What is the difference between an administrator and a trustee in a will?

Read here for a simple explanation of an administrator and a trustee.

What is the difference between an administrator and a trustee in a will?


Insurance nomination made better for Muslim

There are three ways to transfer the proceeds of an death benefit to the beneficiaries. It can be done thru’ wills, irrevocable nomination & revocable nomination. The method of nomination is more cost effective than having a will.

My Muslim friends and clients had always face an ‘hidden risk’ when it comes to estate distribution especially on insurance. They had assumed ,if no nomination was made, the spouse and children will get the proceeds for the insurance policy since it was purchased for the benefit of the immediate family members. However, under the estate distribution as dictated by Syriah law , it is highly possible that the majority of the proceeds end up with the deceased’s male siblings and children, leaving very little to the distraughted wife.

Likewise, under Syriah law, there is only a small percentage of an Muslim’s assets that can be willed under the common law. A non-Muslim can choose to nominate his/her beneficiaries under revocable nomination. The advantage of this nomination is the nominee/beneficiary can be change as many time as the policy holder wishes to change. However, a Muslim cannot do that and can only make an irrevocable nomination. The problem with the irrevocable nomination arises when a divorce take place. The former spouse can choose not to give up his/her right as an nominee and there is nothing the policy holder can do.

A new fatwa takes effect on 22nd March 2012. It allows Muslim to nominate under revocable nomination. But for those who had already nominated their spouse as beneficiary still face an uphill task if they want to change it to revocable now. They will need to spend sometime explaining to their spouse that they have to give up their rights before they can nominate under revocable nomination.

A detail report is shown below and for those who wish to know more about revocable & irrevocable nomination can read my previous post. Feel free to share this with your friends and drop me a mail if you need any info.


Conference on estate planning for Muslims

There has been two significant developments affecting the financial and estate planning for Muslims since the Muslim Financing Planning Association (MFPA) had its inaugural successful conference in July 2009

  1. the passing of the Insurance (Amendment) Act 2009 and the amendments to Section 111 of the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA) which gave rise to concerns in the insurance industry on the ability of Muslim life insurance policyholders to make revocable nominations
  2. the judgment of the Singapore Court of Appeal in March 2009 in Shafeeg’s case on the applicability of rights of survivorship to real
    property held by Muslims as joint-tenants.

These developments will be discussed in depth at the MFPA 2010 Conference.

MFPA as a concerned group will examine the dynamics between the Syariah and secular principles on these and related matters.

For more information about MFPA, please visit www.mfpa.org.sg.
For more information about this Conference, please visit www.intellitrain.biz/MFPA.

Click below for conference brochures and registration form.

  1. Brochure
  2. Registration Form

(Source: MFPA)

The New Nomination of Beneficiares Framework

I had reviewed serveral policies in my 10 over years of practice and one of the issues with insurance policies was the Section 73 of the conveyancing and Law of Property Act or commonly known as the Section 73. An insurance policy is deem to be issued under Section 73 as long as you nominated your spouse or children as the beneficaries and it automatically becomes a trust policy. What this means is as a policy holder, you have no vested interest in the policy. One of the main concern of this Section 73 is that during a case of divorce, the spouse at the point of nomination is the legal beneficary regardless if you re-married or not.

Good news is that with effect from 1st Sep 2009, there is change to the law on the nomination beneficiaries. There are now two nominations – Section 49L & Section 49M. I shall do a brief explaination of the difference between the two and please drop me an email or contact your financial advisor if you need any clarification.


Section 49L

Section 49M

Beneficiary ONLY Spouse/Children. Anyone.
Revocable Only with prior consent from the beneficiary/legal guardian. Yes. Anytime by the Policy owner. There is no need to seek consent from anyone else.
Creditors Creditors has no rights to the death proceed. Creditors has rights to the death proceed.
Will made after nomination No changes Supersede by Will. Nomination deemed revoke.
Death of nominee/beneficiary Policy proceed form part of beneficiary’s estate. Nomination deemed revoke if sole beneficiary dies. Nomination to be distributed proportionally among surviving beneficiaries.
Living benefit                              (e.g. critical illness, TPD) Proceed goes to beneficiary. Proceed goes to policy owner.
Nomination by Muslim Yes Must seek MUIS approval to confirm the distribution is according to Muslim law.