In the absence of a will, how is the deceased’s estate distributed?
If the deceased did not leave a valid will behind before he passed away, Singapore’s rules on intestate succession, as outlined in the Intestate Succession Act, will determine how the deceased’s estate is distributed to his survivors.
There are 9 simple rules outlined in section 7 of the Act.
|SURVIVOR||ABSENT||WHO GETS WHAT|
|Spouse||Children, parents||Spouse gets everything|
|Spouse, children||Spouse gets half, children gets the other half in equal portions|
|Children||Spouse||Children get everything in equal portions. Grandchildren can claim their parent’s share in equal portions if their parent is dead|
|Spouse, parents||Children||Spouse gets half, parents get half in equal portions|
|Parents||Spouse, children||Parents get everything in equal portions|
|Brothers and sisters (or children of the deceased brother or sister)||Spouse, children, parents||Brothers and sisters get equal portions. Their children can claim their share for them in equal portions if they are deceased|
|Grandparents||Spouse, children, parents, brothers and sisters or children of such brothers and sisters||Grandparents take the estate in equal portions|
|Uncles and aunts||Spouse, children, parents, brothers and sisters or children of such brothers and sisters, grandparents||Uncles and aunts take the estate in equal portions|
|None||Everyone||Government takes everything|
It is worth noting that the Intestate Succession Act does not apply to Muslims. The distribution of property of a deceased Muslim domiciled in Singapore at the time of death is governed by Muslim law and the Syariah Court.