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.

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