Nobody wants to think about death; it’s depressing and morbid. But when it sneaks up on you and takes away someone you love, you’re left with emotions and sometimes, you’re not sure how to handle the important things. Here is some helpful information to deal with death in Singapore to guide you through the process.

Death Registration

The first necessary step is to obtain a Certificate of Cause of Death (CCOD) to register the death, which must be done in the first 24 hours. This will be performed by a doctor, wherever the death has occurred. If the cause of death is unknown or not natural, the matter will be forwarded to the police to be investigated. It is absolutely necessary to register the death as soon as possible after you are aware.

Notifications

  • Central Provident Fund

Once the death is registered with the government, you must inform the Central Provident Fund (CPF) of the death of your loved one. Notification can be done by mail or in person at a CPF officer near you. If your loved one was a foreigner, a copy of the notarised death certificate, a letter from the authorities if the certificate does not contain the identity number, documented evidence of your relationship with the deceased and a form of ID are needed. The CPF website contains a list of contacts that need to be made after your loved one has passed way.

While your loved one was alive, they may have chosen nominees to receive their benefits. Make an effort to plan ahead with your relatives concerning distribution of their assets. Upon death their benefits may be given to persons they did not intend to receive them as marriages automatically revoke earlier nominations, while a divorce and a will do not. If they did not make a CPF nomination, then the government will distribute their assets based on religion under the intestacy or Muslim inheritance laws.

CPF savings are made up of:  savings in the Ordinary, Special, Medisave and Retirement accounts discounted SingTel (ST) shares. If nominations have been made, the above-mentioned resources will be split among the nominees. Some assets are not covered by CPF Nomination and will, therefore, become a part of your estate. Full details of what CPF covers and does not cover are also available here.

  • Banks and Insurance Companies

In addition to CPF, any associated banks must be contacted and notified – especially in cases where payments are made directly from the bank such as mortgage and loan payments. Insurance companies are also among the few that must be contacted early on. Beneficiaries may be eligible to receive benefits from insurance policies, credit and trade unions or any other organisations the deceased was affiliated with. Receipt of benefits of can aid in funeral costs and payment of taxes, which will be mentioned shortly.

  • Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

Taxes must be paid on certain assets that were held by the deceased and notice allows the IRAS to calculate the total taxes payable. Failure to do so is a criminal offence, so this step is incredibly important to remember and must be completed early on in the process.

Once the taxes on the remaining assets have been tallied and paid, monies left over will be distributed among family members according to the law.

Funeral and Burial Services

When all appropriate organisations have been given notice, preparation for the funeral and burial services must begin. A funeral director can be hired to help you along the process of planning; the director is in charge of assisting you in obtaining the CCOD, collecting the body from the morgue or home and any other tasks needed throughout planning.

Call a funeral home or make arrangements online at sites such as Direct Funeral.

Packages at Direct Funeral Services begin from $4888 and increase depending on the type of religious service needed and any other additions you may request. You will need the NRIC of the applicant and next-of-kin and the original death certificate in order to complete the booking. The death certificate contains the Permit to Bury/Cremate and the funeral home or church will not accept the booking without this. Once the funeral details are in place, an obituary can be placed in the local newspaper to inform the public of the death; family and friends of the deceased are generally contacted personally to inform them of the funeral arrangements.

To learn more, read more on death issues.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Death
SHARE
Previous article5 Money Mistakes You Should Avoid in Your Marriage
Next articleWays of Reducing the Odds of Business Failure
C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).