The perils of leaving without wills

Without a will, you are unable to exclude or include beneficiaries, and your family faces additional trauma

In 1973, I appeared before the Honourable Chief Justice Wee Chong Jin in the High Court. I represented a woman and her daughter who were making a claim against the woman's two sons in the same family. Her husband, the patriarch of the family, had recently died without making a will and the parties were in a dispute over the intestate settlement.

Soon after the opening statements, the Honourable Chief Justice adjourned the hearing and called both of us counsel into his chamber. I remember him looking sternly at us with much displeasure.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 31, 2020, with the headline 'The perils of leaving without wills'. Subscribe