How do you manage a family member's estate after their death in Singapore?
Did your family member leave behind a Will?
If the deceased has left behind a valid will, there is a specified individual appointed as the executer. The executer will carry out the instructions of the person who made the will (i.e. the testator).
How to execute a Will?
To rightfully and legally execute a will. the executer will need to tender the relevant documents including a certified copy of the specific will to the court and apply for a Grant of Probate.
What is a Grant of Probate?
It is a court order authorizing an executor to administrator the deceased's estate in accordance to the instructions in the will. For example: Distributing the deceased's assets and paying off any debts.
What to do if there is no Will?
If the deceased has not left behind a Will, you must apply to the court for a Grant of Letters of Administration. This is pursued so that you are able to be appointed as an administrator to administer the distribution of the deceased's estate. The administrator is normally the next-of-kin of the deceased. However, do note that the distribution of the deceased's assets will follow intestacy laws, and a possibility it may not be in line with what the deceased would have wanted.
Therefore, due to the multitude of supporting documents needed in the court application and chances of certain complications that may arise along the process, it is highly advisable to hire a lawyer for the right advise and handling of paperwork.