What happens if you die without a will in Singapore?

What happens if you die without a will in Singapore?

Introduction

Life is sadly impermanent, and nobody can fully predict the future. Some people, especially the young and healthy ones, may not be overly concerned about making a Will, but what would potentially happen if the worst did occur and you passed away without leaving a will?

In Singapore, if a person dies without leaving a Will, the rules on intestate succession (Section 7 of the Intestate Succession Act) applies. Distribution of the deceased’s estate shall be according to the rules on intestate succession.

Intestate Succession Act

You may reference the graphic below to assess the specific entitlement rules based on various scenarios. If you need any guidance on this topic, you may contact us to understand your situation better. If you are interested in getting a will written, you may also wish to get in touch as we offer an affordable will writing service.

Infographic showing what happens if you die without a will - intestate succession act

Surviving Spouse only

If you have NO surviving parent(s) and child(ren) but you have a surviving spouse, then your spouse gets your whole estate.

Surviving Spouse & Child(ren)

The allocation of your estate will depend on the number of children in this scenario. If you have only 1 child, then the estate is divided equally between your spouse and child. If you have more than one child, then your spouse will get half and the remaining half will be divided equally among your children.

Surviving Spouse & Grandchild

If your child(ren) have passed away, leaving behind his or her only child who is your grandchild, then your surviving spouse will get half portion of your estate and your only grandchild will get another half portion of your estate. If you have no surviving spouse or child(ren), but you have one grandchild, he or she will get everything.

However, if you have grandchildren (more than one grandchild), then your estate’s half share (if there is a surviving spouse) or whole estate (if no surviving spouse) will be divided equally among them.

Surviving Spouse & Parent(s)

If you have a surviving spouse and parent(s) but you have no child(ren), then your spouse and your parent(s) get equal portions of your estate.

Brother(s) & Sister(s)

If you have no surviving spouse, parent(s) or child(ren) but you have sibling(s) [brother(s) and/or sister(s)], he/she/they will inherit your estate. However, in the situation where you have only one brother or sister, but he or she has already passed away, then his or her child(ren) [your niece(s) or nephew(s)] will get your estate instead.

Grandparent(s)

If you have no surviving spouse, parents, child(ren), sibling(s) and child(ren) of your sibling(s) but your grandparent(s) is still alive, then your grandparent(s) will inherit your estate entirely.

Aunt(s) or Uncle(s)

If you have no surviving spouse, parents, child(ren), sibling(s), child(ren) of your sibling(s) and grandparents but you only have aunt(s) or uncle(s), your aunt(s) or uncle(s) will get the whole of your estate.

Government of Singapore

If you have no surviving relatives at all, the government will inherit your whole estate.

In light of the current situation, please note that video and phone consultations remain fully available. Please contact us should you require any legal assistance. 
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