Truths and Myths about Grant of Probate/ Grant of Letters of Administration

#1 The Letter of Administration is a letter prepared by a lawyer.

False. The full terminology is the “Grant of Letters Of Administration” and it is a Court document that is obtained after a process of applying to Court. The misconception has come about by the shortening of the full terminology.

#2 The government will tax the estate of the deceased based on the aggregate value of the assets.

True up to 15 February 2008. After which, estate duty was abolished and tax is no longer payable.

#3 If there is a Will, there is no need to obtain a Grant.

False. The Grant of Probate is still required to appoint the executor as lawful legal representative of the estate.

#4 With a will, obtaining the Grant of Probate is faster and less costly.

True. The process without a will, obtaining a Grant of Letters of Administration, requires more steps and takes longer and costs more.

#5 With a foreign Grant of Probate I need to get it resealed in Singapore Court before I can administer assets in Singapore.

True. The resealing of the Grant of Probate is done in the Singapore High Court and the process is similar to obtaining a Grant.

#6 The eldest child has priority to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration.

False. Where there is no will, the law provides for classes of persons with priority to apply as follows:-

  1. spouse;
  2. children;
  3. parents;
  4. brothers and sisters;
  5. nephews and nieces;
  6. grandparents; and
  7. uncles and aunts.

All members of a “class” of next-of-kin have an equal right to apply, and if one (or more) wishes to apply the others must renounce their right to apply and give their consent to the one(s) applying.

#7 Probate takes years to complete and costs a lot.

False. In most cases that we encounter, the process takes about 6 months. It can be as short as 3-4 months and much depends on whether the information the Court required is available. This is the reason why writing a will and keeping a list of assets with your will are important.

For assistance on probate matters, please contact us to make an appointment.

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