SINGAPORE (July 21): Singaporean adults need to ensure they are better prepared for end-of-life events and incapacity, says STEP, a global association for organisations or individuals advising families across generations.

This comes after STEP’s survey that found 28% out of 495 respondents have completed their wills, and only 14% of respondents have them updated.

A further 56% of respondents have not done up their wills, while the remaining 16% say their wills were currently “under development”.

The survey also revealed almost four in ten respondents have no delegations or directives in place should they become incapacitated, such as Lasting Powers of Attorney.

For those who own businesses, STEP found over six in ten do not have a succession plan. It added while it is common for Singaporeans to jointly own assets, most who did were unaware of what will happen to those assets if they died or became incapacitated.

Furthermore, it noted Singaporeans are known for their adoption of technology, and most are immersed in the digital world with multiple digital assets. However, 65% indicated that they were unaware of what would happen to these assets in the event of their death.

Of those respondents who have children, just 34% have nominated a guardian in the event of death, which potentially places the children of the other 66% at risk of family disputes.

STEP says the numbers show that the mentality of ‘it will never happen to me’ is alive and well in Singapore, and people should think much more carefully about preparing for end-of-life events and incapacity.

It added that irrespective of culture, age, occupation and income, death and disability are issues that all adults need to consider if they want to ensure their wishes are carried out.

As such, the association is calling for more education, particularly with respect to issues like the impact of digital technology and trusts on the administration and succession to their property.