April 10, 2022

Guide to Grant of Probate

If a person dies and leaves a valid Will, then the Executor (named in the Will) must apply to the court to obtain a Grant of Probate so that the beneficiaries ultimately get what they are entitled to. The executor is given the authority to deal with the deceased’s estate when the court issues probate. Then they can instruct banks and other financial institutions to move the necessary funds before they are given to the beneficiaries.

When an Executor engages a probate lawyer, they must produce the original Will.

If No Valid Will Exists, Letters of Administration are Needed

Where a deceased person leaves no valid Will before death (dies intestate), the beneficiaries require the Administrator (the personal representative) to make a court application for Letters of Administration. These allow the Administrator to collect or sell the assets of the deceased, and share them out amongst the beneficiaries.

Usually, an administrator will be either the spouse or next of kin of the person who has died.

For intestate deaths, the Intestate Succession Act (Cap 146) (for non-Muslims) sets out how the administrator must share out the assets. For Muslims, the Administration of Muslim Law Act will apply instead.

Duties of the Executor

Administering the estate is the main duty of the Executor. They play a vital role in the probate process. Also, because they have to collect the assets of the deceased, the assets pass to the Executor before being given to the beneficiaries. This is why it’s a good idea to select the Executor of your Will with care.

Before the Executor can distribute any assets, they should do the following:

  • Calculate what assets the deceased has and the value of them
  • Settle the debts of the deceased. (These may include credit card debts, housing or vehicle loans, personal loans, or IRAS taxes).
  • Follow the instructions of the Will to distribute the balance of the assets to the beneficiaries.

What If the Will Doesn’t Name an Executor?

Where no Executor is named in the Will, then a suitable person will be appointed by the court who will manage the estate of the deceased. In this case, the grant that is given is known as a Grant of Letters of Administration with the Will annexed, rather than a Grant of Probate.

The Probate Process in Singapore

There are three main stages to the process in ordinary circumstances, and these can usually be completed within one or two months. But given how complex the process is, you are strongly advised to engage a lawyer to undertake the process for you.

  1. The application is filed
  2. The supporting Affidavit and OIT of Summons, Schedules, and Sureties are provided
  3. The Grant is extracted.

Stage 1

The following will be filed by your lawyer;

  • Originating Summons (cause book searches), Administration Oath, Statement,
  • Order of Court for the Presumption of Death of Deceased, or alternatively the CTC of Death Certificate,
  • Renunciation,
  • Foreign Grant (for resealing of foreign grant),
  • CTC of will & codicil (if any), including a translation if one exists, legally certified by a lawyer,
  • Inheritance Certificate (for Muslims),
  • Consent of Co-administrator (if any),
  • Other documents (such as Affidavit of Foreign Law, or other Court Orders).

Stage 2

  • Within 14 days of filing the OS, the Supporting Affidavit is filed,
  • Supplementary Affidavit (if a Schedule is not filed in Supporting Affidavit),
  • Others (such as affidavits, Summons for Dispensation of Sureties, Orders of Court, especially if some beneficiaries are vulnerable or for High Court Family Division cases).

Stage 3

  • Request to Extract Grant,
  • Administration Bond,
  • Request to Extract Memorandum of Resealing.

When Should I Apply for Grant of Probate?

As soon as possible. You should avoid any unnecessary delay in distributing the deceased’s properties and assets to the beneficiaries.

Our fees are fixed and transparent

  • Grant of Probate: from $990
  • Letter of Administration: from $990

Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your circumstances and needs.

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