Singapore: Survey shows Singaporeans ill-prepared for end of life and incapacitating events

| 23 Jul 2020

People in Singapore are relatively more unprepared for disability and incapacity than they are for death, with only 39% of those responding to a survey saying they have lasting powers of attorney or delegations in place.

Singaporean adults need to ensure they are much better prepared for end-of-life events and incapacity, says STEP, the worldwide association for those advising families across generations, after a survey of 495 people found only 28% have a finished will and, of those, a significant proportion feel it is not adequate or up-to-date. A further 56% of respondents reported they had no will at all, while the remaining 16% said their will was currently under development.

STEP says the numbers show that the ‘it will never happen to me’ mentality is alive and well in Singapore and people should think much more carefully about preparing for end-of-life events and incapacity. STEP is calling for more education, particularly with respect to issues like the impact of digital technology and trusts on the administration and succession to their property. Irrespective of culture, age, occupation and income, death and disability are issues that all adults need to consider if they want to ensure their wishes are carried out.

Other findings include:

  • Of those respondents who have children, just 34% have nominated a guardian in the event of death, which potentially places the children of the other 66% at risk of family disputes and the cost/disruption of court cases.

  • 62% of those who own businesses do not have a succession plan. While it is common for Singaporeans to jointly own assets, most who did were unaware of what will happen to those assets if they died or became incapacitated.

  • Singaporeans are known for their adoption of technology and most are immersed in the digital world with multiple digital assets. However, 65% indicated that they were unaware of what would happen to these assets in the event of their death.

STEP is the global professional association for practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning. STEP works to improve public understanding of the issues families face in this area and promotes education and high professional standards among its members.

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