Singapore’s intestacy regime is set out in the Intestate Succession Act (Cap. 146).

Under the Act, the movable property of an intestate will be distributed according to the laws of the country in which he/she was domiciled at the time of his/her death, while the distribution of Singapore immovable property will be regulated by Singapore intestacy rules.

The Singapore intestacy rules are as follows:

  • Rule 1. If an intestate dies leaving a surviving spouse, no issue and no parent: the spouse is entitled to the whole of the estate.
  • Rule 2. If an intestate dies leaving a surviving spouse and issue: the spouse is entitled to half of the estate.
    Rule 3. Subject to the rights of the surviving spouse, the estate of an intestate who leaves issue must be distributed by equal portions per stirpes to and among the children of the intestate and the persons who legally represent those children (in the case any of those children are dead). The following provisos apply:
    • proviso No. (1): the persons who legally represent the children of an intestate are their descendants and not their next-of-kin;
    • proviso No. (2): descendants of the intestate to the remotest degree stand in the place of their parent or other ancestor.
  • Rule 4. If an intestate dies leaving a surviving spouse and no issue but a parent or parents: the spouse is entitled to half of the estate, and the parent(s) to the other half.
  • Rule 5. If there are no descendants: the parents of the intestate take the estate (in equal portions if there are two parents), subject to the rights of the surviving spouse (if any) as provided in rule 4.
  • Rule 6. If there are no surviving spouse, descendants or parents: the brothers and sisters, and children of deceased brothers or sisters of the intestate share the estate in equal portions.
  • Rule 7. If there are no surviving spouse, descendants, parents, brothers and sisters or children of such brothers and sisters, but grandparents of the intestate: the grandparents take the whole of the estate in equal portions.
  • Rule 8. If there are no surviving spouse, descendants, parents, brothers and sisters or their children or grandparents, but uncles and aunts of the intestate: the uncles and aunts take the whole of the estate in equal portions.
  • Rule 9. In default of distribution under rules 1 to 8: the government is entitled to the whole of the estate.