Settling scores through your will — it doesn’t end well

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I have written a fair number of wills and been involved in a little bit of litigation in my past life. I think I met with all sorts of strange requests, and seen how they can end.

This is a common request I used to receive. There’s usually a long story to do this (but honestly I don’t care). In the end, the person says she is well justified to cut Mr ABC out of his estate. Since it is your estate, you are of course free to do what you want with it. If you want to settle scores, be my guest.

However, as a learned human being, I would discourage using a will for such purposes. When people do things out of spite, they often regret it on further reconsideration.

VFD and another v VFF and others

Here is a much better reason and a stark warning: In VFD and another v VFF and others [2020] SGFC 10 (a PDF copy is available for personal use only since the link is ephemeral):

It’s fascinating how threadbare the case brought by the other family members. This kind of cases aren’t cheap. When litigation is driven by hatred like this, they can’t be mediated or resolved rationally. Hell, I am not even sure this is the last shot.

It doesn’t end well…

Wills serve several purposes. Financial provision for minors and dependents. Peace of mind for the end of life. It also affects the relationships of the survivors, especially your family members.

I cannot imagine that the Testatrix in VFD planned for her siblings to fight tooth and nail against each other over her will. However, by favoring one sibling over all others, it became a slight or a testament of their failed relationship to the others.

In conclusion, it’s of course your money and you can do what you want with it. However, please spare a thought for the living who have to live through what you wrote in your will.

#Law #Singapore #Wills

Author Portrait Love.Law.Robots. – A blog by Ang Hou Fu