Case Update: Lian Kok Hong v Lian Bee Leng and another [2016] SGCA 24 – SGCA clarifies law on contentious probate and suspicious circumstances regarding execution and preparation of will

Singapore Law; Legal; Lawyer

Significance: Singapore Court of Appeal clarifies that in determining whether a testator had testamentary capacity and/or knowledge of the contents of the will, the Court cannot regard all suspicious circumstances, whether or not they relate to the execution and preparation of the will, to be taken into account in determining if the usual presumption that a testator who has testamentary capacity knew and approved the contents of the will operates. Circumstances are relevant only if they attend or relate to the preparation and execution of the will. Otherwise, all kinds of non-related circumstances may be used to rebut the presumption. See [60]. Chee Mu Lin Muriel v Chee Ka Lin Caroline (Chee Ping Chian Alexander and another, interveners) [2010] 4 SLR 373 affirmed, clarified.

Article: Wills and Testamentary Dispositions

Singapore Law; Legal; Lawyer

What is a testamentary will?

A will is a legal document by a person declaring his intention on what should happen to his assets and personal matters after he passes on.

Proper drafting of a will is important. There are various legal rules and considerations pertaining to wills which should be noted. Once the testator has passed on, there is generally little that can be done to rectify errors or injustices arising out of a dead person’s will. Unclear and ambiguous wording in a will may potentially result in problems implementing the will or even its invalidity. It may also give rise to unnecessary litigation by the (potential) beneficiaries of the will.

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