Category: Estate Planning

Why You Need an LPA

As we age and our lifespan increases, the chance that we become cognitively impaired also increase.
(Photo by Dierk Schaefer)

Two words – rivalry and abuse – an LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) helps you to avoid these. Imagine you are single and own an HDB flat along with other assets. You have an accident, perhaps a fall where you injure your head and become mentally incapacitated. One of your children wants to care for you in your home, the other wants to sell your home and have you live in a facility. Once you are mentally unable to make decisions for yourself, where you end up, what happens to your flat, who has control over your finances, what type of care you receive and the lifestyle you live will depend on who you choose in your LPA. But if you didn’t make an LPA, either of your children could seek custody through the court. When there’s money or property involved or major disagreements regarding your care, it’s common for disputes to arise and it can get messy and ugly. (more…)

A $1 Million Jackpot with Your Name on It?

Here’s where unclaimed money goes when the beneficiaries can’t be found.

Just in the last two months, two of my friends have had to help settle a family member’s estate. Both of them were the primary or sole beneficiaries of the estate. For one friend, this was expected; for the other, it was a complete surprise. Every now and then, you’ll hear about some millionaire who left everything to an unsuspecting person or even a stranger. A common question that arises is how will you know if you are a beneficiary of such an estate? And if reasonable efforts were made to contact these unsuspecting beneficiaries, but they were nowhere to be found, what happens to all the unclaimed money? (more…)

Why Having a Will Matters, Even if You’re Not Wealthy

last will and testament
Having a will means making sure your wishes are fulfilled.

I’ve had a written will since age 18 (the minimum legal age in the States). But it wasn’t because I had a lot of assets at that age. A will does so much more than distribute your assets. My purpose for having a will at that age was to make sure that all the members of my broken family, particularly my mother and my father (who still to this day are not on speaking terms), could attend my funeral. I also had a message in my will for each of my family members, asking them for forgiveness, and wishing them peace and a new beginning. (more…)

Why Halloween is a Good Occasion to Write Your Will

dia muertos
Ever wondered why people say “happy” before Halloween?

I remember it as if it were yesterday. We were 18 years old, had just graduated, and said goodbye to our school friends as we parted ways to attend different universities. Then, just 3 weeks into our school holiday, we all found ourselves in an unplanned reunion at a funeral. The deceased, Dennis, was only 18 years old, and had his life ahead of him. It was a shock to us all. (more…)