When a Singapore citizen passes away, they are likely to have made a will. A will is a legal document that sets forth the wishes of the deceased regarding the distribution of their property. The author of the will also appoints an executor to administer the assets of the deceased and to act as their trustee. The executor appointed in the Will has to make an application to Court for a Grant of Probate. A Grant of Probate is a court order which gives the executor the powers provided for in the will.
The executor has to be at least 21 years old as of the time of death of the author of the will. It doesn’t matter if the executor is younger when the will is drafted as long as he is of at least 21 years of age when the time comes.
Applying for a Grant of Probate
The probate application is a rather simple one since it is a non-contentions application. If the estate is S$ 5 million or less it is filed in the Family Court. For estates with higher values, the documents must be filed in the Family Division of the Gigh Court.
The executor will need to prepare the following documents
- A death certificate;
- The original will of the deceases;
- If the deceased has been married – a marriage certificate;
- Birth certificates of children if any.
The executor is the only applicant involved in the proceeding. Upon accepting the application, the respective court will schedule a hearing date and time. If the court receives all necessary documents before the hearing date it may as well be vacated. At the end of the proceeding, the court issues the Grant of Probate which can take between 3 and 6 months in total.