Singapore Probate FAQ

Singapore Probate FAQ

Singapore Probate FAQ on issues relating to After Death and Estates Matters, Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration and Memorandum of Resealing in Singapore. Singapore Probate FAQ Singapore Probate FAQ

Probate General

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Procedure (9)

If you wish to engage our law firm for resealing of a Malaysian Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (collectively, Foreign Grant), please note our requirements of documents.

Grant of Probate

  1. original Grant of Probate or the certified true copy (CTC) by the issuing Malaysian Court. If the CTC is by the Court, please ensure the Court’s rubber stamp is in the English language, ie. without any Malay word. We also require the English translation of the original Grant of Probate or the CTC (as the case may be) by the Court, ie. English translation done by the Court.
  2. original Will or the certified true copy (CTC) by the Court safekeeping the original Will. If the CTC of the Will is by the Court, please ensure the Court’s rubber stamp is in English language, ie. without Malay word. We also require the English translation of the original Will or the CTC (as the case may be) by the Court, ie. English translation done by the Court..
  3. copy of the death certificate.
  4. copy of the deceased’s identity card.
  5. copy of the executor’s identity card and/or passport.

Grant of Letters of Administration

  1. original Grant of  Letters of Administration (LA) or the certified true copy (CTC) by the issuing Court. If the CTC of the LA is by the Court, please ensure the Court’s rubber stamp is in English language, ie. without any Malay word. We also require the English translation of the original LA or the CTC (as the case may be) by the Court, ie. English translation done by the Court.
  2. list of beneficiaries, including their full names, ID nos., their relationship to the deceased, their date of birth, their addresses, and copies of their identity documents.
  3. copy of the death certificate.
  4. copy of the deceased’s identity card.
  5. copy of the administrator’s identity card and/or passport.

Please note that notwithstanding the above, the Court may request for additional documents, or give further directions in respect of submitted documents.

Sample of Grant of Probate

To enable us to commence the Originating Summons for any probate case, we would require the following initial documents and/or information (may not be exhaustive).

Grant of Probate (Singapore Domicile)

  1. death certificate of deceased
  2. last Will of deceased
  3. identity documents of Executor(s), eg. NRIC, Passport
  4. list of assets with corresponding documents, eg. bank statements, insurance policies

Letters of Administration (Singapore Domicile)

  1. death certificate of deceased
  2. list of beneficiaries with their respective names, identity numbers, date of birth, relationship to deceased, residential addresses and identity documents
  3. relationship documents of beneficiaries, eg. marriage certificate, birth certificate
  4. list of assets with corresponding documents, eg. bank statements, insurance policies
  5. death certificate(s) of beneficiaries, eg. death certificate of wife

Resealing of Grant of Probate (Commonwealth Domicile)

  1. Grant of Probate issued by Foreign Court
  2. Foreign Court’s official English translation of Grant of Probate (if applicable)
  3. copy of death certificate of deceased
  4. last Will of deceased
  5. identity documents of Executor(s), eg. NRIC, Passport
  6. list of assets with corresponding documents, eg. bank statements, insurance policies

Resealing of Letters of Administration (Commonwealth Domicile)

  1. Letters of Administration issued by Foreign Court
  2. Foreign Court’s official English translation of Grant of Letters of Administration (if applicable)
  3. death certificate of deceased
  4. list of beneficiaries with their respective names, identity numbers, date of birth, relationship to deceased, residential addresses and identity documents
  5. copies of relationship documents of beneficiaries, eg. marriage certificate, birth certificate
  6. list of assets with corresponding documents, eg. bank statements, insurance policies
  7. death certificate(s) of beneficiaries, eg. death certificate of wife

Letters of Administration (Foreign Domicile)

  1. original death certificate of deceased
  2. contact details of a foreign lawyer in the country of the deceased’s domicile, who must be a practising lawyer and conversant in spoken and written English and the succession laws of the deceased’s domicile. The foreign lawer will be engaged by the client at his costs and the foreign lawyer will commmunicate with our lawyer relating to the requisite affidavit of law for filing Singapore Court.
  3. per the advice of the foregin lawyer, to furnish the particulars of the deceased’s next of kin who is/are entitled to apply for a grant of letters of administration (or such similar proceedings) in the deceased’s domicile; and to identify who amongst them is/are applying for the grant of letters of adminstration in Singapore. We require the identity documents, eg. passports, identity cards, of those persons.
  4. list of beneficiaries (in accordance with law of the deceased’s domicile) with their respective names, identity numbers, date of birth, relationship to deceased, and residential addresses, together with their identity documents, eg. passports, identity cards
  5. relationship documents of the beneficiaries/applicants, eg. marriage certificate, birth certificate
  6. list of assets with corresponding documents, eg. bank statements, insurance policies
  7. original death certificate(s) of any deceased beneficiary or person entitled to apply for the grant of letters of administration under the laws of the deceased’s domicile
  8. for documents required for Court filings, eg. death certificate and inheritance certificate, if any of them is in non-English language, English translation will be done in Singapore at the cost and expense of the applicant/client.
Categories: Probate, Procedure

Domicile means the country or state (as the case may be) where a person intends to make his permanent or ultimate home. It need not be his country of birth, his current place, his current nationality or the place he died in, and his Domicile status may change from time to time when his intentions changed.

When a person dies, it is important to determine his Domicile, as it is where the probate process is to be obtained in relation to the Deceased’s estate.

There are various factors which can determine a Deceased’s Domicile, including but not limited to:-

  • whether he has purchased any real property (real estate) in the country for his home
  • whether his family is living with him in that place/country prior to his death
  • his nationality and place of permanent residence
  • the length of time that he has lived in a country
Categories: Probate, Procedure

A grant of representation is required to prove the authority of those entitled to act as personal representative (either as executor or administrator) and to administer the estate. This proof establishes the personal representative’s title to the assets of the estate, so enabling the personal representative to collect in and deal with those assets.

Categories: Probate, Procedure

If a foreign domiciled person dies intestate:

  • his movable property that is located in Singapore will be distributed according to the laws of the country in which he was domiciled at the time of his death
  • his immovable property located in Singapore will be distributed according to the laws of Singapore, regardless of where he was domiciled at the time of his death.
Categories: Probate, Procedure

The Court requires the following documents (not exhaustive) to be submitted for the initial application, namely:

  1. Originating Summons (Probate)
  2. Statement of Probate
  3. Administration Oaths by the Applicant
  4. Renunciation (if applicable)
  5. original extract of the deceased’s Death Certificate
  6. Caveat Search Certificate

If the deceased made a valid will in which there is an effective appointment of executors, the will authorises the executors to act in the estate and the deceased’s assets vest in the executors at the date of death. Therefore, technically, an executor could administer an estate without a grant but, in practice, he needs a grant to prove title in court.

Administrators

If the deceased did not make a will or there is a will but not an effective appointment of executors, the person intending to act as personal representative is referred to as an “administrator” but he has no authority until the court issues the grant to him.

Categories: Probate, Procedure

In theory, it is possible to make your own application for either a Singapore Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration or Memorandum of Resealing without the assistance of a Lawyer.

However, in practice, as the Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration or Memorandum of Resealing entails legal procedures and issues, it is advisable to engage a Lawyer who is experienced in Probate matters to assist you.

Categories: Probate, Procedure

Upon the death of a person, called a deceased, the Personal Representatives of the deceased will need to apply for a Grant of Probate (if there is a Will) or Grant of Letters of Administration (in Intestacy) that will authorise them to deal with and distribute the deceased’s assets.

Categories: Probate, Procedure

Grant of Probate

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Grant of Probate (3)

If you wish to engage our law firm for resealing of a Malaysian Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (collectively, Foreign Grant), please note our requirements of documents.

Grant of Probate

  1. original Grant of Probate or the certified true copy (CTC) by the issuing Malaysian Court. If the CTC is by the Court, please ensure the Court’s rubber stamp is in the English language, ie. without any Malay word. We also require the English translation of the original Grant of Probate or the CTC (as the case may be) by the Court, ie. English translation done by the Court.
  2. original Will or the certified true copy (CTC) by the Court safekeeping the original Will. If the CTC of the Will is by the Court, please ensure the Court’s rubber stamp is in English language, ie. without Malay word. We also require the English translation of the original Will or the CTC (as the case may be) by the Court, ie. English translation done by the Court..
  3. copy of the death certificate.
  4. copy of the deceased’s identity card.
  5. copy of the executor’s identity card and/or passport.

Grant of Letters of Administration

  1. original Grant of  Letters of Administration (LA) or the certified true copy (CTC) by the issuing Court. If the CTC of the LA is by the Court, please ensure the Court’s rubber stamp is in English language, ie. without any Malay word. We also require the English translation of the original LA or the CTC (as the case may be) by the Court, ie. English translation done by the Court.
  2. list of beneficiaries, including their full names, ID nos., their relationship to the deceased, their date of birth, their addresses, and copies of their identity documents.
  3. copy of the death certificate.
  4. copy of the deceased’s identity card.
  5. copy of the administrator’s identity card and/or passport.

Please note that notwithstanding the above, the Court may request for additional documents, or give further directions in respect of submitted documents.

Sample of Grant of Probate

The Court requires the following documents (not exhaustive) to be submitted for the initial application, namely:

  1. Originating Summons (Probate)
  2. Statement of Probate
  3. Administration Oaths by the Applicant
  4. Renunciation (if applicable)
  5. original extract of the deceased’s Death Certificate
  6. Caveat Search Certificate

The following additional documents are required:

  1. the original Will
  2. where the Will is not written in English, a certified true translation by a person competent to translate
  3. renunciations by person(s) appointed Executor(s) under the Will but who do not wish to be the Executor(s), if any.
Categories: Grant of Probate, Probate

Letters of Administration

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Letters of Administration (9)

If you wish to engage our law firm for resealing of a Malaysian Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (collectively, Foreign Grant), please note our requirements of documents.

Grant of Probate

  1. original Grant of Probate or the certified true copy (CTC) by the issuing Malaysian Court. If the CTC is by the Court, please ensure the Court’s rubber stamp is in the English language, ie. without any Malay word. We also require the English translation of the original Grant of Probate or the CTC (as the case may be) by the Court, ie. English translation done by the Court.
  2. original Will or the certified true copy (CTC) by the Court safekeeping the original Will. If the CTC of the Will is by the Court, please ensure the Court’s rubber stamp is in English language, ie. without Malay word. We also require the English translation of the original Will or the CTC (as the case may be) by the Court, ie. English translation done by the Court..
  3. copy of the death certificate.
  4. copy of the deceased’s identity card.
  5. copy of the executor’s identity card and/or passport.

Grant of Letters of Administration

  1. original Grant of  Letters of Administration (LA) or the certified true copy (CTC) by the issuing Court. If the CTC of the LA is by the Court, please ensure the Court’s rubber stamp is in English language, ie. without any Malay word. We also require the English translation of the original LA or the CTC (as the case may be) by the Court, ie. English translation done by the Court.
  2. list of beneficiaries, including their full names, ID nos., their relationship to the deceased, their date of birth, their addresses, and copies of their identity documents.
  3. copy of the death certificate.
  4. copy of the deceased’s identity card.
  5. copy of the administrator’s identity card and/or passport.

Please note that notwithstanding the above, the Court may request for additional documents, or give further directions in respect of submitted documents.

Sample of Grant of Probate

Under Intestate law, the following persons are entitled to apply to be appointed as the Administrator(s) of the deceased’s estate in order of priority:

  1. spouse (husband or wife)
  2. issues (lawful children)
  3. parents
  4. brothers or sisters
  5. issues of brothers or sisters
  6. grandparents
  7. uncles or aunts

If a deceased person died without a Will, i.e. intestacy, then then rules of distribution of his/her estate is governed by intestate laws.

Generally, the rules of distribution are as follows (in order of priority):

Rule 1
If an intestate dies leaving a surviving spouse, no issue and no parent, the spouse shall be entitled to the whole of the estate.

Rule 2
If an intestate dies leaving a surviving spouse and issue, the spouse shall be entitled to one-half of the estate.

Rule 3
Subject to the rights of the surviving spouse, if any, the estate (both as to the undistributed portion and the reversionary interest) of an intestate who leaves issue shall be distributed by equal portions per stirpes to and amongst the children of the person dying intestate and such persons as legally represent those children, in case any of those children be then dead.

Proviso No. (1) — The persons who legally represent the children of an intestate are their descendants and not their next-of-kin.
Proviso No. (2) — Descendants of the intestate to the remotest degree stand in the place of their parent or other ancestor, and take according to their stocks the share which he or she would have taken.

Rule 4
If an intestate dies leaving a surviving spouse and no issue but a parent or parents, the spouse shall be entitled to one-half of the estate and the parent or parents to the other half of the estate.

Rule 5
If there are no descendants the parent or parents of the intestate shall take the estate, in equal portions if there be two parents, subject to the rights of the surviving spouse (if any) as provided in rule 4.

Rule 6
If there are no surviving spouse, descendants or parents, the brothers and sisters and children of deceased brothers or sisters of the intestate shall share the estate in equal portions between the brothers and sisters and the children of any deceased brother or sister shall take according to their stocks the share which he or she would have taken.

Rule 7
If there are no surviving spouse, descendants, parents, brothers and sisters or children of such brothers and sisters but grandparents of the intestate the grandparents shall take the whole of the estate in equal portions.

Rule 8
If there are no surviving spouse, descendants, parents, brothers and sisters or their children or grandparents but uncles and aunts of the intestate the uncles and aunts shall take the whole of the estate in equal portions.

Rule 9
In default of distribution under the foregoing rules the Government shall be entitled to the whole of the estate.

In simple cases, the following additional documents are required:-

  1. Consent of the Co-Administrator, if any
  2. Renunciation of the Beneficiaries having a prior right to apply for Letters of Administraton, if any

Singapore’s intestacy regime is set out in the Intestate Succession Act (Cap. 146).

Under the Act, the movable property of an intestate will be distributed according to the laws of the country in which he/she was domiciled at the time of his/her death, while the distribution of Singapore immovable property will be regulated by Singapore intestacy rules.

The Singapore intestacy rules are as follows:

  • Rule 1. If an intestate dies leaving a surviving spouse, no issue and no parent: the spouse is entitled to the whole of the estate.
  • Rule 2. If an intestate dies leaving a surviving spouse and issue: the spouse is entitled to half of the estate.
    Rule 3. Subject to the rights of the surviving spouse, the estate of an intestate who leaves issue must be distributed by equal portions per stirpes to and among the children of the intestate and the persons who legally represent those children (in the case any of those children are dead). The following provisos apply:

    • proviso No. (1): the persons who legally represent the children of an intestate are their descendants and not their next-of-kin;
    • proviso No. (2): descendants of the intestate to the remotest degree stand in the place of their parent or other ancestor.
  • Rule 4. If an intestate dies leaving a surviving spouse and no issue but a parent or parents: the spouse is entitled to half of the estate, and the parent(s) to the other half.
  • Rule 5. If there are no descendants: the parents of the intestate take the estate (in equal portions if there are two parents), subject to the rights of the surviving spouse (if any) as provided in rule 4.
  • Rule 6. If there are no surviving spouse, descendants or parents: the brothers and sisters, and children of deceased brothers or sisters of the intestate share the estate in equal portions.
  • Rule 7. If there are no surviving spouse, descendants, parents, brothers and sisters or children of such brothers and sisters, but grandparents of the intestate: the grandparents take the whole of the estate in equal portions.
  • Rule 8. If there are no surviving spouse, descendants, parents, brothers and sisters or their children or grandparents, but uncles and aunts of the intestate: the uncles and aunts take the whole of the estate in equal portions.
  • Rule 9. In default of distribution under rules 1 to 8: the government is entitled to the whole of the estate.

The Court requires the following documents (not exhaustive) to be submitted for the initial application, namely:

  1. Originating Summons (Probate)
  2. Statement of Probate
  3. Administration Oaths by the Applicant
  4. Renunciation (if applicable)
  5. original extract of the deceased’s Death Certificate
  6. Caveat Search Certificate

A grantee of Letters of Administration, whether with or without a Will annexed, from a Singapore Family Court shall give security for the due administration of the estate by way of an Administration Bond and 2 Sureties in the following circumstances:

  1. where the estate and effects in respect of which the grant is applied for, exclusive of what the deceased was possessed of or entitled to as a trustee and
    not beneficially, but without deducting anything on account of the debts due or owing from the deceased, exceed the value of $5 million
  2. where there is a minority interest in the estate
  3. where there is a life interest in the estate
  4. where there are beneficiaries who lack capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act (Cap. 177A)
  5. where the grantee is a creditor; and
  6. in such other cases as the Registrar thinks fit.

Sureties must not use protected property under section 51 of the Housing and Development Act (Cap. 129) for the purpose of justification.

[Source: Para. 68 Family Justice Courts Practice Directions 2015]

Prior to the extraction of the Grant of Letters of Administration (including for Resealing of Letters of Administration cases), the Court may require the Administrator(s) (“the Applicant”) to provide 2 sureties for the Court’s consideration.

A surety is someone who is responsible or liable for the action or conduct of the Administrator(s).

Generally, the following particulars of the proposed sureties (Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents only) and their respective assets need to be furnished:-

(a) full names of the sureties, they should not be standing as a guarantor or surety for any other matters
(b) relationship of the sureties to the Applicants, and they should not be beneficiaries of the estate
(c) list of assets of each surety:-

  1. money in bank – to state which bank and to provide copies of the latest bank statements;
  2. private property – to state if the property is in sole or joint ownership and provide supporting documents. If propery is held in joint tenancy, all joint tenants are to be included as sureties. Protected property under section 51 of the Housing & Development Board Act (Cap. 129) is not to be used for the purpose of justification;
  3. shares – to provide statement; and
  4. any other assets – to provide supporting documents.

If the proposed sureties are accepted by the Court, the Applicant will need to file the Affidavit of Justification.

Alternatively, if the Applicant is unable to provide 2 sureties, then an application may be made for dispensation of sureties to the Court, and the Applicant needs to comply with the relevant practice directions of the Family Justice Courts.

For death after 14 February 2008, an application for the dispensation of sureties pursuant to section 29(3) of the Probate and Administration Act (Cap. 251) shall be made by way of a summons supported by an affidavit deposed to by all the administrators and co-administrators (if any) stating the following:

  1. the date of the death of the deceased;
  2. the efforts made to find sureties and/or why sureties cannot be found;
  3. who the beneficiaries are, their shares to the estate, ages, and whether the adult beneficiaries consent to the dispensation;
  4. whether there are beneficiaries who are minors or beneficiaries who lack capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act (Cap. 177A), the
    names of such beneficiaries, the relationship of the administrators and co-administrators (if any) to such beneficiaries and the steps that will be taken to
    protect the interests of such beneficiaries;
  5. whether the estate has any creditors for debts not secured by mortgage, the amount of the debt owed to them, and whether these creditors consent to the
    dispensation;
  6. the consents in writing of all adult beneficiaries to the dispensation of sureties, duly signed in the presence of a solicitor or any person before whom an affidavit can be sworn or affirmed, shall be filed with the application for dispensation of sureties; and
  7. any other information which may be relevant to the application.

[Source: Para. 69 Family Justice Courts Practice Directions 2015]

Resealing

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Resealing (3)

Yes, you may apply to Reseal the Grant in Singapore if you have already obtained a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in any part of the Commonwealth or other approved country or territory, such as Hong Kong SAR. Upon successful application, the Supreme Court (High Court) of Singapore will issue a Memorandum of Resealing.

Categories: Probate, Resealing

If you have already obtained a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in any part of the Commonwealth or other approved country or territory, such as Hong Kong SAR, you may reseal the Grant of Representation in the Singapore High Court. Resealing is the process whereby the Singapore High Court will “rubber stamp” the original Grant of Representation as though it has been issued or granted in Singapore. Upon the successful application for resealing, Supreme Court (High Court) of Singapore will issue a Memorandum of Resealing.

Categories: Probate, Resealing

If you wish to engage our law firm for resealing of a Malaysian Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (collectively, Foreign Grant), please note our requirements of documents.

Grant of Probate

  1. original Grant of Probate or the certified true copy (CTC) by the issuing Malaysian Court. If the CTC is by the Court, please ensure the Court’s rubber stamp is in the English language, ie. without any Malay word. We also require the English translation of the original Grant of Probate or the CTC (as the case may be) by the Court, ie. English translation done by the Court.
  2. original Will or the certified true copy (CTC) by the Court safekeeping the original Will. If the CTC of the Will is by the Court, please ensure the Court’s rubber stamp is in English language, ie. without Malay word. We also require the English translation of the original Will or the CTC (as the case may be) by the Court, ie. English translation done by the Court..
  3. copy of the death certificate.
  4. copy of the deceased’s identity card.
  5. copy of the executor’s identity card and/or passport.

Grant of Letters of Administration

  1. original Grant of  Letters of Administration (LA) or the certified true copy (CTC) by the issuing Court. If the CTC of the LA is by the Court, please ensure the Court’s rubber stamp is in English language, ie. without any Malay word. We also require the English translation of the original LA or the CTC (as the case may be) by the Court, ie. English translation done by the Court.
  2. list of beneficiaries, including their full names, ID nos., their relationship to the deceased, their date of birth, their addresses, and copies of their identity documents.
  3. copy of the death certificate.
  4. copy of the deceased’s identity card.
  5. copy of the administrator’s identity card and/or passport.

Please note that notwithstanding the above, the Court may request for additional documents, or give further directions in respect of submitted documents.

Sample of Grant of Probate