Obtaining a grant of representation for a foreign domiciled deceased (non-Singapore domiciled) is slightly more complicated. Apart from resealing cases, if a deceased died domiciled outside Singapore and has assets in Singapore, his or her personal representative(s) will need to apply for a Grant of Representation such as a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in Singapore in order to deal with the deceased’s assets in Singapore.
In simple terms, ‘domicile’ means the country in which the deceased reside as his permanent home at the time of his death and he had no intention of an alternative home in another country in the future (beofre his death).
If the deceased died domicled in one of the Commonwealth Countries or in Hong Kong, then the legal personal representative may apply for a Memorandum of Resealing in Singapore if he has obtained a Grant of Representation from a Probate Court or Authority in that juridiction. If there is no foreign Grant or the deceased died domiciled outside one of the Commoinwealth Countries (including Hong Kong), the personal represention may apply for a fresh Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration through the Singapore Courts.
The process of such an application for a fresh Grant of Representation of a foreign domiclied deceased is slightly more complicated, which may involve finding out if the deceased died testate (with a valid Will) or interestate (without a valid Will), and an affidavit of law of the country (or state) in which the deceased died domiciled may be required. Due to complexity involving foreign laws, the professional fees are usually higher in such applications.
For example, if a deceased died domiciled in Taiwan, an affidavit of law from a practising lawyer conversant with Taiwan’s inheritance laws will be required to be filed to the relevant Singapore Court for an application of a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration (as the case may be).
Our Singapore Probate Practice Group has assisted in many cases involving estates of foreign domciled deceased, and usually work with a foreign lawyer appointed by the personal representative(s) in drafting the Affidavit of Law for submission to the Court.