Singapore is quickly earning recognition as a leading international trust jurisdiction. As Asia continues to be the engine of the global economy, Singapore’s wealth management sector is seeing unprecedented growth, which is also reflected in the development of the trust business market in the country. Estate planning is a continuous activity initiated as soon as a person has a demonstrable asset base to invest in. If your life evolves and your objectives change, your estate plan should be updated to reflect your new goals. Lack of sufficient estate tax planning may result in minor financial difficulties for surviving family members. Thus even if the taxable estate is not significant, it is recommended that at the very least, a will be established.
Trusts are a popular and successful tool in the estate planning process. In Singapore, the legality and operation of trusts are not impacted by the country’s succession and compelled heirship legislation. Trust assets held in an inter vivos trust are not subject to a Grant of Probate or letters of administration, allowing for the preservation of asset ownership privacy in the event of death. This is in addition to the conventional benefits of being protected against claims by creditors or other parties, which are already in place.
It is important to note that when we speak about estate planning in Singapore, we are genuinely talking about passing on your legacy to the generations who will come after you. The eventual death is a topic that we don’t like to think about too much, but it is one that we must confront for the simple reason that it will impact people we care about and wish to safeguard. It is pretty easy to put off organising our estate until later on.
Some of the essential estate planning duties are as follows:
- Creating a testament
- The appointment of a guardian for those who are still alive
- Appointing an executor of the estate to manage the estate’s affairs following the stipulations of the will
- Beneficiaries for programmes such as life insurance, pensions, and investment portfolios must be established or updated.
- Funeral arrangements are being made.
- In the event of mental disability, a durable power of attorney (POA) should be established.
- Creating a tradition of yearly donating to minimise one’s taxable estate
- Setting up trust funds in the names of beneficiaries might help to keep inheritance taxes to a minimum.
Singapore is a fantastic jurisdiction in which to establish a trust. It has a legal system founded on common law, and it has set new rules to keep up with the latest advances and trends in the global trust business.