Leading Probate Law Firm in Singapore
Need a grant of probate or letter of administration in Singapore?
The death of a family member or loved one can not only be a cause for sadness but can also lead to serious upheaval in our lives.
After such a loss, the last thing we want to deal with is the process of probate and administration of the deceased person’s will.
At I.R.B. Law, we understand how stressful these times can be. That is why our caring and professional team of probate lawyers is ready to assist you in settling your affairs, so that you can be with friends and family in this difficult time. We make the process of applying for a grant of probate or letters of administration as straightforward and manageable as possible.
When a person dies, his or her estate – that is, his or her property, bank accounts, and possessions – is frozen and can only be released after the Executor of the deceased’s will or his or her next of kin, depending on the circumstances, makes an application to the Court.
* Please note that if the deceased person was Muslim, then the following information does not apply and Islamic rules of inheritance will apply instead.
[link to Syariah article]
The first step to take after a loved one dies is to find out whether he or she left behind a will and if so, whether the will is valid – in other words, whether it meets the legal requirements of the Wills Act.
If there is a valid will, it should name at least one executor. This refers to the person or institution, such as a legal practice or accounting firm, appointed to carry out the instructions contained within the will.
The Executor is responsible for ascertaining and valuing the deceased person’s estate and applying to the Court for a Grant of Probate. This application should be made within six months of the deceased person’s death. It is recommended that you seek legal assistance, as even if probate is not disputed, the process of ascertaining and valuing the deceased person’s estate and applying for a Grant of Probate can be arduous and involve a great deal of paperwork.
Once the Grant has been obtained, the Executor has the legal authority to distribute the deceased person’s estate and may, for example, settle the deceased’s debts and make financial arrangements for the funeral.
If there is no valid will, the deceased person’s next of kin will need to apply to the Court for a Grant of Letters of Administration. This authorises the next of kin, as the deceased’s personal representative, to administer and distribute his or her estate according to the Rules stated in the Intestate Succession Act.
This means, for example, that if the deceased person leaves behind a spouse and parents, but no children, then the deceased’s estate must be divided equally between the spouse and parents by law.
Only certain classes of family members may apply to become administrators of an estate. In order of priority these are the deceased’s:
5. nephew(s) and/or niece(s)
7. aunt(s) and/or uncles(s)
Bankrupts and infants (defined as individuals under the age of 21) cannot be appointed as administrators. In the latter case, the Grant will be made to his or her guardian, or if the infant is aged 16 years and above, he or she may nominate a next of kin to act as administrator on his or her behalf.
The validity of a will can be disputed in Court and depending on the circumstances, the will
may be found partially or wholly invalid. Common grounds for disputing a will include:
– claims that the will was not made according to the legal requirements of the Wills Act;
– claims that the deceased person was not of sound mind when the will was executed;
– claims that the will was made under duress or undue influence.
If you are the Executor of a will and you believe that that the will is likely to be disputed, you are strongly advised to seek legal assistance so that you can mount a case to defend your position. Such disputes could lead to drawn-out and complex probate proceedings, which could cause you and your loved ones to lose out on the inheritance to which you are entitled.
If your loved one was resident in a Commonwealth country – such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United Kingdom – but had assets in Singapore, you should apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in that country and then apply to have the Grant re-sealed in Singapore.
What can we do to help
At I.R.B. Law, our experienced, professional team of estate solicitors can take away the stress involved in settling complex inheritance matters. Our probate lawyers will explain the process clearly to you and guide you every step of the way.
Engaging a professional probate lawyer in Singapore means that you have someone you can rely on to handle the affairs of the deceased, file the necessary applications and assist you in distributing the deceased person’s property to the beneficiaries.
And in the unfortunate event that your loved one’s will is disputed, you have the benefit of our experienced probate lawyers’ dedication and wealth of experience to come to your defence. We will fight to make sure that you receive the inheritance that you deserve.
I.R.B. Law is recognised as a team of leading Singapore contract lawyers with a track record of trustworthiness and reliability in contract matters. Our lawyers have over a century of a combined experience as solicitors and are ready to assist you with your contract matter.
We firmly believe that everyone should be entitled to a legal advice and guidance. Should you be in a position where you may need our assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.