Unfair Maintenance: What Can Singapore’s Law Do for You?
In some situations however, the will or intestacy laws may fail to adequately provide for the welfare of the deceased’s dependants. The Inheritance (Family Provision) Act (the “Act”) is designed to remedy these situations, subject to its non-application to the estates of deceased Muslims.
Who May Apply for Maintenance?
A dependant who is not reasonably provided for by the distribution of a deceased’s estate may apply to the court requesting the court to make an order altering the distribution of the deceased’s net estate for the maintenance of that dependant.
Four classes of persons who are counted as dependants:
- a wife or husband;
- a daughter who has not been married or who is, by reason of some mental or physical disability, incapable of maintaining herself;
- an infant son; or
- a son who is, by reason of some mental or physical disability, incapable of maintaining himself.
In 2009, the Singapore Court of Appeal held that illegitimate children could not apply for maintenance under the Act. Only legitimate children (which includes legally-adopted children) could do so under the Act.
Time Within which Application Must be Made
An application for maintenance under the Act must generally be made within 6 months from the date on which representation (i.e. administration and execution) in regard to the deceased’s estate is first taken out, but this deadline may be extended by the court in just circumstances.
Where Application for Maintenance is Not Permitted
The Act prohibits an application in a situation where the distribution of the deceased estate, by way of will or law, is such that the surviving spouse is already entitled to not less than two-thirds of the income of the net estate and where the only other dependant or dependants, if any, is or are a child or children of the surviving spouse.
Matters Affecting the Court’s Decision
In deciding whether to make the maintenance order, the court will take into consideration a wide variety of matters, including:
- The dependant’s financial situation;
- The conduct of the dependant in relation to the deceased or in general; and
- Any reasons the deceased may have in making or not making a will, including the state of relations between the deceased and the dependant.
How Maintenance is Paid Out of the Deceased’s Estate
If the deceased’s estate consist of movable or immovable property, maintenance may be paid out of the income of said property. Alternatively, the property may be ordered to be sold to fund the maintenance.
Provision for maintenance is generally in the form of periodical payments, but these payments will be terminated in the following events:
- in the case of a wife or husband, her or his remarriage;
- in the case of a daughter who has not been married, or who is under disability, her marriage or the cesser of her disability, whichever is the later;
- in the case of an infant son, his attaining the age of 21 years;
- in the case of a son under disability, the cesser of his disability,
or in any case, his or her earlier death.
But where the value of a deceased’s net estate does not exceed S$50,000, the court shall have power to make a maintenance order in the form of a lump sum payment.
- 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'
- Is Stamp Duty Payable When Inheriting Property in Singapore?
- 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 Prepare a Schedule of Assets for 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
- How to Give Away Overseas Assets in a Will in Singapore
- 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