Certainties of life – Death and it’s taxes

Posted 18 November, 2015 by Surely
in Educate Yourself

Everyone dies – that is one eventuality that no one can escape from.
The act of dying is one uncontrollable event that most life insurance revolves around.
Therefore, the ones most interested in your death (besides the Undertaker or the CPF Board) are naturally the Insurance Advisors.

No, I don't think the proposal form works like death note.

No, I don’t think the proposal form works like death note.

Try recalling your last conversation with an Insurance Sales Representative.
It probably involves something like “If you pass away, your family will suffer and you need to buy this. Blah blah blah”
And some agents still wonder why their friends avoid them.

On a serious note, talking about death is something nobody prefers to do.
Most of us hope to leave a small fortune to our family and friends; nobody wishes to inherit a mountain of debts and expenses.
However, unless you are a millionaire like CDL’s Kwek Leng Joo, it makes perfect sense to plan for your loved ones in the inevitable event of your demise so that you may leave them with fond memories and positive legacy.

Determining how much coverage is science, arts, philosophy, culture, etc – all being mixed together and forming a big confusing question for all of us.
Luckily, our resident blogger has expertly given you some tips to work with.
While you are deciding which methodology you should apply, you may wish to take note of the expenses that follows a death.
These are unfortunately, not usually covered by insurance so it is going to come out from your pocket.

Death Certificate
After the cause of death is certified, a Death Certificate must be filed at government hospital or Police Post. Thankfully this first item on the list is free.
Can I skip this Death Certificate ?
No. Failure to report a death within 24 hours is against the law and you may be fined up to $100 !
So just get the freebie because the rest of the list is going to cost you.

Funeral Services
It depends on which religion, wake area and number of days.
A Hindu funeral package may start from $3,000 while a Taoist ritual can range up to $10,000.
A typical Free Thinker/Christian/Buddhist Service may cost from $4,00 onwards
Personally I have heard of a lavish Chinese funeral that costs upwards of $20,000 so it is really a matter of preference.

Casket
This usually comes with the package. Sometimes you may wish to upgrade the basic one that is included in the package.
Usually you can top up to one with glass window with few hundreds.

Obituary
Now you can get a quote for obituary at SPH online services.
It should cost $2,000 to $3,000 for a usual modestly-sized one.
FYI – Straits/Sunday times is the most costly option.

Burial fee
If burial is the preferred option, it can be arranged at Choa Chu Kang Cemetary Booking Office.
It will cost $315 – $940 for 15 year lease.

Yes, it is shorter than your 99 years leased BTO flats but you don't have to pay through your noses for this slightly smaller plot.

Yes, it is shorter than your 99 years leased BTO flats but you don’t have to pay through your noses for this slightly smaller plot.

Cremation
Government Crematorium charges $100 for adult and $50 for children.
Private ones charges $300 – $400.

Columbaria
Standard fee is levied at $500 while family niche will be $900.
This is for storage of the ashes.
I cannot confirm this but it seems to be freehold. Hurray !

Probate/Letter of Administration
Grant of Probate is a court order given to the executor appointed by the deceased in his will to administer his estate.
The latter is a court order given to a person who applies to court to administer the deceased’s estate when the deceased passed away without writing a will.
Since this is legalese, I have reproduced the above from horse’s mouth.

Lawyer charges may differ but typically it should set you back by $3,000 – $5,000.
Probate is usually cheaper.

If the estate of the deceased is less than $50,000 (and other conditions), Public Trustee may be appointed to handle estate administration.
Cost of Public Trustee will range from minimum of $15, up to $1522.50, depending on the value of the estate.

Insurable costs
If the deceased passed away overseas, you may have to factor extra cost of transport.
Travel Insurance when bought, may compensate you for that expense.

DHL may not be a viable option

DHL may not be a viable option

Unless you are living under a rock or you are Khaw Boon Wan, a hefty hospital bill is to be expected if the deceased has spent a considerable time in our hospitals.
Of course, the Integrated Shield plan and rider may have covered that.

Summary
If I ballpark the figures above (excluding insurable ones), it should cost approximately $8,000 – $12,000 for one to pass away in Singapore.
It is definitely possible to do it with much less since personally I prefer to have no funeral wake.
Nevertheless the numbers are just the average cost which one may wish to take note.
We wish to highlight that the super big item expense is really the hospital bill and it can be insured away.

Therefore….

TL,DR version (Too Long, Din Read)
Please buy hospitalization plan if you do not wish to burden your loved ones.

www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.

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