Can a half-brother be considered a next of kin? (when distributing the assets of the deceased)

Last updated on October 4, 2016

Distributing the assets of a deceased

In Singapore, assets of a deceased fall into intestacy in two scenarios:

  1. The deceased leaves behind no will.
  2. The deceased leaves behind a will, but it is deemed invalid (i.e, certain assets are left uncovered or unspecified).

In the absence of a valid will, the Intestate Succession Act then applies. This Act outlines how the assets of the deceased should be distributed.

Note: the Intestate Succession Act does not apply to Muslims. If you are a Muslim, please refer to our article on Muslim inheritance laws instead.

Where assets are to be distributed to siblings

Under section 7, rule 6 of the Act, it is stated that in the event where the deceased leaves behind no surviving spouse, children or parents, the brothers and sisters of the deceased shall get equal portions of the asset.

In the case whereby the deceased leaves behind a half-brother, section 6 of the Act sets the ground for situations where persons are related to the deceased in the same way (i.e, the deceased has two brothers).

According to section 6, it can be interpreted that a half blood sibling can be considered to be a next of kin, but is prioritised after a full blood sibling in the distribution of assets. 

A half-brother’s priority with regard to lower-ranked parties

Under section 7, we note that the deceased’s grandparents, uncles and aunts rank after siblings in the rule for distribution of assets.

In the case whereby the deceased leaves behind a half-brother as his only sibling, along with grandparents, aunts and uncles, section 6(a) states that there is no distinction between persons of the full blood and persons of the half blood.

Therefore, the half-brother, being the sibling of the deceased, still has the right over the grandparents, uncles and aunts. 

Scenarios

Deceased leaves behind:

A full blood sibling and half blood brother

The half blood brother does not have the right to succeed in claiming the assets.

Only a half blood brother

The half-brother shall inherit the assets, over the deceased’s grandparents, aunts and uncles (if any).

Hence, the half blood brother can be considered a next of kin. However, it is crucial to note that a full blood brother and/or sister will have priority in claiming the assets.

Estate Planning
  1. Fiduciaries and Fiduciary Law in Singapore
  2. Muslim Inheritance Law in Singapore
  3. What Happens to Your Debts When You Die?
  4. How to Donate your Assets to Charity
  5. Organ Donation in Singapore (under HOTA, or For Science)
  6. Can I Use My Will to Distribute Insurance Proceeds?
  7. 8 Tools You Must Know for Estate Planning in Singapore
  8. Who Pays for the Mortgage Debts and Medical Bills After Death?
  9. Complete Guide to CPF Nominations and How to Make One in Singapore
  10. Is Inheritance Tax/Estate Duty Payable When You Die in Singapore?
  11. Missing Persons Singapore: Legal Steps to Find and 'Presumed Dead'
Making a Will
  1. How Do I Make a Will?
  2. Choosing an Executor for Your Will in Singapore
  3. Get An Affordable Will Made By Experienced Lawyers
  4. Where Should You Store Your Will?
  5. Why Should You Make a Will?
  6. What is a Mutual Will, Mirror Will and Joint Will?
  7. How Can I Change My Will?
  8. Checklist for Drafting a Comprehensive Will in Singapore
  9. Appointing a Guardian for Your Children in Your Will in Singapore
  10. The Complete Guide to Making Your Will in Singapore
Preparing for Incapacity
  1. How to Plan for Mental Incapacitation
  2. What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and How to Make One in Singapore
  3. Advance Medical Directives in Singapore
  4. Appointment of Deputies under the Mental Capacity Act
  5. Revocation of a Lasting Power of Attorney
  6. How to Appoint a Deputy for a Loved One Lacking Mental Capacity in Singapore
  7. Advance Care Planning in Singapore: Why and How to Get Started
  8. Mental Capacity Assessment for LPAs and Wills
Setting Up a Trust
  1. What is a Trust? Trust Law in Singapore
  2. Setting Up a Discretionary Living Trust in Singapore
Distribution of Estate Assets
  1. An Executor’s Checklist to Executing a Will in Singapore
  2. What Happens If You Die Without a Will in Singapore?
  3. How Do I Contest a Will?
  4. Wills, Probate, and Executors: What to Do When a Loved One Passes Away in Singapore
  5. Applying for Letters of Administration: Intestacy Laws in Singapore
  6. Unfair Maintenance: What Can Singapore's Law Do for You?
  7. Applying for a Grant of Probate in Singapore
  8. Can a half-brother be considered a next of kin? (when distributing the assets of the deceased)
  9. What happens to property when a deceased’s next-of-kin or named personal representative is uncontactable?
  10. Obtaining a Fresh Grant of Probate and Resealing a Foreign Grant of Probate
  11. What happens to residuary property not accounted for?
  12. What happens to a Singapore expatriate's assets when he passes on?
  13. How to Access the Bank Account of a Deceased Spouse
  14. What happens to my assets overseas when I pass on?
  15. What Happens to the HDB Flat When One Owner Passes Away?
  16. Simultaneous Death: How are Assets Distributed When Family Members Die at the Same Time?
  17. What to Do If the Will Cannot be Found
  18. What to Do If There are Disputes With or Between the Executors of a Will in Singapore
  19. What If a Beneficiary Dies Before Receiving His Inheritance?
  20. What Happens to the Car When the Owner Passes Away?
  21. How Can Your Minor Beneficiaries Receive Their Inheritance?