What Should You Do When A Loved One Passes Away Leaving Behind Assets?
When a loved one has passed away, family members consult a probate lawyer for advice on how to unlock the assets so that bills can be paid and inheritance can be distributed. We normally get questions such as:
“How do I get access to the bank accounts to pay the bills?”
“How do I transfer the HDB flat or the private properties to the family members?”
“When do I get my inheritance?”
This is where the experienced team of estate lawyers at PKWA Law comes in.
For over 30 years, our team of experienced probate lawyers has helped countless families obtain a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration. These Grants are required so that the executor and administrator can manage the deceased’s estate and distribute the inheritance to the lawful beneficiaries.
What is a Grant of Probate and a Grant of Letters of Administration?
When a loved one has passed away, the assets and property left behind must be unlocked so that they can be distributed to the beneficiaries in accordance with the law.
A person has to be authorised by the Court either as an executor or administrator to administer the estate. To administer the estate means collecting the assets, paying the debts and liabilities of the deceased, funeral and other expenses, and distributing the balance of the estate to the rightful beneficiaries.
If the deceased had left behind a Will, the executor named in the Will would have to administer the estate according to the Deceased’s wishes. On the other hand, if the deceased did not make a Will, an administrator will have to be appointed by the Court to administer the estate. The administrator is normally the spouse or child according to the Intestate Succession Act.
Hence, if someone in the family has passed away, and to unlock the assets so that the inheritance can be given out, you have to apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration to be legally recognised as the executor or administrator of the Deceased’s estate.
Once the Court has issued the Grant of Probate or the Grant of Letters of Administration, you may then bring this Grant to the various institutions (e.g. banks, the Housing & Development Board (“HDB”), insurance companies) to claim the assets and to distribute them.
PKWA Law is one of Singapore’s largest family law teams and is ranked as one of Singapore’s Best Family Law Firms by the Straits Times. For over 30 years, our specialist probate lawyers have helped families to obtain Probate.
PROBATE FIXED FEE PACKAGES
Grant of Probate: $1,200
Letter of Administration: $1,500
(For assets below $3 million. Fees do not include disbursements and GST)
What to bring when you meet us
If you have made an appointment with us, kindly bring the following documents to the consultation:
For Grant of Probate
Original Will of the deceased.
Original Death Certificate of the deceased.
Original NRIC of the executors.
For Letters of Administration
Original death certificate of the deceased person.
Original NRIC of the administrator.
Photocopies of NRIC and Birth Certificates of all the beneficiaries.
PKWA Law is a full service established law firm with more than 130 employees. We are conveniently located at HDB Hub. Our clients include all the major banks such as DBS, UOB, OCBC, Maybank, Standard Chartered, Citibank and CPF Board.
For over 30 years, PKWA Law is proud to live up to its motto of “30 Years Of Serving the Heartlands” by keeping our fees affordable and reasonable.
“I engaged PKWA to get the Letters of Administration. They are fast and efficient, and prompt in answering all queries I have. They are very transparent in their cost and it is settled within a month. Highly recommend.” – Teu Ying Xuan
“PKWA LAW HELPED US THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES”
“I would like to express my appreciation to Mr Lim Chong Boon on behalf of the late Mr & Mrs Chua’s family for offering service to us. And also a big thank you to the team Ms Charlene Nah, Ms Christina Lim, Mr Tan Jack Long and Ms Alice Wong for their time, professional services and effort. The team is prompt in their response and were very patient in getting the Grant Letters of Administration and the Legal Guardianship for my nephew and niece.
The whole process was very smooth, without any hiccup and hassle-free. I greatly appreciate having PKWA Law help us through the most difficult times. Thanks once again for your time and patience to handle our cases. We definitely will recommend PKWA Law firm to friends and families.
Thank you once again. I wish you all the very best and success.”
Note by PKWA Law: The probate lawyers at PKWA Law acted on a pro bono basis for this matter.
“VERY EFFICIENT, VERY AFFORDABLE”
“Had my Letter of Administration done with PKWA Law The whole process was professionally conducted, very efficient, very fast and at a very affordable rate. Would highly recommend anyone who wishes to engage legal services to consider them.”
“HANDLED MATTERS PROFESSIONALLY”
“It is great to engage PKWA as they handled matters professionally, are fast and reliable. Matters are communicated in simple and easy-to-understand terms minus the legal jargon.”
“Had to get my mother’s will executed via a Grant of Probate. PKWA was the most reasonably priced. They conducted the process with clear procedures. I am very happy with their service.”
Ken, SooLee Chong
“Applied for Grant of Probate. Excellent service. Prompt follow up and updates.”
“SPEEDILY DONE WITHIN A MONTH”
“We are pleased that PKWA Law handled the Grant of probate very proficiently. It was speedily done within a month. Thank you to the members of staff in the office, too.”
PROBATE FAQs – by PKWA Probate Lawyer.
The probate lawyers at PKWA Law have helped many families to obtain Grant of Probate (where there is a will) and Letters of Administration (where there is no will).
What happens when a person dies and leaves behind a property that belongs to them?
A person, known either as an ‘executor’ or an ‘administrator’, has to be appointed by the Court to take charge of the deceased person’s property (collectively known as his ‘estate’).
If there is a will that the deceased person has made, it will contain details of the appointment of an ‘executor’ to take charge of the estate as appointed by the deceased person.
If the deceased person makes no will, an appointment of a person known as an ‘administrator’ will be appointed to take charge of the estate. This administrator is usually one of the next of kin of the deceased.
For such persons to be recognised legally as the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate, you should engage an experienced probate lawyer to apply for ‘Probate’ or ‘Letters of Administration’ respectively.
What is a Grant of Probate?
It is a court order authorising an executor, appointed by the deceased person under his Will, to administer his estate according to the directions contained in his Will.
What is a Letter of Administration?
It is a court order authorising a person(s) to administer the deceased person’s estate under the law.
Who can apply for the Grant of Probate?
Only the executor(s) named in the deceased’s Will may apply for the Grant of Probate.
Who can apply for Letters of Administration?
In the case of Letters of Administration, any deceased person’s family members are entitled to apply to be appointed as an administrator. However, the law gives priority to certain family members over others, depending on the marital status of the deceased person and their family’s composition.
For example, if the deceased person was single, his surviving parents will have priority over his brothers and sisters to be the administrators; or if the deceased person were married with children, his spouse would have priority over the children to be the administrator.
The law also requires that at least 2 administrators be appointed where there are one or more minor beneficiaries. A ‘minor beneficiary’ refers to any person below 21 years of age who has a share in the estate. This is to protect the minor beneficiary’s interest in the estate.