Comprehensive Guide to Probate Fees in Singapore

Last updated on February 3, 2020

couple discussing about their will with lawyer

Losing someone you love is especially painful and difficult. Having to deal with legal issues, such as probate and administration matters, in this time of grief can make an already distressing situation even tougher.

To alleviate the situation, we interviewed probate lawyers on their fees and have prepared an insightful 28-page guide with the responses gathered. This article contains extracts from the guide on the breakdown for probate fees in Singapore.

Probate Fees in Singapore

What is the cost of non-contentious probate?

In general, the fees for a simple non-contentious probate matter can range from about S$2,000 to S$6,500 depending on how a lawyer calculates his fees and the time required to complete the work.

Complex cases such as those with many assets or beneficiaries, or involve foreigners and/or overseas assets will also cost more.

LOA applications tend to cost more than GOP applications as well due to the additional work and effort required by the lawyers (as mentioned above).

The following table lists the estimated fees for non-contentious probate:

Fixed-fee 
Non-contentious GOP
    • For estates valued at S$3m or less, the fees may range from S$2,000 to S$2,500
    • For estates valued above S$3m,the fees may range from S$2,500 to S$5,000
Non-contentious LOA
    • For estates valued at S$3m or less, the fees may range from S$2,500 to S$3,000
    • For estates valued above S$3m, the fees may range from S$2,500 to S$6,500

*Do note that the fees above are before any additional services, disbursements, and taxes.
A lawyer may also charge for additional services related to probate matters.

These services include:

  • Helping the personal representative with the distribution of assets. This may involve additional documents such as writing a letter to all the beneficiaries informing them of their entitlement. This may cost an additional S$1,000 or more.
  • Handling complications during the probate process, such as the death of a beneficiary or the inability to locate certain documents.

For LOA applications specifically, a lawyer may charge you the following additional services:

  • Request for dispensation of guarantors. You can request to dispense with the requirement of additional guarantors. This may cost an additional S$500 or more.
  • Appointment of Deputies as required by the court. This may cost an additional S$4,000 or more.

What is the cost of contentious probate?

The cost of contentious probate matters can range from S$10,000 to S$40,000. It can go even higher if the matter is an especially long or complex one. This is because contentious probate is classified under civil litigation (i.e. lawsuits), resulting in civil litigation rates.

Legal fees for civil litigation are usually charged based on an hourly rate determined by individual firms. Factors such as the size of the firm, the seniority of the lawyer, and the expertise of the law firm will influence this rate.

However, some firms do charge a fixed rate for each specific stage of litigation.

You can find out more in our article about civil litigation fees.

What are Disbursements? Do I Have to Pay Them?

Disbursements are fees that a lawyer pays on behalf of the client, and apply to both contentious and non-contentious probate matters. These fees include court filing fees, photocopying charges, courier costs, and other miscellaneous fees related to the work.

The table below lists the court filing fees you can expect in a probate matter for estates valued at S$3m and below.

Service provided Estimated fee payable per document (S$)
Originating Summons 100
Statement in Form 51 15
Schedule of Assets 15
Certified True Copy of the Death Certificate 15
Certified True Copy of the Will 30
Renunciation 25
Document in support (if any) 15
Administration Oath 25
Supporting Affidavit 25
Schedule of Assets – Supplementary Affidavit 25
Request for Extraction (with printed grant) 80
Request for Certified True Copy of Grant and Schedule of Assets 50
Probate Application and Caveat Searches (when filing the Originating Summons) 20
Probate Application and Caveat Searches (when requesting for extraction) 30
Affirmation fees for Administration Oath, Supporting Affidavit 30

How will lawyers bill you for probate work?

Different lawyers and law firms have different billing practices. Some firms may require an upfront payment of the full amount.

Alternatively, some law firms may just ask for an initial deposit. Some firms may also work out a payment plan based on your financial ability.

The exact deposit amount will vary between law firms. It can range between S$1,000 to S$1,500 or more.

The remainder of the fees can be charged monthly or at key milestones, such as after the LOR application has been filed or after the extraction of the LOR.

Disbursements may be charged separately. Usually, they are charged according to key milestones as well.

Download the Full Guide to Probate Fees in Singapore

Apart from fee estimates for obtaining probate in Singapore, our guide also covers these common FAQs:

  • How do lawyers charge for probate work?
  • Do you need a lawyer to handle your probate matter?
  • What if you cannot afford a probate lawyer?

Download the Probate Fee Guide!

What’s in the Guide?

When you download our guide, you will get access to all these chapters:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Probate and Administration?
  3. What are Letters of Representation (LOR)?
  4. How Do You Obtain the LOR?
  5. What Happens If there are Caveats and/or Competing Applications?
  6. How Long is the LOR Application Process?
  7. Do You Need a Lawyer to Handle Your Probate Matter?
  8. What is the Cost of Non-Contentious Probate?
  9. What is the Cost of Contentious Probate?
  10. What are Disbursements? Do I have to Pay for them?
  11. How will Lawyers Bill Your for Probate Work?
  12. What If You Cannot Afford a Probate Lawyer?
  13. How to Choose a Probate Lawyer
  14. Glossary

Through this guide, we hope you will gain a better understanding of the estimated fees you can expect to pay if you were to hire a probate lawyer. Download your free copy today!

Download Your Probate Fee Guide Today!

After Downloading the Guide, What’s Next?

At SingaporeLegalAdvice.com, we are committed to helping you through this emotional and stressful period of time.

If you have wish to apply for probate, you may use our Find a Lawyer service to get in touch with experienced probate lawyers and ask about their fees. Use of this service is free.

Get in touch with experienced probate lawyers 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 (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 Payable When You Die in Singapore?
  11. Missing Persons Singapore: Legal Steps to Find and 'Presumed Dead'
  12. Is Stamp Duty Payable When Inheriting Property 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
  10. The Complete Guide to Making Your Will in Singapore
  11. How to Prepare a Schedule of Assets for 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 Mentally Incapacitated Persons 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. Managing a Loved One's Estate After Their Death in Singapore
  5. Applying for Letters of Administration: Singapore's Intestacy Laws
  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. How to Give Away Overseas Assets in a Will in Singapore
  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. Dispute with Executor of Will in Singapore: What to Do
  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?
  22. Comprehensive Guide to Probate Fees in Singapore