What Happens If You Die Without a Will in Singapore?

Last updated on August 28, 2018

Featured image for the "What Happens if You Die Without a Will in Singapore?" article. It features a will and a pen.

If the deceased did not leave a valid will behind before he passed away, Singapore’s rules on intestate succession, as outlined in section 7 of the Intestate Succession Act, will determine how the deceased’s estate is distributed to his survivors.

The rules are as follows:

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

Note: These Rules Do Not Apply to Muslims

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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What Should You Do If You Want to Write a Will?

It is possible for you to write your own will if you feel confident of doing so. Alternatively, you may also explore the following options:

Make a will online

We offer an online WillMaker service where you can make a will from home by answering a series of questions on the assets that you have and who should inherit these assets. You can also state who should be the guardian of your children who are under 21 years old when you pass away (if any).

The will document will be generated in Microsoft Word format. You can then print and sign it in the presence of 2 witnesses to make it legally valid.

WillMaker is ideal if you have a straightforward distribution of assets in mind and do not need other legal mechanisms such as setting up a trust. It costs $89 to make a will using WillMaker. Make a will via WillMaker here.

Hire a wills lawyer

If you need a more customised will, consider hiring a lawyer to draft a will for you. The lawyer will be able to tailor the will according to your precise requirements.

You can obtain quotes from lawyers who offer will-writing services through our Find a Lawyer service. Use of this service is free. Simply fill in your query and send it to up to 5 lawyers of your choice to receive quotes. Will-writing services by lawyers generally start from $300. Get will-writing quotes via Find a Lawyer here.

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
  6. Can I Distribute Life Insurance Proceeds Using a Will?
  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
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
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. 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. What should I do with a deceased relative’s will? How is a will executed?
  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. Letters of Administration - Intestacy law 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?