What is a Grant of Probate
A Grant of Probate legally recognises an individual as the executor of the deceased's estate. The appointed individual manages the deceased's property. This includes distributing the estate to the beneficiaries after payment of the deceased's debts and other expenses.
Who can apply
You can apply for a Grant of Probate if both of these conditions are met:
- The deceased has left a valid will (as defined in the Wills Act).
- The will has named you as the executor of the estate.
- This means you are the person appointed to manage the deceased's estate.
Before applying for a grant
Before you apply for a grant, find out:
- What assets there are.
- Some assets like money in the deceased's Central Provident Fund (CPF) account, immovable property held under a joint tenancy with no outstanding mortgage, and some insurance policies with nominations may be distributed without a grant.
- The value of the assets.
- If the estate is below $50,000, you may be able to apply for the Public Trustee to administer the estate if you satisfy certain criteria.
- If any foreign person is entitled to an estate or interest in residential property.
- If so, the estate or interest must be transferred to the beneficiaries or sold within 5 years from the date of death, as required under the Residential Property Act.
Apply for probate step-by-step
This is the process of filing an application for probate for cases where the deceased left a valid will and you are the executor named in it.
Note: For other types of probate cases, you may wish to seek legal advice.
File an application for probate
Find out the documents you need to prepare and the steps to file for a Grant of Probate.
File the supporting documents
After filing the application, you will need to file the supporting documents. If your submissions are in order, the court may grant the application without a hearing.
(If needed) Attend a probate hearing
You may need to attend court in some cases, for example, if your documents are incomplete.
Extract the grant
The court will issue the Grant of Probate. You will receive a notice from the court to extract the grant.
You may choose to file the application yourself or engage a lawyer. Find out where to get help.