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.
Note
If the deceased did not leave a valid will, refer to Grant of Letters of Administration instead.

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 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.

When filing

File an application for probate

Find out the documents you need to prepare and the steps to file for a Grant of Probate.

After filing

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.

After an order is made

Extract the grant

The court will issue the Grant of Probate. You will receive a notice from the court to extract the grant.

File an application, if needed

If you are not satisfied with a decision made by the court, you may file an appeal.

2021/07/23
Note

You may choose to file the application yourself or engage a lawyer. Find out where to get help.

Resources

Refer to the Probate and Administration Toolkit (PDF, 1199 KB).

Related questions

You will need to sign a renunciation document before a lawyer or a Commissioner for Oaths. This is a document that confirms you are giving up your right to apply for probate. Prepare the document according toForm 53 of the FJC Practice Directions.

If you have an interest in the estate and you do not wish for a grant to be issued to the individual who filed the probate application, you may wish to seek legal advice. Find out where to get help.


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