What if the deceased’s will does not provide for me?
When a deceased’s will or the intestacy law does not adequately provide for the deceased’s dependents, the deceased’s dependents may apply to the court for a maintenance order in hopes of altering the distribution of the deceased’s estate.
You qualify as a dependent if you are a spouse, an unmarried daughter, an infant son, or a child of the deceased’s lacking mental capacity. If you are an illegitimate child, you do not qualify as a dependent.
The law in Singapore that provides for such an application to the court is found under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act. This act does not apply to Muslims. An application under the Act must generally be made within 6 months from the time of administration of the estate or execution of the will unless the court has allowed for an extension.
In deciding whether to allow maintenance order, the courts will consider
- the past, present or future financial situation of the dependent
- the conduct of the dependent in relation to the deceased
- whether or not the deceased intentionally refrained from apportioning a part of his estate to the dependent in his will for particular reasons and
- any other matter that the court may consider to be of relevance.
For more information with regard to how the courts would alter the will to pay out maintenance from the deceased’s estate, an estimate of the payment and the methods of payment, you may seek advice from one of our probate lawyers.