draft a will. Especially with the help of a will writing service, you will be able to write your own will easily. In any case, however, having a lawyer take a look at your will is very helpful in ensuring you have complied with legal requirements. This will eliminate defects that might raise problems during execution.

OCBC’s Online Will Generator does not avail of the services of lawyers in the drafting process. WillCraft, on the other hand, gives you the option to hire a lawyer. For only $79, you can request the assistance of a lawyer to review and witness your will. ## Best Choice? WillCraft. When it comes to ease, functionality, and legal compliance, WillCraft is definitely the best choice of online will writing service. With guided features and exemplary functions, WillCraft allows you to write your will in only 30 minutes, while also guaranteeing quality and enforceability.

[1] Probate and Administration Act (Cap 251, 2000 Ed) s 6(1).

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