OCBC Bank is first bank in Singapore to offer free online will writing service
It is common here to seek the help of a lawyer, who typically charges S$99 to S$500 to prepare a basic will. Yet there is no legal requirement in Singapore that a will must be prepared or witnessed by a lawyer.
At the same time, few would know how to prepare a will entirely without guidance. In a survey conducted by OCBC Bank in 2017 involving 200 respondents between the ages of 55 and 69, one in three indicated that they need more advice on after-life plans and leaving an inheritance for their family.
When a person’s affairs are straightforward, the OCBC Online Will Generator – developed in-house as part of OCBC Bank’s Silver Years programme – is now an option.
Launched in May 2018, OCBC Bank’s Silver Years programme aims to be holistic in its range of both banking and non-banking products and services. It offers financial advisory and lifestyle initiatives for Singapore’s seniors that aim to minimise the downside of the retirement risk zone. This zone is deemed to be the period of a person’s life at aged 55 years old onwards.
Mr Dennis Tan, Head, Consumer Financial Services Singapore, OCBC Bank, said: “We have seen news articles reporting that people were put off making wills as they are worried about the complexity and costs. We want to change all that by making this seemingly tedious and costly process a fuss-free and free-of-charge online experience that is open to everyone, especially our pioneer generation citizens. The OCBC Silver Years programme is our commitment to provide a holistic approach to planning for retirement, which includes elements outside the traditional banking products.”
In a pilot session conducted amongst a group of about 10 seniors from the NTUC Health Active Ageing Hub, respondents were given a hands-on experience at trying out the OCBC Online Will Generator on various devices such as tablets, smartphones and laptops. Mr Heng Gee Choo, one of the respondents and a retiree, 65, said: “The process is simple and easy to use. With this in place, there is really no excuse for me to procrastinate and delay the writing of my will.”
With the launch of the OCBC Online Will Generator, consumers are therefore given the time and privacy to undertake this task in their own home.
Requirements for a valid will
To ensure that the will generated is recognised in Singapore, one must ensure the following:
(i) the Testator cannot be a minor and must be of sound mind;
(ii) the Testator must sign the will before 2 witnesses;
(iii) the witnesses should be above the age of 21;
(iv) the witnesses must be of sound mind;
(v) the witnesses cannot be beneficiaries under the will;
(vi) the witnesses’ full particulars should be included into the will should there be a need to contact them; and
(vii) the original will must be produced in an application for Grant of Probate once the Testator has passed away.
How the OCBC Online Will Generator works
Using the OCBC Online Will Generator should take no more than 10 minutes using any computer, laptop or a smart device.
The user will be prompted to do the following:
Steps to using the OCBC Online Will Generator
(After agreeing to the terms and conditions)
Step 1: Fill in one’s personal details and the online forms
Step 2: Review the completed forms
Step 3: Download the generated will for free and sign on it after it has been printed. Remember to keep the will in a safe environment and register the will’s location with the National Will Registry.
The OCBC Online WIll Generator utilises a basic will template and does not necessarily deal with every important topic or nor cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. The OCBC Online Will Generator is intended for general use only and does not contain or convey any legal or other advice. Users should seek legal advice from appropriately qualified lawyers for more specific will requirements (e.g. Islamic law, persons under 21, not residing in Singapore etc.).