Legal Aspect of Estate Planning
Programme Synopsis1. Introduction
i. The Legal Landscape
ii. Legal Systems
iii. Organs of the State
iv. Law of Equity
vi. The “6 Legal Aspects of Estate Planning”
Setting the foundational knowledge of the legal landscape, this segment will introduce the legal system, organs of the state, the concept of the law of equity, and the importance of understanding a person’s domicile.
The “6 Legal Aspects of Estate Planning” will also be introduced with examples of how different legal aspects affect the estate planning process.
2. Legal Aspect 1: Rules of Intestacy
i. Wealth distribution process
ii. Public Trustee
iii. Intestate Succession Act (Singapore)
iv. Distribution Act (Malaysia)
v. Legitimacy Act
This module will elaborate on the wealth distribution process and the Intestate Succession Act in Singapore, and how it affects the Estate Planning process.
The role and function of the public trustee will be illustrated in the context of estate planning.
3. Legal Aspect 2: Rights of Survivorship
ii. Joint-Tenancy vs Tenancy-in-Common
iii. Treatment of Joint Bank Accounts
iv. Treatment of Third-Party Policies
Joint-ownership generally forms an important part of a person’s estate. This module will help advisers understand and incorporate the legal aspect of “survivorship” into their advice and planning for their clients.
4. Legal Aspect 3: Contract Obligations
i. Business Succession Planning
ii. Buy-Sell / Shareholder Agreements
iii. Insurance Contract
iv. Divorce and Division of Matrimonial Assets
From insurance policies & contracts, or partner agreements in a business or company, it is paramount to understand how the insurance contract works and the need for a properly drafted “Buy-Sell” or shareholder agreement. This module will elaborate the different ways of structuring such agreements.
5. Legal Aspect 4: Nominations
i. CPF Nominations
ii. Insurance Nominations
Almost every working individual have substantial assets in their CPF accounts.
This module will highlight the options and restrictions of CPF nominations. Insurance payouts and benefits often form a major part of an estate’s assets, it is critical to understand the difference between a revocable & irrevocable insurance nomination, and limitations of such nominations.
6. Legal Aspect 5: Trust
i. Concept of a Trust
ii. Governing Laws
iii. Functions of a Trust
iv. Types of Trust
v. Possible Attacks to a Trust
vi. Constructive Trusts
vii. Resulting Trusts
This module will begin with the understanding of the concept of a Trust, the governing laws, and the functions and structures of a Trust. Learners will learn the difference types of Trust and the applications for each type.
The module will also discuss and demonstrate the possible attacks to a Trust. Illustrations of resulting Trust will also be discussed and explained, with application to real-life case studies.
7. Legal Aspect 6: Wills
i. Wills Act
ii. Cross-Border Wills
iii. Duties of Executor and Administrators
v. Classification of Gifts
vi. Gift of Property
vii. Family Provision Act
Wills forms a central role in the estate planning process. Having a clear understanding of the Wills Act and its application is crucial to an adviser’s financial advisory practice.
This module will elaborate on the roles & duties of Executors, Trustees, Administrators, Guardians and Beneficiaries. This module will also elaborate on the issues of gifting of properties and how the Family Provision Act affects Will writing process.