However, he later realised that his Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings would be left to his estranged ex-wife, even though he assumed it was voided after his divorce. He then tried to nominate his daughter as his CPF beneficiary, but died before he could do so successfully.
His son-in-law, Mr Ng Chye Aik, told Mr Toh that the 80-year-old would in fact have to make a fresh CPF nomination. Mr Toh then tried to do so. He made a submission online on Nov 22, 2021 to nominate his daughter as his CPF nominee but did not successfully do so.
Mr Toh fell ill shortly after and died on Jan 4, 2022 before he could successfully nominate his daughter.
CPF nomination refers to the process of choosing a person or persons to receive the CPF savings in the event of the CPF member's death. CPF stands for Central Provident Fund, which is a mandatory savings scheme for working Singaporeans and permanent residents.
When a CPF member nominates a person to receive their CPF savings upon their death, the nominated person is called the nominee. The CPF member can nominate one or more persons as their nominee, and they can allocate the CPF savings to each nominee according to their wishes.
It is important for CPF members to make a nomination because in the absence of a valid nomination, the CPF savings will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act or Muslim Intestate Succession Act, as the case may be. The distribution may not be in accordance with the CPF member's wishes or may cause unnecessary delay or inconvenience to the family members left behind.
"CPF members can make a nomination at any time, and it is advisable to review and update the nomination regularly, especially after significant life events such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child. CPF members can make their nomination online through the CPF website or by visiting a CPF service centre." said Kiwi Lim, real estate professional from Huttons Asia.
After the death of Mr Toh, Ms Toh and her husband sent requests for the CPF savings to be disbursed to Ms Toh instead of Ms Yee, but the CPF Board explained that Mr Toh had not successfully made a new nomination before his passing. It was later discovered that Mr Toh had keyed in the wrong NRIC number under the details of the second witness, which was likely why the attestation could not be completed.
High Court judge - Justice Lee said it was clear that Mr Toh could not have intended for his CPF monies to pass to Ms Yee. "They had lived their lives essentially as strangers since their divorce," he said. "At the time of the deceased's passing, Ms Yee and the deceased had been divorced for over 36 years."
He added that Ms Yee had not kept in contact with her ex-husband and daughter for many years. "The completeness of her estrangement from the family can be seen from the difficulties that Ms Toh encountered in locating Ms Yee to serve the documents for the present case," said the judge.
The above case is reported in CNA news online on 8 March 2023
In general, CPF nomination supersedes the will when it comes to the distribution of CPF savings. This is because CPF savings are governed by specific CPF rules and regulations, which provide for the distribution of CPF savings based on the CPF nomination made by the CPF member.
On the other hand, a will governs the distribution of a person's assets, including those outside of the CPF system. However, if a CPF member has made a valid CPF nomination, the CPF savings will be distributed according to the nomination, regardless of what is stated in the will.
It is important to note that CPF nomination and will serve different purposes and are governed by different laws. A CPF nomination allows CPF members to choose who they want to receive their CPF savings, while a will allows a person to distribute their assets according to their wishes.
If a CPF member does not make a CPF nomination, their CPF savings will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act or Muslim Intestate Succession Act, as the case may be and the distribution may not be in accordance with the deceased's wishes or may cause unnecessary delay or inconvenience to the family members left behind.
Making a CPF nomination allows CPF members to choose who they want to receive their CPF savings and in what proportion. It provides certainty and peace of mind that their loved ones will receive their CPF savings in accordance with their wishes. Therefore, it is highly recommended that CPF members make a CPF nomination to ensure that their CPF savings are distributed according to their wishes.
"Therefore, it is important for CPF members to make a CPF nomination and update it regularly, as well as to make a will to distribute their other assets. By doing so, they can ensure that their loved ones will receive their assets in accordance with their wishes without the hassle of going to court ." said Kiwi.