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Inheritance Legislation in Singapore

Inheritance Legislation in Singapore

Updated on Friday 16th October 2015

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Inheritance-Legislation-in-SingaporeThe Intestate Succession Act in Singapore

The main legislation referring to inheritance in Singapore is the Intestate Succession Act. The legislation was first enabled in 1967 and was last amended in 2013. The Intestate Succession Act establishes how both movable and immovable property is distributed among successors. The Singapore Intestate Succession Law applies only to non-Muslim Singapore citizens who have not left a will. The legislation provisions the distribution of assets between successors based on their residency, whether the property is movable or immovable and whether the property is located in Singapore or abroad. Considering the Inheritance Law is quite complicated it is advisable to ask for legal counselling from Singapore lawyers when it comes to inheritance matters.

Division of assets according to the Singapore Inheritance Law

The Singapore inheritance legislation establishes how a property is divided among successors if the deceased has not left a will in most cases. However, these could be situations in which even if a will exists the inheritance legislation could still apply. According to the legislation on inheritance which is based on the Singapore Civil Law, the following rules apply in case of distribution of assets:

  • -          the whole estate is left to the spouse if there are no children,
  • -          the estate is divided between the spouse and the children, if they exist,
  • -          the estate is divided between the spouse and parents if the deceased’s parents still live.

If the deceased left behind only living children they will divide the assets among themselves. For more information about the division of assets you can refer to our law firm in Singapore.

Wills in Singapore

The oldest and simplest form of determining whom should be entitled to one’s estate is the will. Most Singapore citizens draft wills in order to establish the administration and distribution of their assets. The person making the will is called a testator and the recipients are called beneficiaries. In their wills the testators can include who the beneficiaries of their estate are and who will administer the assets if these are left to underage beneficiaries. The will must be drafted in the presence of two witnesses who cannot be beneficiaries or the husband or wife of the testator.

For assistance in drafting a will or details about the inheritance legislation you can contact our attorneys in Singapore.