What Happens If You Die Without a Will in Singapore?
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.
Watch the Video:
How to Start the Distribution Process
To start the distribution process, the deceased’s next-of-kin can apply to the court for a Grant of Letters of Administration. This is a court order authorising a person to administer the deceased’s estate, and distribute their assets, according to the rules in the Intestate Succession Act outlined above.
To find out what are the assets you can distribute under your will, download our free guide to will-making here:
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.
- Fiduciaries and Fiduciary Law in Singapore
- Muslim Inheritance Law in Singapore
- What Happens to Your Debts When You Die?
- How to Donate your Assets to Charity
- Organ Donation in Singapore (under HOTA, or For Science)
- Can I Use My Will to Distribute Insurance Proceeds?
- 8 Tools You Must Know for Estate Planning in Singapore
- Who Pays for the Mortgage Debts and Medical Bills After Death?
- Complete Guide to CPF Nominations and How to Make One in Singapore
- Is Inheritance Tax Payable When You Die in Singapore?
- Missing Persons Singapore: Legal Steps to Find and 'Presumed Dead'
- How Do I Make a Will?
- Choosing an Executor for Your Will in Singapore
- Get An Affordable Will Made By Experienced Lawyers
- Where Should You Store Your Will?
- Why Should You Make a Will?
- What is a Mutual Will, Mirror Will and Joint Will?
- How Can I Change My Will?
- Checklist for Drafting a Comprehensive Will in Singapore
- Appointing a Guardian for Your Children in Your Will in Singapore
- The Complete Guide to Making Your Will in Singapore
- How to Plan for Mental Incapacitation
- What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and How to Make One in Singapore
- Advance Medical Directives in Singapore
- Appointment of Deputies under the Mental Capacity Act
- Revocation of a Lasting Power of Attorney
- How to Appoint a Deputy for Mentally Incapacitated Persons in Singapore
- Advance Care Planning in Singapore: Why and How to Get Started
- Mental Capacity Assessment for LPAs and Wills
- An Executor’s Checklist to Executing a Will in Singapore
- What Happens If You Die Without a Will in Singapore?
- How Do I Contest a Will?
- Managing a Loved One's Estate After Their Death in Singapore
- Applying for Letters of Administration: Singapore's Intestacy Laws
- Unfair Maintenance: What Can Singapore's Law Do for You?
- Applying for a Grant of Probate in Singapore
- Can a half-brother be considered a next of kin? (when distributing the assets of the deceased)
- What happens to property when a deceased’s next-of-kin or named personal representative is uncontactable?
- Obtaining a Fresh Grant of Probate and Resealing a Foreign Grant of Probate
- What happens to residuary property not accounted for?
- What happens to a Singapore expatriate's assets when he passes on?
- How to Access the Bank Account of a Deceased Spouse
- What happens to my assets overseas when I pass on?
- What Happens to the HDB Flat When One Owner Passes Away?
- Simultaneous Death: How are Assets Distributed When Family Members Die at the Same Time?
- What to Do If the Will Cannot be Found
- Dispute with Executor of Will in Singapore: What to Do
- What If a Beneficiary Dies Before Receiving His Inheritance?
- What Happens to the Car When the Owner Passes Away?
- How Can Your Minor Beneficiaries Receive Their Inheritance?
- Comprehensive Guide to Probate Fees in Singapore