- The Public Trustee will take about 1 - 6 months to administer a case, depending on the assets to be administered after receiving the completed application form and the required documents.
Can I get the Public Trustee’s assistance in resealing in Singapore, Letters of Administration / Grant of Probate that was obtained overseas?
The Public Trustee does not assist in resealing in the Singapore Courts, Letters of Administration or Grants of Probate that were obtained overseas. You will have to engage a Singapore law practice or lawyer to do this.You can search for a Singapore law practice or lawyer using the Legal Services Regulatory Authority’s online search function. Please note that the search results are based on information provided by law practices and lawyers. The Ministry of Law does not make any warranty or representation as to their accuracy, completeness or reliability.
Can the Public Trustee tell me how much monies and property were left behind by a deceased person?
The Public Trustee does not provide the service of tracing a deceased person’s assets.The Public Trustee is able to assist with the administration of a deceased person’s estate valued up to $50,000.
Does the Public Trustee assist in the administration of a deceased's share in a HDB flat if it is of small value?On a case-by-case basis, the Public Trustee does administer a deceased’s share in a HDB flat if it is of small value. You will first have to submit an online application (Deceased's Assets other than Un-nominated CPF Monies / Baby Bonus / Edusave / PSEA) for the Public Trustee to administer the deceased’s estate so that we may consider your request.
How are the monies from a deceased person's estate that is administered by the Public Trustee distributed?The Public Trustee will distribute the monies from a deceased person's estate (without a Will) in accordance to the Intestate Succession Act 1967 for non-Muslims and the Inheritance Certificate from Syariah Court for Muslims.
How can I make payment for Public Trustee's fees?Payment of fees to the Public Trustee's Office for administration of a deceased person's estate must be made electronically through our e-services under "Payments for various services such as Amount Received for Administration and Fees". Payment can be made via Credit Card, Nets, or Paynow. The link to the e-payment is: https://go.gov.sg/pto
How do I claim the monies from a deceased persons' bank account for balances of more than $5,000
For a bank account with balance of less than $5,000, the next-of-kin may approach the bank directly for assistance to claim the bank monies.
If the amount is more than $50,000, you will need to apply to the court for Letters of Administration to deal with the person’s estate.
Otherwise, for the Public Trustee to assist in the administration of the deceased's bank balances (total value less than $50,000), please submit an online application via the eService ("Administration of deceased Estate (Assets other than CPF/ Baby Bonus / Edusave/ PSEA Monies)"). An administration fee, mandated by law, will be charged on the total asset that the Public Trustee will be administering.You will need to have your SingPass ready to access the online application. If you do not have a SingPass, you may obtain one at https://go.gov.sg/ptologin.
How would the Public Trustee distribute the estate of a Muslim?
If the person who died was a Muslim, we will distribute the estate in line with Section 112 of the Administration of Muslim Law Act 1966 according to the school of the Muslim law the person observed.
The Certificate of Inheritance issued by Syariah Court will list down the beneficiaries and their share of inheritance.
How would the Public Trustee distribute the estate of a non-Muslim who was last domiciled outside of Singapore?A legal opinion must be obtained from a solicitor who practices law in the country of domicile. The legal opinion should set out the distribution of the estate to the lawful beneficiaries and the propotion each heir is entitled to. The solicitor should provide his / her interpretation of the intestate law governing the distribution of estate, drawing reference to the relevant section of the Act. An English version of the Act should be submitted with the legal opinion.
How would the Public Trustee distribute the estate of a non-Muslim?
If the person who died was not a Muslim, we will distribute the estate in line with the Intestate Succession Act, which says that the distribution of any movable property (for example, monies in the bank account) will be regulated by the law of the country in which the person was domiciled at the time of their death.
The place of domicile refers to the place where the deceased intended his permanent home to be. It does not refer to his nationality or residence.
If the person who died was domiciled in Singapore at the time of his / her death, we will distribute the CPF monies in line with the rule of distribution under the Intestate Succession Act. Please see information in Annex B.
What are the assets that can be realised by the Public Trustee in the administration of a deceased person's estate?
The assets recovered by the Public Trustee are:
a. Deceased's monies in banks or other financial institutions in Singapore;
b. Deceased's shares which are listed on SGX. (The shares can be sold or transferred to one of the beneficiaries / claimant.);
c. Deceased's vehicle, except taxis. (The vehicle is to be transferred to one of the beneficiaries / claimant.);
d. Deceased's undrawn salary;
e. Compensation monies due to the deceased;
f. Deceased's items in a safe-deposit box; and
g. Deceased's monies from the Workfare Income Supplement Scheme.
What are the documents that need to be submitted to the Public Trustee?
Annexes A (for Muslims) and B (for non-Muslims) set out the list of documents we need. For a reimbursement of funeral expenses from the deceased's un-nominated CPF monies / Estate, Annex C sets out the list of documents we need.
You may pick up a copy of Annexes A, B and C from our office or view them on our website under deceased CPF / Estate Monies > Information.
Common types of documents required are:
a. Death Certificate of deceased;
b. Birth Certificate of deceased;
c. Marriage Certificate of deceased;
d. Decree Nisi Absolute (if the deceased was divorced);
e. Birth Certificate of Beneficiary;
f. NRIC of Beneficiary;
g. Death Certificate of Beneficiary (if deceased);
h. Marriage Certificate of deceased’s Parents;
i. Death Certificate of Parent (if deceased); and
j. Certificate of Inheritance (For Muslims only);
For Muslims, you may apply for the Certificate of Inheritance at www.syariahcourt.gov.sg.
You will be assigned a case officer after you have filed your online application. Please inform your case officer if you do not possess some of the required documents. Your case officer will advise you on what to do after you have submitted your online application.
What are the fees charged by the Public Trustee for the administration of Estate?
The fees we charge under the Public Trustee (Fees) Rules 2010 for the administartion of estate are shown below:
Value of Estate
For the first $5,000
For the next $2,000
For the next $3,000
For the next $10,000
For the next $30,000
These fees, which we will take from the estate monies, include GST and cannot be waived. You will have to pay a minimum fee of $15.
The administration fee, mandated by law, is deducted from the deceased's estate monies before the distribution is being made.
What are the situations where the Public Trustee cannot act?
We cannot act if:
a. The estate is worth more than $50,000;
b. A court application for Letters of Administration or Grant of Probate has been filed;
c. There are conflicting claims to the estate or disputes among the beneficiaries;
d. The estate has outstanding debts or liabilities;
e. The person who has died had shares or other interest in unlisted companies (foreign or local);
f. The person who has died was a partner, a sole proprietor or had an interest in a firm or other business;
g. The person who died was the sole lessee (owner) of a HDB flat and a child is eligible to inherit the whole or part of the flat;
h. There are pending lawsuits which involve the person who has died;
i. There are insurance policies where one or more people have been nominated as beneficiaries [Under Section 73 of the Conveyancing and Law of Property Act (Cap. 61), Sections 49L and 49M of the Insurance Act (Cap. 142)];
j. There are trust bank accounts opened with a child; and
k. There are commercial vehicles involved such as taxis.
In these cases, you will need to apply to the court for Letters of Administration to deal with the deceased person’s estate.
If you qualify for legal aid, you may apply to the Legal Aid Bureau for assistance in obtaining a Letter of Administration. More information on the Legal Aid Bureau can be accessed at www.lab.gov.sg. If you do not qualify for legal aid, you will need to engage the services of a lawyer.
What do I need to ensure before applying to the Public Trustee?You will need to ensure that the estate does not fall under one of the situations stated in the question "What are the situations where the Public Trustee cannot act?" where the Public Trustee cannot act.