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Before you file

Before you file, make sure you:

Note

There are different types of applications for letters of administration. This website only covers the process for cases where the deceased did not leave a valid will and the applicant is a beneficiary entitled to a share of the estate.

If you wish to apply for other types of letters of administration, you may wish to seek legal advice.

Key facts

Refer to the following on how to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration.

Who can file

A beneficiary entitled to a share of the deceased's estate.

When to file

Within 6 months from the deceased’s date of death.

Note: If you are filing after 6 months, you must include the reason for the delay in the application form.

How to file

Through eLitigation. If you do not have a lawyer, visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

How long it takes

Approximately 2 to 3 months, depending on case complexity.

Which court to file with

For estates worth up to $5 million: The Family Courts.

For estates worth above $5 million: The Family Division of the High Court.

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

What you will need

You need to submit these documents to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration:

  • The Application for Letters of Administration.
    • If you do not have a lawyer, you will need to fill in a form by the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau. View a sample (PDF, 451 KB).The Service Bureau will use the information you provided to generate an Originating Summons and Statement for Probate or Administration.
  • The Schedule of Assets (Form 226, FJC Practice Directions).
    • Note: Contact the relevant institutions to obtain the required information regarding the deceased's assets. If you do not have the relevant information at this stage, you may submit it after you file.
  • A summary report of the court's record of probate cases and caveats filed in relation to the estate, attached with the Originating Summons.
    • (If there are any probate cases or caveats filed in relation to the estate) Include a full report of any existing probate cases or caveats filed in relation to the estate.
  • (If any other beneficiaries have given up their right to apply) Renunciation of other beneficiaries (Form 53 of the FJC Practice Directions).

You will also need to attend before a lawyer to certify true copies of all of the following:

  • A copy of the deceased's death certificate. View a sample (PDF, 119 KB).
  • (If any) A copy of the death certificates of other next-of-kin.
  • (If the deceased was divorced) A copy of the divorce certificate.
  • (Only for Muslim estates) A copy of the Inheritance Certificate. This can be obtained from the Syariah Court.
  • Any other documents submitted in your application.

Estimated fees

Application fees vary depending on the case. If you are filing through the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau, the estimated fees for estates worth up to $3 million include:

Item or service

Fee

Search for probate cases and caveats when filing the Originating Summons

  • If there are no existing cases: $20
  • If there are existing cases: $50

File an Originating Summons

$100

File the Statement

$15

File the Schedule of Assets

$15

File a certified true copy of a death certificate

$15

File for renunciation

$25

File other supporting documents (such as the certified true copy of the inheritance certificate or divorce certificate)

$15

Note:

How to file

You may choose to file personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the application will be filed by your lawyer.

If you are representing yourself, follow these steps to file the application.

You will need to search the court's record of probate cases and caveats filed in relation to the deceased's estate.

Refer to the following on how to conduct a search.

Where to go

The LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

How to do it

Provide the deceased's identification number.

When to do it

The search must be done on the day you file the letters of administration application and for the present year.

You must attach all of the following to your Originating Summons:

  • A summary report of the search results. View a sample (PDF, 200 KB).
  • (If there are any probate cases or caveats filed in relation to the estate) The full report of each existing case or caveat.

Note: You may wish to seek legal advice if there are pending cases or caveats in force against the estate.

Submit the prepared documents at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau on the same day that you conduct the search on probate cases and caveats.

The Service Bureau will prepare the Originating Summons, Statement and Schedule of Assets using the information you provide, and will file the documents on your behalf.

After you file

Your application will be considered by the court after you file.

The LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau will notify you via email or SMS of whether your application documents have been accepted by the court. You will need to return to the Service Bureau to collect your documents after that.

If the application is in order

If the application is in order, the court will accept the documents, assign a case number to your application and schedule a hearing date.

The court will issue sealed versions of the Originating Summons, Statement and Schedule of Assets. These will bear a court seal. You will need to visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to collect the documents.

Tip
Refer to the top left-hand corner of the front page of the Originating Summons for the case number and hearing date. The case number may be a Family Court Probate (FC/P) number or a Family Division of the High Court Probate (HCF/P) number.

You will need to prepare and file a Supporting Affidavit within 14 days after filing the Originating Summons.

If the application is not in order

If there are errors with the application, the court will reject the documents and indicate the reasons for rejection. You will need to visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to collect the rejected documents and reasons.

You will need to correct the errors and submit the documents again.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

Resources

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

Related questions

Generally, there can only be one valid grant in relation to an estate at any time. If there are competing or contested applications for the same estate, the parties will have to decide how to proceed. You may wish to seek legal advice if there are competing or contested applications for a grant.

The court requires information regarding other cases or caveats in relation to the deceased's estate as these may prevent the court from issuing a grant of probate or letters of administration.

A caveat acts as a formal notice that there is an interest in the estate. The court is required by law to give the person who has filed the caveat the opportunity to contest or challenge any application for a grant.

The caveat search will show all of the following:

  • Whether there are any caveats filed against the estate
  • The status of the caveats (for example, whether it is “in force” or “withdrawn”).

You may wish to seek legal advice if there are caveats in force against the estate.

You need to declare all the assets making up the deceased's estates through the Schedule of Assets (Form 226 of the FJC Practice Directions). The court will use the document to confirm the value of the estate, determine the fees you need to pay for the application and determine the value of the administration bond for letters of administration in certain circumstances. The Schedule of Assets may also be used by beneficiaries and creditors to ascertain the assets of the estate.

You must declare the assets accurately. To obtain the required information, you may contact the relevant institutions that deal with the assets. (Note: These institutions may impose fees or conditions for providing information.)

Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide

File an application for a Grant of Letters of Administration

(If needed) Attend a probate hearing

File an application, if needed

2021/07/23

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