What Do I Need To Prepare To Apply For A Grant Of Probate?
AspectLaw | March 14, 2022
When a person passes away and the family wishes to distribute his or her assets in accordance with the terms of the will. The executor(s) specifically named in the will by the deceased must apply to the Family Courts for a Grant of Probate.
The Grant of Probate is a court order that confers power on the executor(s) to administer the estate in accordance with the deceased’s wishes. Without the Grant of Probate, financial institutions will not allow you to transfer the assets. If the value of the deceased’s estate is worth more than $3 million, the executor(s) will have to make the application to the Family Division of the High Court.
What is Required?
Firstly, contact a probate lawyer in Singapore for more legal assistance. There are many documents to be filed in court and a lawyer can ensure that they are filed correctly. You will then have to provide your probate lawyer with the following documents:
- Original copy of the Last Will and Testament of the deceased
- Original death certificate
- Details and documents relating to the estate of the deceased
- NRIC of the executor(s)
The original copy of these documents may need to be presented by the lawyer upon filing, so your lawyer may ask for you to leave the original documents with the law firm.
Documents to Prepare
1. Ex parte Originating Summons (Probate)
An originating summons is usually used for commencing non-contentious matters. “Ex parte” in this case, means that there is no other party involved in the application. The information required in this form includes:
- Details of the deceased
- Details of the applicant(s)
- The order requested
This second document must include the following information about the deceased, his estate and the applicant(s):
- Particulars of the deceased, information about his or her death, and the country in which the deceased resided prior to death
- The estimated value of the estate
- Confirmation that the copy of the will filed is a certified true copy. The original will must be submitted to the Family Justice Courts for verification.
- Confirmation that the applicant(s) is an executor named in the will
- Whether the application is filed within six months of the deceased’s death (and if not, the reason for the delay)
3. Certified true copy of the Death Certificate
A certified true copy of the Death Certificate must be submitted to the court so that it can verify that the owner of the estate has been legally certified as deceased.
If the Death Certificate cannot be produced, the executor(s) may conduct a search for a Death Record or apply for a Death Extract.
Certified true copy refers to a document that has been verified and affixed with an official seal by the issuing institution or a notary public.
4. Certified true copy of the will
The certified true copy of the will to be filed should contain the certification on a cover page attached to the copy of the will. The original will must be submitted to the Family Justice Courts for verification by 4.30 pm on the next working day. The court will then return the will to the applicant or their probate lawyer once the court verifies the authenticity of the will.
The will submitted must be written in English. If it was written in another language, the applicant must request a translation by the court translator.
5. Caveat and probate search
On the day of the probate application, a search of both the caveats record and the probate application record is required. This search is performed to determine whether there are any caveats or prior probate applications.
A digital copy of the search report must be submitted with the originating summons. If there is a positive search result, it indicates that the situation may be contentious. You should then seek legal counsel.
6. Administration Oath
The executor(s) applying for the right to administer the estate must give the court an undertaking that he/she will distribute the estate and effects of the deceased according to the deceased’s instructions in the Last Will and Testament. The executor will also be required to pay the deceased’s outstanding debts with funds from the Estate.
Your probate lawyer will prepare the Administration Oath. Thereafter, you will be asked to sign it in the presence of a Commissioner for Oaths.
7. Supporting Affidavit
The Supporting Affidavit must be filed within a given deadline (usually within two to three weeks from the filing of the Administration Oath). You will need to provide the following documents in the supporting affidavit:
- Certified true copy of Death Certificate and Last Will
- Schedule of Assets
8. Schedule of Assets
The Schedule of Assets has to be filed in the Supporting Affidavit. It is a document that outlines a list of the deceased’s properties in Singapore as at the date of death, as well as any outstanding debts. Any property located outside of Singapore must also be listed.
If you are unable to confirm the details of the deceased’s assets in time, your lawyer may file the Supporting Affidavit without the Schedule of Assets. The court will then issue an “Order-in-Terms” based on the Supporting Affidavit. Your lawyer can then write to the relevant financial institutions to ask them for detailed information regarding the deceased’s outstanding accounts/monies/shares.
9. Supplementary affidavit and schedule of assets (if needed)
Once your lawyer receives all the relevant information and is able to complete the Schedule of Assets, you will be asked to sign a Supplementary Affidavit in the presence of a Commissioner for Oaths. The Supplementary Affidavit will exhibit the complete Schedule of Assets.
If your probate case is non-contentious, you may be able to obtain a Grant for Probate within one to two months of application. However, your application may take longer to process if it is more complex. Regardless of the complexity, having a probate lawyer in Singapore assist you with your application can expedite the process and relieve you of some of the burdens. Contact us today for more legal assistance.
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