WHAT COMES AFTER

What hap­pens to the HDB flat after its owner passes on? Here are some an­swers to fre­quently asked ques­tions to ad­dress the con­fu­sion over this topic.

Home & Decor (Singapore) - - Contents -

Find out what hap­pens to an HDB flat after its owner passes on.

A s we have seen too of­ten, de­scen­dants some­times get into ugly fights over in­her­ited prop­erty, end up in court or get their squab­bles splashed all over the me­dia (a cer­tain 38 Ox­ley Road comes to mind, but let’s not go there). After all, in Sin­ga­pore, prop­erty in­vest­ment is a na­tional ob­ses­sion. Even our “hum­ble” HDB flats are worth hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars each, and, in many cases, over $1 mil­lion.

Whether you are a flat owner or will in­herit a flat some­day, here’re some an­swers to FAQs to keep your­self ed­u­cated.

WHAT HAP­PENS TO A HDB FLAT IF ONE CO- OWNER PASSES AWAY?

In Sin­ga­pore, cou­ples com­monly buy their flats un­der the joint-own­er­ship scheme where both hold an equal share. When one of them passes away, the right of sur­vivor­ship

ap­plies and the other owner will take sole own­er­ship of the flat, as long as he/she ful­fils all the el­i­gi­bil­ity conditions.

In some cases, par­ents may buy a HDB flat to­gether with a child, as joint own­ers. When one owner passes on (be it a par­ent or the child), the re­main­ing two will take over the flat. He/ she/they must be a Sin­ga­pore Cit­i­zen (SC) or Sin­ga­pore Per­ma­nent Res­i­dent (SPR), be at least 21 years old, and sat­isfy all of HDB’s cur­rent el­i­gi­bil­ity rules and conditions to own a flat (see www.hdb.gov.sg for full de­tails).

If the HDB flat is bought un­der a ten­ancy-in-com­mon scheme (e.g. two sin­gles buy­ing a flat to­gether, or a cou­ple buy­ing the flat un­der un­equal shares such as 70 per cent vs 30 per cent), the de­ceased per­son’s share will be split ac­cord­ing to whether he/she left a will, or by the In­tes­tate Suc­ces­sion Act (see box story).

HOW DOES ONE IN­HERIT AND TRANS­FER OWN­ER­SHIP OF A HDB FLAT?

If you are the de­ceased’s re­main­ing fam­ily, you can re­tain the flat and take over its own­er­ship, as long as you ful­fil HDB’s cri­te­ria stated above. If the de­ceased left be­hind a will, the be­reaved fam­ily should hire a lawyer to ap­ply for the Grant of Pro­bate. This gives the Ex­ecu­tor the le­gal au­thor­ity to man­age the estate ac­cord­ing to the de­ceased’s wishes.

Low Po-Yu, a senior mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor with ERA, bought her HDB flat in 2016 from a fam­ily who in­her­ited it from their late mother. “The mother had al­ready writ­ten a will with a Grant of Pro­bate. She named her daugh­ter as the Ex­ecu­tor of her will, and the daugh­ter acted ac­cord­ingly. The pro­ceeds from the sale of the flat were then split among the chil­dren equally,” said Po-Yu.

In the event that the de­ceased did not leave be­hind a will, the In­tes­tate Suc­ces­sion Act will ap­ply. You will need to get a lawyer to ap­ply for the Grant of Let­ters of Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

WHO MUST THE NEXT- OF- KIN IN­FORM IF THE FLAT OWNER PASSES AWAY, IN OR­DER TO IN­HERIT IT?

A No­tice of Death must be sub­mit­ted to the Sin­ga­pore Land Au­thor­ity (SLA) so that it can up­date the records. The easy way is to en­gage HDB’s le­gal ser­vices at the man­ag­ing HDB branch of­fice near­est to the flat, which will do it for a fee, says Po-Yu.

However, there is a mon­eysav­ing tip. “Many peo­ple think they have to go via HDB but you can do it your­self, via SLA’s web­site (www.sla.gov.sg) and fill in the form re­quired to reg­is­ter a No­tice of Death,” she says. Bring the printed copy with the au­tho­ri­sa­tion from the sur­viv­ing spouse ( if he/she is un­able to do it per­son­ally), the iden­tity cards of re­main­ing joint-own­ers, the orig­i­nal death cer­tifi­cate, ev­i­dence of estate duty clear­ance for the de­ceased owner’s estate (only ap­pli­ca­ble for death oc­cur­ring be­fore Feb 15, 2008) and du­pli­cate lease ( if any).

When the Grant of Let­ters of Ad­min­is­tra­tion or the Grant of Pro­bate has been ob­tained, ei­ther en­gage your own lawyer or ap­point HDB’s to act for you to reg­is­ter your le­gal right as the Ad­min­is­tra­tor or Ex­ecu­tor. (Check with the rel­e­vant HDB branch han­dling the de­ceased’s flat to make the ap­pli­ca­tion). You’ll need:

Orig­i­nal copy of the Grant of Let­ters of Ad­min­is­tra­tion and State­ment for Grant of Let­ters of Ad­min­is­tra­tion, or Grant of Pro­bate and will

Orig­i­nal copy of the Syariah Court In­her­i­tance Cer­tifi­cate (for Mus­lim es­tates only)

A copy of the de­ceased owner’s death cer­tifi­cate

Du­pli­cate lease of the de­ceased’s flat

Iden­tity card(s) of all flat owner(s) and Ad­min­is­tra­tor(s) or Ex­ecu­tor(s)

If the de­ceased left be­hind a will, the be­reaved fam­ily should hire a lawyer to ap­ply for the Grant of Pro­bate.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.