Are you entitled to an inheritance when someone dies without a will?

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When someone dies without a will, that person is said to have died “intestate”. Since there is no will, the person’s property will be distributed according to rules laid down in Intestate Succession Act.  The Intestate Succession Act sets out which living relatives get inheritance (and in what proportions).

inheritance

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Are you entitled to an inheritance when a family member dies without a will?

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Introduction

If someone dies without a will,  that person is said to have died “intestate”. Since there is no will, the deceased person’s property will be distributed according to rules laid down in Intestate Succession Act.

The Intestate Succession Act sets out which living relatives are entitled to inheritance (in priority and in what proportions).   It is not automatic that the surviving spouse will get everything as it depends on whether the deceased person has surviving parents and children.

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How are assets distributed if someone dies without a Will?

To find out if you are entitled to any inheritance if a family member has passed away without a will, you need to see where you stand under the Intestate Succession Act.

Section 7 of the Intestate Succession Act tells you which living relatives have priority to the estate if someone dies without a Will.  The administrator of the estate must distribute the inheritance by following these Rules. The Rules are as follows:

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If the deceased person has only a spouse (but no children, no parents)

The spouse gets everything.

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If the deceased person has a spouse and children

The spouse will get half the assets and the children will get the other half in equal proportions.

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If  the person has only children (but no spouse)

The children get everything in equal shares.

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If the person has a spouse and parents (but no children)

The spouse gets half and the parents get the other half in equal shares.

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If the person has only parents (but no spouse and no children)

The parents get everything in equal shares.

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If the person has only brothers and sisters (but no spouse, no children and no parents)

The brothers and sisters (or children of the deceased brother or sister) get everything in equal shares.

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If the person has only grandparents (but no spouse, children, parents, brothers and sisters or children of deceased brother and sister)

The grandparents get everything in equal shares.

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If the person has only have uncles and aunts (but no spouse, children, parents, brothers and sisters or children of deceased brother and sister and no grandparents)

The uncles and aunts take everything in equal shares.

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 .Applying for Letters of Administration

In Singapore, in  order for someone to have authority to distribute the deceased’s estate to the rightful beneficiaries, a family member will usually engage a probate lawyer to apply to court for “Letters of Administration”.  The Letters of Administration is a court order which grants the authority and power to a person (usually the spouse or the child) to become the “administrator” of the estate.   The Letter of Administration gives the Administrator the power to value the estate, pay any debts and distribute the estate according to the intestacy rules.

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Applying for Grant of Probate

In contrast, if there  is a Will, the Executor named in the will will have to apply to court to issue a Grant of Probate.  In such an event, the assets have to be distributed in accordance with the will. For a discussion on what is a Grant of Probate, please read here.

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Legal Fees for Letters of Administration & Grant of Probate

At PKWA Law, our legal fees for applying for Letters of Administration are one of the most affordable in Singapore.  We charge just $1,500 (excluding court fees and GST).  We normally obtain the Letters of Administration for our clients within 1 to 2 months.

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probate lawyer singapore, probate fixed fees

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CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED PROBATE LAWYER

If you are the surviving spouse, child or next-of-kin of someone who has just passed away, you will have many questions regarding what you should do to have access to the person’s assets and how to distribute them to the rightful beneficiaries.   Please contact PKWA Law for a free consultation at tel 6854-5336.

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ABOUT PKWA PROBATE LAWYERS

SINGAPORE WILLS AND PROBATE LAWYERS

PKWA Law is one of Singapore’s largest family law firms, specialising in family law, wills and probate. We are consistently named as a leading family law firm by respected legal publications such as Asian Legal Business, Singapore Business Review, Global Law Experts and Doyle’s Guide to Singapore Family Lawyers.  

Conveniently located at HDB Hub, PKWA Family Law charges affordable fixed fees that are catered for the average Singaporean.

 Contact us at tel 6854-5336 for a free first consultation.

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Have a question? Contact PKWA Law today for your free consultation.
Call Us At +65 6854 5336
(Family Law)
Call Us At +65 6397 6100
(Conveyancing)
Email Us At mail@pkwalaw.com