When a person dies, all his assets are collectively called the “estate.” However, not all assets in the estate are distributed in the same manner.
For personal owned assets like saving accounts, fixed deposits, unit trusts, shares and properties, SRS balances, investment made via CPFIS, these assets are distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act (if there was no Will) and the Wills Act (if there was a Will).
For CPF Balances, these are distributed according to CPF Nomination (if there was one) and the Intestate Succession Act (if there was no CPF Nomination). This part of the estate is not subjected to any Will even if there was one.
For insurance nomination such as those nominated under Section 73 of CLPA, Co-operative Act, Section 49L / 49M of Insurance Act, these insurance policies are distributed according to the nominated beneficiaries regardless whether was there a Will or not. Note that for third party policies and if there was no vesting chosen, the policy will form part of the estate subjected to Intestate Succession Act (if there was no Will) and the Wills Act (if there was a Will).
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