Legal Aspect of Estate Planning

 

Programme Synopsis

1. Introduction
 
i. The Legal Landscape
 
ii. Legal Systems
 
iii. Organs of the State
 
iv. Law of Equity
 
v. Domicile
 
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
 
i. Joint-Ownership
 
ii. Joint-Tenancy vs Tenancy-in-Common
 
iii. Treatment of Joint Bank Accounts
 
iv. Treatment of Third-Party Policies
 
v. Decoupling
 
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
 
iv. Guardianship
 
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.
 

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