How do you effect the transfer of the HDB flat ownership after the death of the HDB flat owner?
To know this, you will need to understand if the HDB flat is under the joint tenancy scheme or tenancy-in-common scheme.
HDB Flat Under the Joint-Tenancy Scheme
Under the joint-tenancy scheme, the co-owners own the HDB flat as a whole, not in percentages. This means that after the death of a co-owner, the deceased’s co-owner’s share will be transferred to the remaining co-owner. The remaining co-owner must fulfil HDB’s criteria for home ownership. The Notice of Death must be lodged with the Singapore Land Authority (i.e. SLA).
You may approach the HDB for help in preparing the Notice of Death. HDB will inform the remaining co-owners to sign the documents at the HDB branch managing the HDB flat. Some registration and conveyancing fees will be payable.
Another way to do this is to lodge the Notice of Death with the SLA directly.
HDB Flat Under the Tenancy-in-Common Scheme
In the event that the HDB flat is held under the tenancy-in-common scheme, the deceased owner’s share of the HDB flat will be distributed either according to his/ her wishes in his/ her Will or according to Section 7 of the Intestate Succession Act (in the absence of a Will).
In the event that the deceased had a Will done up, the named executor should engage a probate lawyer to assist with the application for grant of probate. This will give the executor the authority to manage the deceased’s assets.
In the absence of a Will, the deceased’s next-of-kin should engage a lawyer to apply for the grant of letters of administration. The administrator (usually the next-of-kin of the deceased) will then have the authority to manage the estate of the deceased.
Under the Intestate Succession Act, where the deceased has a surviving spouse and children, the spouse will receive 50% of the deceased’s assets while the children will receive the other 50%. Where the deceased has no children but has a surviving spouse and parents, the spouse will receive 50% of the deceased’s assets while the parents will receive the other 50%. In the event that the deceased has no surviving spouse and no surviving parents, the children will be entitled to 100% of the deceased’s assets.
After obtaining either the grant of probate/ letters of administration, the executor/ administrator should approach the HDB branch with the original copy of the grant of letters of administration/ grant of probate and Will, a copy of the deceased’s death certificate and identity cards of all flat owners and administrator/ executor.
After this process is done, the transfer of HDB flat ownership after death can be effected.
HDB Ownership After Death
The beneficiaries who inherit the HDB flat should take note of the eligibility criteria to retain the HDB flat– for instance, citizenship and the need to form a family nucleus. If the beneficiaries are ineligible to retain the flat, they may need to sell the flat. If the deceased has not reached the Minimum Occupancy Period of the flat, the beneficiaries may approach HDB for an evaluation of the case.
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