Probate and Letter of Administration

Q:  What is probate?

Probate is the legal process of proving the last will of a deceased person to the court is valid and enforceable. The executor would need to obtain the grant of probate from the Court in order for the executor to administer and distribute all the estate of the deceased.

Q:  What is Letter of Administration?

Letter of administration is a legal document that allows the court to appoint a personal representative ie. The administrator to manage and administer the deceased’s estate when he or she has passed away without a will.

Q:  What are the differences between probate and letter of administration?

Probate would be require only when there is a will. Letter of administration would be required when the deceased has passed away without a will. Letter of administration would take a longer process and it is often more costly than the grant of probate.

Q:  How long does it take for me to apply for grant of probate or letter of administration?

Generally, grant of probate takes around 3-6 months to be completed while letter of administration takes around 6-9 months to be completed.

Q:  What are the documentations required for the application of grant of probate?

  1. Death Certificate
  2. Executor’s IC/ Administrator’s IC
  3. All beneficiaries’ IC
  4. Will (original copy)
  5. All the relevant information of the movable/immovable properties of the deceased

Q:  Can I transfer the immovable assets to my own name after I get the letter of administration?

No. The immovable assets shall be distributed according to the portions set out under the Distribution Act 1968, unless the administrator is also one of the beneficiaries under the said Act.

Q:  When can I sell the immovable assets of the deceased?

You may sell the immovable assets of the deceased after you have obtained the order for sale from the court in the case of letter of administration or after the said property has been transferred to your name.

Q:  What can I do if the executor or administrator has failed to carry out their duties?

You may bring an action against the executor or administrator to the court to compel them in carrying out their respective duties under the will or apply to the court to replace the executor or administrator to a third party agreed by all the beneficiaries.

Q:  I am overseas and I do not want to be the administrator for the estate of the deceased, what can I do?

You may choose to waive your rights under the law by executing a legal document in Court to give up your rights to be the administrator for the estate of the deceased.