SMU Certificate: Personal Estate Planning (IBF Level 2)

Adopts a multi-dimensional approach to estate planning by exploring the “hard” and “heart” issues of estate planning. Understand how financial, tax, social and legal considerations and how different structures can be used to meet individual’s estate planning needs.

In this 4-day practice-oriented workshop, the programme adopts a multi-dimensional approach to estate planning by exploring the “hard” and “heart” issues of estate planning. Financial, tax, social and legal issues as well as potential pitfalls are discussed. Participants will learn about estate planning tools such as wills, living trusts, nominations, etc. and how different structures can be used to provide effective and efficient means to meet individual’s estate planning needs.

Through extensive discussion of real life case studies, participants will learn to apply estate planning principles that incorporate effective strategies to deal with practical issues and potential pitfalls.


Programme Objectives

  • Understand objectives and benefits of estate planning

  • Know key components of an comprehensive estate plan

  • Learn implications of domicile, jurisdiction and taxation

  • Identify assets and potential leakages of an estate

  • Address succession, disputes, multi-generation and special needs planning

  • Adopt different laws of distribution for probate/non probate assets

  • Know the application of different tools and structures

  • Develop comprehensive estate plan for efficient and effective distribution

Who Should Attend

  • Applicants should have completed a IBF Financial Planning (IBF Level 1) Standards Programme or show proof of competency at level 1; or

  • Professionals with at least 3 years relevant experience as financial planners, insurance advisors, personal financial consultants and relationship managers

  • Professionals working in legal, accounting, tax, trust, custodian, family office services, etc.

  • Individuals keen to learn how to manage their personal or family wealth


Introduction to Estate Planning

  • Objectives, assumptions and requirements of estate planning

  • Major components of estate planning – financial,  tax, social and legal

  • Importance of estate planning – case studies on pitfalls

  • Understanding complexity and concept of domicile 


Financial & Tax Issues, Leakages & Other Pitfalls

  • Classes of assets – valuation and cash flow considerations

  • Identify short and long term financial needs

  • Potential conflicts between investment, retirement and estate planning

  • Leakages from an estate – taxes, debts and expenses

  • Types of taxes and impact on estate planning

  • Pitfalls arising from financial and tax issues


Social Aspects in Estate Planning

  • Estate planning vs. legacy planning

  • People and organisation considerations in wealth distribution

    • marital and family status

    • cross cultural and generation

    • relationship with beneficiaries

    • financial, legal and mental capacity

    • special needs and philanthropy 

  • Pitfalls arising from social issues

  • Role of insurance in estate planning


Legal Structures, Tools & Implication

  • Law of distribution – Law of the Land, General and Special Laws

  • Asset ownership and method of distribution

  • Basic estate planning tools – wills, nominations, survivorship, trust, etc.

  • Key representatives, roles and responsibilities

  • Introduction to trusts


Planning for Business Owners

  • Issues and risk faced by business owners

  • Planning tools for business owners – selective executive retention plan, keyman insurance, buy-sell funding, guarantor insurance


Developing Efficient & Effective Estate Plan

  • Identify estate planning goals

  • Analyse clients needs

  • Develop a comprehensive estate plan with the appropriate strategy, tools, documentation requirements for execution

Assessment & Certification

Participants will be assessed through written assessment and case assignment at the end of the course.

Participants who successfully complete the course and pass all the assessments will be issued the SMU Certificate: Personal Estate Planning (IBF Level 2)

Type of Course



Finance, Financial IT and Risk Management

Fees & Funding

SGD $3,200 (excl. GST)
SGD $960 (net of 70% IBF-STS funding, excl. GST)


IBF-STS Funding
IBF-STS Funding of 70% is available to eligible institutions and qualified individuals subject to a cap of S$7,000 per participant per programme. Singapore Citizens aged 40 years old and above are eligible for 90% co-funding of direct training costs, subject to the existing grant caps. For terms and conditions, please click here:


SkillsFuture Credit
Singapore Citizens aged 25 and above, and self-funding may use their SkillsFuture Credit (up to S$500) to defray part of the course fee. Please click User Guide on how to submit your claim. SkillsFuture Credit claims may be submitted by logging in via

Union Training Assistance Program (UTAP)
NTUC members are eligible for UTAP funding at 50% of the unfunded course fee capped at $250 every year. For application, terms and conditions, please click here.


Participant should possess tertiary qualifications or relevant working experience in the area.

Course Dates


Programme Policies

Please click here for the programme policies, terms and conditions. 

Trainer’s Biography

Bernard Lim is a wealth planning practitioner with more than 25 years of experience, specialising in estate and legacy planning for high net worth customers and business owners. Beside corporate training to major banks and financial institutions such as UOB, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Prudential, AXA, NTUC, Manulife, Bernard also conducts financial counselling programmes for the civil service sector. He is also engaged in community services outreach to promote volunteerism in financial education to the community at large.

Bernard is a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®), Certified Financial Educator® (CFEd®) and also a Fellow of the Society of Will Writers & Estate Planning Practitioners (UK).