After a person passes away, the executor appointed in his/ her Will has to make an application for the grant of probate in Singapore. The executor is the person appointed by the deceased to administer his/ her assets.
Where the deceased did not leave behind a Will, an application will have to be made for the grant of letters of administration instead.
The grant of probate is a Court order allowing the executor to administer the deceased’s estate. This means that the executor should pay off the debts and liabilities of the deceased and distribute the remaining assets according to the wishes of the deceased as prescribed under the Will.
Obtaining the grant of probate in Singapore is necessary assuming that the total value of the assets of the deceased exceeds S$50,000.00. Otherwise, an application can be made to the Public Trustee to administer the estate.
The application for grant of probate should be made to the Family Justice Courts if the asset value is less than S$3 million. Otherwise, the application should be made to the High Court.
If no named executor is provided for in the Will, an application may be made under Section 13 of the Probate and Administration Act for the grant of letters of administration with Will annexed to the person fittest to administer the estate.
Most probate applications are uncontested. However, it is advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced probate lawyer given the large volume of documents and process involved.
The steps to apply for a grant of probate in Singapore are as follows:
Step 1- Submitting the Application
An ex parte originating summons must be filed electronically to the Family Justice Courts. The originating summons must contain information on the deceased, applicants and order requested.
Caveat searches must be attached to the summons to ensure that no caveat has been lodged against the estate of the deceased.
The statement of probate or administration must be filed and the particulars of the deceased, estimated value of the estate and confirmation that the copy of Will filed is a certified true copy of the Will must be provided in the statement. Further, you should also confirm that the applicant is the executor in the Will and that the application is filed within 6 months of the deceased’s death (or reason for not doing so).
The certified true copy of the death certificate has to be submitted to the Court. Otherwise, a search for the death record or the death extract can be extracted from the ICA’s online portal.
The certified true copy of the Will has to be filed. The Will has to be in English, failing which a translated copy has to be filed and the translator should file a supporting Affidavit.
Your probate lawyer will file the abovementioned documents electronically. After the documents have been filed, a probate case number will be created and a checklist of items will be created. The original Will has to be submitted to the Probate Counter by 4:30pm on the next working day.
Step 2- Submission of Supporting Documents
The administration oath (executed by the executor in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths) will have to be submitted. In this document, the executor will have to give an undertaking to the Court that he/ she will distribute the assets of the deceased’s according to the deceased’s instructions and to account for the same.
The supporting affidavit will exhibit the statement (filed and accepted by the Court), the certified true copy of the death certificate and Will and schedule of assets.
The schedule of assets contains the list of assets owned by the deceased. CPF is not included.
Step 3- Probate Hearing
The probate hearing will take place.
Step 4- Submission of Supplementary Affidavit and Schedule of Assets
If you are not able to confirm the full list of the deceased’s assets, your probate lawyer may write to the financial institutions and banks to request for the information. Your lawyer will need you to sign a letter of authorisation addressed to each financial institution.
After receipt of the information, your probate lawyer will be able to fill in the schedule of assets and you will sign a supplementary affidavit in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths, exhibiting he complete schedule of assets.
Step 5- Extracting Grant of Probate
Your lawyer will be able to request for the extraction of the grant of probate. Before this, a final search has to be made to ensure that no caveat has been lodged against the estate.
To apply for grant of probate in Singapore, contact us at +6598330314 (whatsapp).
Our price list can be found here.
Related articles can be found here.