Pink Guide: Considerations for you and your child
Updated: Aug 21, 2019
Despite the increasing acceptance of LGBT in Singapore, the law still does not hold them in the same regard as their heterosexual counterparts. The issues faced by the LGBT community includes their marriages not being recognized under Singapore’s law.
As a result, they do not enjoy the benefits of marriage such as:
● Retirement planning
● Estate planning and wills
1. The issues of housing and marriage
To be able to purchase public housing in Singapore, one has to be either:
Married (Man and Woman)
At least age 35 if Single
Since marriage between homosexuals are not recognized under Singapore’s current law, LGBT couples often have to wait until they are 35 years old to BTO for a HDB flat under the Joint Singles Scheme.
Some things to note about Joint Singles Scheme
Must be Singaporean citizens
Up to 4 singles can jointly buy a flat
If you are a widow or an orphan, you must be at least 21 years old to apply
Read more about it here.
Alternatively, private properties are more assessable for such couples, where they can just apply to be co-owners of the house.
Furthermore, marrying your significant other overseas will not be recognized when you come back to Singapore.
For couples who are currently married as a man and woman, and considering changing sex – your marriage may become void. This is according to Section 12 of the Woman’s Charter.
It is important to note the difference between the type of tenancy you choose when you buy your HDB
As such we should take a deeper look into estate planning for LGBT couples.
Source: Luper Neidenthal & Logan
2. Estate planning and your CPF
Any working adult in Singapore will have a significant sum of CPF in their accounts after working for several years. Divided into 3 types of accounts
Ordinary Account: May be used for housing, investments, education and insurances
Special Account: Retirement purposes, including investments for your retirement
Medisave: Used for hospitalisation and medical insurance
CPF can be used to buy either private or public property as well as for the down payment of the home loan.
You can use your CPF to pay for your medical insurance premiums as well
Only co-owners are able to finance a loan for the HDB or use their CPF accounts for the HDB
Since same-sex marriages are not recognized, they are not considered to be their legal spouse. What such couples can do is to:
Draft a will to make sure surviving partner gets the estate
Make a CPF nomination in favour of the survivor
Planning for the child’s inheritance in unfortunate demise of both parties
It is important to note that for male same-sex couples, the donor for the assisted reproduction is not considered the legal father of the child.
Do make sure to do the appropriate nominations for your child even if you are biologically the father. Read more here.
LGBT couples are not allowed to have joint bank accounts or enjoy tax deductions in this regard.
3. Health and insurance
As your partner is not legally related to you, in the event of hospitalization, the medical staff cannot disclose medical information to the other party (as they are considered as non-family members)
Disclosure to the medical team about your relationship may address this issue, allowing you to stay informed on your partner. You should consider making a lasting power of attorney, to allow your partner to make medical decisions on your behalf.
To ensure that you and your partner can be protected, you should consider the following:
Setting aside emergency funds
Insurance will ensure that you and your loved ones are covered in emergencies. You should consider
A private integrated shield plan – complementing Medisave and Medishield
Endowment policy for your child’s education
Life insurance to ensure your family is taken care of when you pass
There are several types of life insurances:
Whole life insurance
Universal life insurance
Term life insurance
Investment linked policies
Nomination of beneficiary is important; it is up to the private insurer whether you are recognized as a family. So it is best to ask beforehand and make the appropriate measures needed.
Source: infinity Solutions
4. You and your partner
Despite legal recognition as a married couple, it should still hold that the relationship should be built on trust and communication. Speak to your loved ones before making any decision that affects them.
Planning together will ensure that there will be no issues or uncertainties in the future. So, start your planning today.