For those who prefer to read, below is the transcript of the video:
It is increasingly common for Singapore residents to invest in properties overseas. However, there are 3 estate planning issues that need to be addressed.
First, real estate is subjected to the law of the land. Every country has different laws with regard to how real estate is to be handled in the event the owner dies. As an illustration, a HDB flat cannot be bequeathed to a foreigner. There may be similar rules in other countries. Before investing in overseas properties, check with the local authorities on whether your intended beneficiaries are able to inherit the property.
Second, it may be necessary to write two Wills. One Will is specifically for the country which the overseas property resides and the other Will for assets in Singapore. This is to reduce the time taken for grant of probate in the overseas property. However, care must be made to ensure these two Wills do not revoke each other. Also, if the foreign country is not a commonwealth country, the method of writing two separate Wills may not work.
Third, when appointing an Executor of your Will, make sure your Executor is willing to travel overseas to settle your matters. If your Executor is unwilling or unable to do so, the Executor has the right to “relinquish” his or her duty leaving you without any executor. If you cannot find an Executor to perform this role, it is possible to appoint a commercial trust company to act as one.
As more and more Singaporeans invest in foreign properties for their retirement needs, it is becoming more important to pay attention to estate planning issues. If in doubt, consult your estate planner for professional advice.
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