On 12 April 2023, the Family Justice Courts (“FJC”) introduced a new online service to assist self-represented persons to file their applications for a Grant of Probate(1). The Probate eService is an online service with a step-by step guided process for an eligible(2) named sole executor to prepare and submit the required documents to the FJC. The eService was officially launched today at the Family Justice @ Heartlands event at One Punggol, which serves to provide members of the public information on some aspects of the family justice system.
2 In line with the Judiciary’s vision in enhancing access to justice, the eService will boost procedural access to justice as it allows applicants to file applications online without the need to engage multiple touchpoints from different public agencies. Applicants will also be able to make payments of court fees and receive notices from the court on their application directly through the Probate eService.
3 The eService is a user-friendly platform which allows applicants to pre-populate form fields by extracting information from other government portals (e.g. MyInfo accessed via the Singpass app), and also retrieving information on the deceased directly from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority. The Probate eService also reduces form filling errors and guides applicants through a series of questions to prepare the required documents and subsequent filing in Court. This reduces the likelihood of the filing of incorrect documents, or errors in the input of information on the documents, which may require repeat filings or attendance at a hearing before a judge.4 Presently, self-represented applicants are required to make multiple trips to the CrimsonLogic Service Bureau located at the State Courts to file their documents at various stages of the application, until the Grant of Probate is obtained. With the eService, the applicants can prepare and file the application from the comfort of their homes or office without going down to the Service Bureau.
6 “The Probate eService is one of our recent initiatives to improve access to justice by making court processes simpler and friendlier for court users. We have simplified procedural steps and leveraged technology to facilitate direct online filing, which we hope will provide a more positive experience for self-represented persons tending to the affairs of their loved ones”, said Justice Debbie Ong, Presiding Judge of the Family Justice Courts.
The Family Justice @ Heartlands
7 The launch of the Probate eService is held in conjunction with the Family Justice @ Heartlands (“FJ@H”) initiative. This is an ongoing outreach effort by the Family Justice Courts, the Ministry of Social & Family Development, and the People’s Association, in partnership with the Law Society of Singapore. The sessions aim to educate citizens on family law and the availability of therapeutic social support and services. Topics that have been covered include divorce, maintenance, family violence, probate and mental capacity issues. Launched in partnership with the Law Society of Singapore, FJ@H aims to promote awareness and understanding of family law and the support services available in the community through a series of roadshows.
8 The present session at One Punggol is the fourth roadshow in the series since its inception in 2020. The first two sessions were held virtually with grassroots leaders to engage and equip them with the ‘know-how’ to assist residents who may face issues concerning family law. The third roadshow was open to members of the public and was held in person at Fuchun Community Centre on 20 August 2022. Due to positive response, a total of three public roadshows will be held in various community locations in 2023.
9 For more information on the Probate eService, please visit the SG Courts website at https://go.gov.sg/probate-eservice. For information on future sessions of the FJ@H programme, please visit the SG Courts website for updates.
Issued by: Family Justice Courts
(1) A Grant of Probate legally recognises an individual (named in the deceased’s will) as the executor of the deceased's estate. The appointed executor manages the deceased's property. This includes distributing the estate to the beneficiaries after payment of the deceased's debts and other expenses.
(2) For more information on the eligibility criteria to use the Probate eService, please visit https://go.gov.sg/probate-eservice.