PART III
GRANT OF PROBATE OR LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION
Provisions as to number of personal representatives
6.—(1)  Probate or letters of administration shall not be granted to more than 4 persons in respect of the same property.
(2)  Letters of administration shall, if there is a minority or if a life interest arises under the will, be granted either to a trust corporation, with or without an individual, or to not less than 2 individuals.
(3)  The court in granting letters of administration may act on such prima facie evidence, furnished by the applicant or any other person, as to whether or not there is a minority or life interest, as may be prescribed by rules made under any written law for the time being in force relating to the courts.
(4)  If there is only one personal representative (not being a trust corporation) then, during the minority of a beneficiary or the subsistence of a life interest and until the estate is fully administered, the court may, on the application of any person interested or of the guardian, committee or receiver of any such person, appoint one or more personal representatives in addition to the existing personal representative in accordance with rules made under any written law for the time being in force relating to the courts.
(5)  This section shall apply to grants made after 1st January 1935 whether the testator or intestate died before or after that date.
(6)  For the purposes of this section, “trust corporation” means the Public Trustee or a corporation licensed as a trust company under the Trust Companies Act 2005.
[11/2005 wef 01/02/2006]
Notation of domicile
7.—(1)  A probate applicant may at any time apply to the registrar by summons intituled in the estate of the deceased person for an order that a notation be endorsed on the grant that the deceased person died domiciled in Singapore.
[42/2005 wef 01/01/2006]
(2)  The registrar, on being satisfied by affidavit and by such further evidence as he may require that the testator or intestate died domiciled in Singapore, may write and sign a note or memorandum upon such grant stating that the testator or intestate died domiciled in Singapore.
Grant of probate
8.—(1)  Probate may be granted to any executor appointed by a will.
(2)  The appointment may be express or implied.
(3)  Subject to section 6, where more than one person is appointed an executor by a will, probate may be granted to one or more of the persons so appointed, without prejudice to a subsequent application by another or others of them for further grant or grants.
Where will lost, etc.
Probate of copy or draft, or of contents
9.  Where a will has been lost or mislaid after the death of the testator, or where a will cannot for any sufficient reason be produced —
(a)if a copy or draft thereof is produced, and it appears that the copy or draft is identical in terms with the original, probate may be granted of that copy or draft, limited until the original is admitted to probate; or
(b)if no such copy or draft is produced, probate may be granted of the contents of the will, if they can be sufficiently established, limited as above described.
Where will destroyed, etc.
Destroyed will
10.  Where a will has been destroyed, otherwise than by the act or with the consent of the testator, probate may be granted of a copy or draft thereof, or of the contents thereof, if they can be sufficiently established.
Where will proved and deposited outside Singapore
Administration with copy annexed of authenticated copy of will proved abroad
11.  When a will has been proved and deposited in a court of competent jurisdiction situated beyond the limits of Singapore, and a properly authenticated copy of the will is produced, probate may be granted of such copy or letters of administration may be granted with a copy of such copy annexed.
Where codicil propounded after probate
Codicil propounded after probate
12.—(1)  Where, after probate has been granted, a codicil of the will is propounded, separate probate may be granted of the codicil.
(2)  Where the codicil expressly or impliedly revokes the appointment of any executor to whom probate has been granted, the probate shall be revoked, and a new probate shall be granted of the will and codicil together.
Letters of administration with will annexed
On failure of executors
13.—(1)  Where —
(a)no executor is appointed by a will;
(b)the executor or all the executors appointed by will are legally incapable of acting as such, or have renounced the right to act as such;
(c)no executor survives the testator;
(d)all the executors die before obtaining probate or before having administered all the estate of the deceased; or
(e)the executors appointed by any will do not appear and extract probate,
letters of administration with the will annexed may be granted to such person or persons as the court considers the fittest to administer the estate.
(2)  A prior right to a grant under subsection (1) shall belong to the following persons in the following order:
(a)a universal or residuary legatee;
(b)a legal personal representative of a deceased universal or residuary legatee;
(c)such person or persons, being beneficiaries under the will, as would have been entitled to a grant of letters of administration if the deceased had died intestate;
(d)a legatee having a beneficial interest;
(e)a creditor of the deceased.
Letters of administration with will annexed may be granted to attorney of absent executor
14.  Where an executor appointed by a will is absent from Singapore, and there is no other executor within Singapore willing to act, letters of administration with the will annexed may be granted to a duly authorised attorney of the absent executor, limited until he obtains probate for himself, and in the meantime to any purpose to which the attorney’s authority is limited.
Grant to attorney of absent person entitled to letters of administration
15.  Where any person to whom letters of administration with the will annexed might be granted under section 13 is absent from Singapore, letters of administration with the will annexed may be granted to his duly authorised attorney, limited as described in section 14.
Codicil propounded after grant of letters of administration
16.  Section 12 shall apply in the case of a grant of letters of administration with the will annexed, in like manner as they apply in the case of a grant of probate.
Letters of administration until will produced
Letters of administration until will produced
17.  When no will of the deceased is forthcoming, but there is reason to believe that there is a will in existence, letters of administration may be granted, limited until the will or an authenticated copy thereof is produced.
Letters of administration on intestacy
Letters of administration on intestacy
18.—(1)  When a person has died intestate, the court may grant letters of administration of his estate.
(2)  In granting such letters of administration the court shall have regard to the rights of all persons interested in the estate of the deceased person or the proceeds of sale thereof, and in regard to land settled previously to the death of the deceased, letters of administration may be granted to the trustees of the settlement.
(3)  Any such grant of letters of administration may be limited in any way the court thinks fit.
(4)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2) —
(a)letters of administration may be granted to the husband or widow or next of kin or any of them;
(b)when such persons apply for letters of administration, it shall be in the discretion of the court to grant them to any one or more of such persons;
(c)when no such person applies, letters of administration may be granted to a creditor of the deceased;
(d)in any case where —
(i)the next of kin of any person dying intestate, or the greater number of such next of kin, so desire; or
(ii)no next of kin or creditor or other person appears and makes out a claim to letters of administration,
letters of administration of the estate and effects of the intestate may be granted by the court to such person as the court thinks fit for the purpose.
(5)  Nothing in this section shall affect any law by which special provision is made regarding the estates of persons of a particular religion or race.
Letters of administration to attorney of person entitled
19.  Where a person entitled to letters of administration in case of intestacy is absent from Singapore, and no person equally entitled is willing to act, letters of administration may be granted to an authorised attorney of the absent person, limited until he obtains a grant to himself.
Letters of administration pending probate action
Letters of administration pending probate action
20.  Pending any probate action, letters of administration may be granted to such person as the court may appoint, limited so that the administrator shall not be empowered to distribute the estate, and shall be subject to such control by, and direction of, the court as the court thinks fit.
Letters of administration during infancy
Infants
21.—(1)  No probate or letters of administration shall be granted to a person while he is an infant.
(2)  Where an infant would, but for his infancy, be entitled to probate or letters of administration, letters of administration with or without the will annexed may, subject to section 6(1), be granted to the guardian of the person and property of the infant, or to such person as the court thinks fit, limited until the infant obtains a grant to himself.
(3)  Where there are 2 or more infant executors or persons so entitled, any grant made under subsection (2) shall be limited until any of them obtains a grant.
Letters of administration during lunacy
Lunatics
22.—(1)  No probate or letters of administration shall be granted to a lunatic or mentally disordered person.
[21/2008 wef 01/03/2010]
(2)  Where any such person, if he is not mentally disordered, would be entitled to probate or letters of administration, letters of administration with or without the will annexed may be granted to the person to whom the care of his estate has been lawfully committed, or to such person as the court thinks fit, for the use and benefit of the lunatic or mentally disordered person, until he ceases to be mentally disordered and obtains a grant to himself.
[21/2008 wef 01/03/2010]
Letters of administration limited to trust property
Letters of administration of trust property
23.  Where a person dies, leaving property in which he had no beneficial interest on his own account, and does not leave a representative who is able and willing to act, letters of administration, limited to such property, may be granted to the person beneficially interested in the property, or to some other person on his behalf.
Letters of administration limited to collection and preservation of property
Letters of administration to collect and preserve property
24.  In any case in which it appears necessary for preserving the property of a deceased person, the court may grant to any person whom the court thinks fit letters of administration limited to the collection and preservation of the property of the deceased, and giving discharges of debts due to his estate, subject to the directions of the court.
Death of one of several executors, etc.
Death of one of several executors, etc.
25.—(1)  Where probate or letters of administration have been granted to more than one executor or administrator, and one of them dies, the representation of the estate shall accrue to the surviving executor or executors or, except in cases to which section 6 applies, administrator or administrators.
(2)  On the death of an administrator, letters of administration may be granted in respect of any estate not fully administered and in granting such letters of administration the court shall be guided by the same rules as apply to original grants.
Grants with exception
26.—(1)  A grant of probate or letters of administration may be made subject to such exception as the will or the circumstances of the case require.
(2)  A further grant may be made of the part of the estate excepted under subsection (1).
Administration when limited grant expired and some part of estate unadministered
27.  When a limited grant has expired by effluxion of time or the happening of the event or contingency on which it was limited, and there is still some part of the deceased’s estate unadministered, letters of administration shall be granted to those persons to whom original grants might have been made.