Probate and Letters of Administration
What is Probate?
Probate is a process by which the Family Justice Courts (FJC) proves and validates a will, legally recognizing the executor named in the will.
Through the process of probate, a valid will becomes a legal instrument that is enforceable in the courts, if necessary. The executor/executrix, once legally recognized, takes administration of the testator’s assets and may subsequently handle and assign the testator’s assets according to the probated will.
What are Letters of Administration?
When a deceased individual has not left behind a will, the deceased’s next of kin may submit an application for letters of Administration to the FJC. If the letters of Administration are granted, the administrator gains legal authority to administer the estate and distribute the deceased’s assets according to Singapore law.
How do I make an application for Probate / Letters of Administration?
In order for the courts to issue a grant of probate or letters of administration, an application must first be filed in court. Supporting documents detailing the assets of the estate should also be provided to your lawyers. This will allow your lawyers to assess whether to file the application with the Supreme Court or the FJC.
If such documents are not available, you may wish to instruct your lawyers to write to all the relevant institutions to enquire on the status of the estate’s assets.
How can I improve my chances of being granted Probate / Letters of Administration?
If a will is valid and the application satisfies the necessary requirements, the Registrar will generally grant probate. However, under certain circumstances, the Registrar has the discretion to refuse a grant, even towards an executor named in a valid will.
Similarly, even if your application for letters of administration is uncontested, the Registrar may choose to refuse the grant.
At Hoh Law Corporation, our lawyers are ready to advise and provide you with all the assistance necessary to ensure your petition or application meets all necessary requirements and is successful.
If you are the administrator or executor/executrix of a will, you are entitled to receive a free 15-minute consultation with our lawyers for your first appointment at any of our 12 island-wide branches.
What Documents should I bring to my Appointment?
If you have made an appointment for a consultation with our lawyers, kindly ensure you bring the following documents with you:
1. NRIC of Client(s);
2. Death Certificate;
3. Original Will, if any;
4. Photocopies of NRIC of the Administrators/ Executrix and executors and beneficiaries;
5. (If a HDB Flat or Property is involved) The title deeds to confirm whether the title is held in joint tenancy or tenancy in common;
6. List of assets, if possible.
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