Legacy Planning 101
What You Need To Know

Get a quick look at how legacy planning impacts you.

Checklist for Legacy Planning


What Is Legacy Planning?

Decide how exactly you want your assets to be distributed after your passing.
This can be to your loved ones, your partner, children, parents, or even an organisation.

As long as you’re clear about your intention, legacy planning allows you to have complete freedom over where and how you want your assets to be distributed.

Let’s get started.

Legacy Planning 101

Get the lowdown on everything you need to know about legacy planning


Distribute your assets equitably as per your wishes when you pass on

Lasting Power of Attorney

Appoint someone to act on your behalf should you lose the capacity to do so

Advanced Medical Directive

Opt out from life-sustaining treatment if you become unconscious or terminally ill

CPF Nomination

Choose who receives your CPF savings when you pass on

Insurance Nominations

Distribute your insurance monies as per your wishes when you pass on


Intestate Succession Act

Intestate means one who has passed without making a Will. The diagram below summarises the Intestate Succession Act.

Note: “issue” refers to children and the descendants of deceased children.

Intestate Leaving Surviving Entitlement
Spouse only (No parents/issue)
Spouse – 100%
Issue only (No parents/spouse)
Issue – 100%
Spouse & Parents (fully to parents if no spouse/issue)
Spouse – 50%
Parents – 50%
Spouse & Issue (fully to issue if no spouse)
Spouse – 50%
Parents – 50%
Brother & Sister (no spouse, issue, parents)
Brother & Sister – 100%
Grandparents (no spouse, issue, parents, brother, sister)
Grandparents – 100%
Uncle & Aunt (no spouse, issue, parents, brother, sister, grandparents)
Uncle & Aunt – 100%
None of the above
Govenrment – 100%

Quick Tip

CPF monies are not covered under a will, hence a CPF nomination is required to distribute your CPF savings. The lack of a CPF nomination results in your CPF monies being distributed under the provisions of the ISA.

Some benefits under insurance policies may not be covered under a will, hence it is a good idea to do an insurance nomination.

Doing said nominations also increases the speed in which the funds are disbursed.

Visit the respective pages for more information.


Faraid Distribution

This only applies to Muslims.
How does the Islamic law on inheritance in Singapore impact your decisions in legacy planning?


Close Family & Baitumal

Faraid covers family members who are related to you by blood. Closer family members will also get more assets when distributed.

A portion of your savings may also be sent to Baitulmal, an institution that acts as a trustee for Muslims.


Gender Distribution

Under faraid, male relatives will receive twice the amount of assets as compared to their female counterpart.

We’ve listed the relevant beneficiaries under faraid in the diagram below.

Source: Syariah Court, Singapore

Quick Tip

Muslims may only Will one-third of their estate to beneficiaries outside the Faraid. Should they wish to Will to beneficiaries within the estate, approval must be sought from all beneficiaries within the estate. You may calculate the sample inheritance of each beneficiary within the Faraid with the Online Trial Inheritance calculator here.


How do Singapore's laws affect you?

Asset distribution

Under the Intestate Succession Act and the Muslim Inheritance Certificate, the distribution of assets after one’s passing is according to family members that are legally recognised by civil or Syariah law.

In Singapore, same-sex relationships are not recognised under the law, which means that your assets may not be distributed to your desired beneficiaries.

Quick Tip

If you have a same-sex partner, consider including them in a Will, or as nominees in your CPF and insurance nomination.

If you are transgender

If you have successfully changed your legal gender, and your marriage is with someone of the opposite sex of your legal gender, you are accorded the benefits of the Intestate Succession Act.

LGBTQ+ Children

If you have a child, you must be recognised as their legal parent, or they may be excluded from receiving your assets should you pass on.

For example, an illegitimate child of a gestational mother would inherit a part or the whole of his mother’s estate only if the mother dies intestate with no surviving legitimate children.

Quick Tip

You may be able to help your child gain legitimacy through legal adoption.

Otherwise, doing up a Will and other legacy planning tools are highly encouraged to ensure your child receives your assets when you pass on.


In the event of incapacitation, it is more likely that the court will appoint a deputy who is a legally recognised family member, than an LGBTQ+ partner. This may not be desired.

Quick Tip

You may consider doing an LPA so that your partner can make decisions on your behalf in the event of incapacitation.

An LPA can also allow your partner to access your financial accounts to pay for medical expenses.

Alternatively, opting for an AMD may incur less financial expense.

In a nutshell...

If You Have
A Same Sex Partner

Legacy planning can help protect yourself and your partner, as same sex marriages are not recognised by Singapore law.

If You Are

Your legacy planning journey would be affected by your legal gender, as well as your (legal) marital status.

Non-Conventional Family Units

Legal definitions of family may affect who the law recognises as your family member.

If You Are

Due to the Faraid distribution, there are certain things that would be different in your legacy planning journey.

Ready to Live your Legacy and draw a line? Proceed to explore the different legacy planning tools under our Learn page.