Wills & CPF - How does CPF fit in my Estate Plan

This article explains everything you need to know about Wills, Estate Planning and CPF. It handles all the commonly asked questions about CPF and Wills.
Alvin T'ngThu Mar 10 2022

Can CPF be included in my Will?

The short answer to this is no. However, there are several technical exceptions.

Under the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Act, CPF monies do not form part of your estate. Since a Will is governs how to distribute your estate (which consists of all your assets, and your debts), CPF therefore also cannot be included in your Will.

However, investments and properties (excluding discounted Singtel Shares) bought with CPF monies is included in your estate, and can be distributed via your will. Such investments and properties include the following: - properties bought under your CPF savings; and - investments made under the CPF Investment Scheme-Ordinary Account (CPFIS-OA) and CPF Investment Scheme-Special Account (CPFIS-SA) schemes.

If you want to control how your CPF monies are distributed, you have to make a CPF nomination. The CPF nomination will cover the following: - The CPF monies in your Ordinary, Special, Medisave and Retirement Accounts; - unused CPF LIFE premiums; and - discounted SingTel shares.

Note that payouts from the Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS) will is not included in your Estate, and is not included in your CPF nomination, they will be administered directly by the insurer.

When can I make a CPF nomination?

You may make a CPF nomination at any time so long as you are 16 years and above, and of sound mind.

Do I need to make a CPF nomination if i already have a Will?

The answer to this is yes. As above, since the CPF nomination handles monies that are not included in your estate (which are handled by your Will), you'll need to have a CPF nomination to direct how to distribute the CPF monies.

What is a CPF nomination?

A CPF nomination is a way to specify the people who should receive your CPF monies upon your death. The nomination covers all monies in your CPF except for properties and investments bought with CPF monies (see above for details).

You may make a CPF nomination in two ways, online or in person.

If you choose to make your nomination online, you may do it by logging in to My CPF Online Services. with your Singpass. If you prefer to make your nomination in person, you may do it by making an appointment with a customer service executive at any CPF service centre.

Either way, you will need to get two witnesses to complete the nomination process. You may ask anyone including your friends or relatives to act as your witnesses so long as they are: - at least 21 years old - have sound mental capacity; and - are not your nominees.

Note that if you do decide to make an online nomination, you will only be able to select up to 8 nominees. If you intend to have more than 8 nominees, you will have to make your nomination in person.

Making your CPF nomination in person

If you are making a nomination in person, it may be convenient to note that the CPF Board's customer service executives can act as your witnesses and clarify any questions you may have.

Note that you'll need to prepare the following for your appointment at the CPF service center: - a copy of your NRIC/passport; - your nominee(s)' NRIC number, email and mailing address; and - both your witnesses' name and NRIC number (if you're using your own witnesses - If the CPF Board's customer service executives are acting as your witnesses, you do not need to prepare your witnesses' particulars).

Making your CPF nomination Online

If you are making your nomination online, you and your witnesses will need a valid Singpass. Note that making a nomination online does not require your witnesses to be physically present, or to sign a hardcopy form. It can be done at any time and anywhere.

When completing your nomination, you'll need to prepare the following: - your Singpass (if you're making an online nomination) - your nominee(s)' name, NRIC number and contact information - both witnesses' name, NRIC number and contact information - witnesses' mailing addresses (For non-Singapore Citizens/PRs).

What happens if I do not make a CPF nomination?

If you do not make a CPF nomination, your CPF monies will be distributed according to the intestacy/ inheritance laws of Singapore (find out more about Singapore intestacy/inheritance laws here ). The distribution will be handled by the public trustee (PTO).

Please note that in order to for the PTO to distribute the money, your nominees would have to pay a fee (min $15).

Who can I nominate in my CPF nomination?

You may nominate any person or organisation as your nominee. This includes foreign individuals. There is also no limit to the number of nominees that you can appoint.

However, there are. a few scenarios that you may want to take note of concerning your nominees: - CPF nominees that are underaged at the time of claim - if your nominee is below 18 years of age at the time of claim, his/her share will be held by the PTO for administration until he reaches 18 years of age. During such time, the monies will earn interest during the time period before the minor reaches 18 years of age - however, fees are charged on the amount of interest earned by the PTO. - CPF nominees that are of unsound mind at the time of claim - if your nominee is of unsound mind at the time of the claim, your nominee's LPA nominee will handle the monies on behalf of the nominee, and if your nominee does not have a LPA, a court appointed deputy would handle the monies on behalf of your nominee. - CPF nominees that are bankrupt at the time of the claim - if your nominee is bankrupt at the time of claim, then the monies will be forwarded directly to the Official Assignee.

What if my nominee passes away before me?

If your nominee passes away before you and you have not made any new nominations when you pass, the CPF monies will be distributed to the rest of the surviving nominees proportionate to their specified shares.

What happens after I make a CPF nomination?

If you have made a CPF nomination, your CPF savings will be distributed in cash to your nominee(s) by default unless you choose otherwise. Your nominees will receive this via cheque or GIRO. This is the default option.

How to change my CPF nomination?

You cannot amend your existing CPF nomination. However, you may simply make a new nomination. The new nomination will supersede the one made previously, the old one will no longer be in force.

What to do to claim CPF after death

  1. Report the demise of the deceased person

If the deceased was a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident, there is no need to inform the CPF Board. The CPF board will contact the nominees directly.

if the deceased was a foreigner with a CPF account, the death needs to be reported the death at a CPF Service Centre or by post/email. In both cases you’ll need to provide the following specific documents: - The deceased’s original death certificate and current passport duly cancelled due to his/her demise, or a copy certified by an official from a Singapore Overseas Mission with his/her official seal/stamp; - A letter from the relevant authority confirming the deceased’s identity number, if the death certificate doesn’t show it; - Evidence of your relationship with the deceased; and - Your identity card or passport, and contact details.

Find out whether the deceased person has a CPF nomination

You may check if there's a CPF nomination by: - going through his or her personal belongings or asking close family members; - checking My Legacy vault to see if the person had left a digital record; or - contacting the CPF Board directly for help.

If the deceased had made a CPF nomination, the CPF Board will contact the person's nominee(s) directly about the distribution of the deceased's CPF savings within 15 working days.

The CPF board will send you a letter informing you of the actions required. In summary, you will have to complete Application to Withdraw Deceased Member's CPF by logging in to your CPF account with Singpass. The form required the. following information: - the deceased's name and CPF account number; - the deceased's date of nomination and date of death; - your bank account details; and - your CDP account number (if the deceased has discounted Singtel shares).

However, if the person did not make a CPF nomination, the deceased's CPF savings will be transferred to the Public Trustee's Office (PTO) directly.

What If I Lose Mental Capacity After Making My CPF Nomination?

Your CPF nomination will remain valid even after you lose mental capacity.

This nomination will remain since you can no longer revoke your existing nomination or make a new one, except for in the following scenarios: - all nominees passes away before you; or - where the court makes an order to revoke the existing CPF nomination.

In those cases, your CPF monies will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act by the PTO.

Alvin T'ng
Alvin is the Founder of https://willcraftnow.com. An online service that offers Will and LPA Writing starting from $49. Before he founded WillCraft, he was specialised in Tax, Private Wealth and Estate Planning at one of the the Big Four Law Firms in Singapore. He has since been featured on multiple national platofmrs, including MoneyFM, LianHeWanBao and Channel News Asia.
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