FAQs

1. What is notarisation?

Notarisation is the process where principally a notary public witnesses the signing of documents, or certifies that a document is a true copy of its original.

2. How much will it cost to notarise my document?

The cost of certain services is mandated by legislation.

Please contact us or write to us at enquiries@oskllc.com for an estimate.

3. What payment options are available?

We accept cash, NETS, FAST, PayNow and PayPal transfers.

4. How long will it take to notarise my document?

If notarisation instructions are clear and you can send scanned copies of your documents prior to coming by to see us, then the estimated contact time is typically 15 to 30 minutes. Thereafter, the notarial certificate(s) issued in relation to the document(s) will need to be authenticated at the Singapore Academy of Law. Validation of notarial certificates became mandatory from 01 October 2019 and will take up to a day to effect.

5. What is consularisation/legalisation?

Legalisation, also known as consularisation, and an equivalent to apostillation, is the process where notarised documents are authenticated by various parties viz the Singapore Academy of Law, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and an Embassy, High Commission or Representative Office. Legalised documents bear an authentication stamp from the Embassy, High Commission or Representative Office of the country or region where the document will be presented for use.

When documents are to be used outside of Singapore, the laws of the receiving country may require that the document be notarised and legalised or apostilled. Singapore is not a contracting state to the Hague Convention of 5th October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. Legalisation is the equivalent process to apostillation.

6. What is an apostille and what is apostillation?

An apostille is a certificate issued by a country that is a contracting state to the Hague Convention of 5th October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. Apostillation is the process of obtaining that certificate. As at June 2018, Singapore is not a contracting state to the said Hague Convention, and the equivalent process in Singapore is legalisation.

7. How much does consularisation/legalisation cost?

Consularisation/legalisation costs start from about SGD250 depending on the Embassy, High Commission or Representative Office at which the legalisation takes place. Costs also vary depending on whether normal, express or urgent services are required.

Please contact us or write to us at enquiries@oskllc.com for an estimate.

8. How long will consularisation/legalisation take?

The process will take between 2 days and 3 weeks. The processing time depends on the Embassy, High Commission or Representative Office where consularisation/legalisation is being sought.

9. What should I bring?

When you visit, please bring the following:

  • Documents that need notarisation or legalisation;
  • Evidence of identity – i.e. valid identity card or passport; and
  • Original documents for certification of true copies.

Please also advise us of any specific signing instructions or legalisation requirements prior to your appointment.

For more information, please click here.

10. Can I walk-in?

Walk-ins are welcome. However, we recommend that you make an appointment with us at +65 6224 6106 for a shorter turnaround time.

11. My document is not in English – can I still get it notarised?

Yes, but only if you understand it. Best practice recommends that an English translation be provided.

12. Do you provide notarised translations?

Yes, we are able to notarise translated documents. Translation agencies with whom we work regularly provide the required translation services.

13. Do you offer out-of-office/site visits? How much will a visit cost?

Yes, we offer out-of-office/site visits. Generally, costs vary with the length of the visit.

Please contact us or write to us at enquiries@oskllc.com for an estimate.

Estate Administration

1. What happens when the deceased passes away leaving a Will?

Where the deceased has left a Will, the Will would have appointed at least one executor to manage the distribution of the deceased’s assets to the beneficiaries.

The executor is required to apply for a Grant of Probate at the Family Justice Courts. The Grant will recognise the appointment of the executor to manage the distribution of the deceased’s assets.

2. What happens when the deceased passes away without leaving a Will?

Where the deceased has not left a Will, or where the Will cannot be found, a next-of-kin of the deceased will be required to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration at the Family Justice Courts.

A next-of-kin is defined by the Intestate Succession Act (Cap. 146), in descending order of priority, as:

  • The spouse;
  • The children of the deceased;
  • The parents;
  • Brothers and sisters;
  • Nephews and nieces;
  • Grandparents; and
  • Uncles and aunts.

The Grant will recognise the appointment of the next-of-kin as the administrator to manage the distribution of the deceased’s assets.

The Probate and Administration Act (Cap. 251) allows for the appointment of a maximum of four administrators.

Where a next-of-kin declines to be appointed as an administrator in favour of another with equal or lesser right, the declining next-of-kin must renounce his right by way of filing a Renunciation.

Bankrupts and infants cannot be appointed as administrators. At least 2 administrators must be appointed if one or more beneficiaries of the estate is below the age of 21.

3. Who are the beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate?

Where the deceased has left a Will, then the Will would have identified the beneficiaries of the estate. Where the deceased has not left a Will, then the next-of-kin stand to benefit from the estate in the order of priority as defined by the Intestate Succession Act (Cap. 146).

4. Is it necessary for an executor or next-of-kin to apply for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration every time someone dies?

No. In certain circumstances, including where the value of the deceased’s net estate is SGD50,000 or less, an executor or next-of-kin can apply to the Public Trustee’s Office to administer the estate. Under those circumstances, it will not be necessary for the next-of-kin to apply for Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration. For more information, please refer to the Public Trustee’s Office at the Ministry of Law website: https://www.mlaw.gov.sg/content/pto/en/deceased-cpf-estate-monies/information-for-next-of-kin-estate-monies.html.

5. What are the requirements for an application for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration?

Generally, the required information/documents include:

  • Deceased’s Death Certificate/Certificate of Extract from Register of Death,
  • Deceased’s Will,
  • Identity documents of executors or administrators, and beneficiaries
  • Information/documents showing the assets and liabilities of the deceased’s estate as at the date of death.

Where the deceased is a foreign domiciliary or foreign national, the documents required are likely to include a legal opinion confirming the succession rights of beneficiaries under the law of the domicile or nationality of the deceased.

6. What happens when a foreign national dies overseas, leaving assets in Singapore?

The deceased’s executor or next-of-kin may apply for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in Singapore in respect of the deceased’s assets in Singapore.

If the deceased was a citizen of a Commonwealth or other select jurisdiction, and the deceased’s executor or administrator has already obtained a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in the deceased’s country, then the executor or administrator may alternatively make an application for Memorandum of Resealing of the original Grant in Singapore.

7. When should the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration be made?

The application for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration should ideally be made within 6 months of the death of the deceased. If the application is made after 6 months from the deceased’s death, then the executor or next-of-kin must provide a credible reason for such delay.

8. What is the estimated time taken for the application process for a Grant?

The application process, barring any complications, would typically take 2 to 3 months. Complications such as missing information, or inadequate documentation, or untraceable persons can prolong the application process significantly.

9. What are the duties of an executor or administrator?

Once the application for a Grant is successful, the executor or administrator has a duty to collect the assets of the estate and administer the deceased’s estate in the following order:

  • Pay or (reimburse) funeral, testamentary and administration expenses;
  • Pay off debts and liabilities, including taxes, to creditors of the deceased; and lastly to

Distribute the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries.

10. What happens when an executor delays or refuses to apply for Grant of Probate?

The next-of-kin can make an application to the Family Justice Courts to compel the executor to state his intention to either accept or decline to apply for Grant of Probate.

Where it appears that the executor is declining to exercise his right, the next-of-kin may then apply to the Court to be appointed as an administrator.

11. What happens when the executor or administrator fails or refuses to collect and/or distribute the assets?

The beneficiaries can commence legal action to compel the executor or administrator to fulfil his duties properly. Alternatively, the beneficiaries can commence legal action to remove the executor or administrator and to replace him/her with another person considered more suitable.

12. Is estate duty payable when a deceased dies with assets in Singapore?

Estate duty was abolished for deaths on and after 15 February 2008.

For further enquiries concerning applications for Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, or Memorandum of Resealing, please contact us at: +65 6224 6106 or +65 9362 4363, or email: su-mei@oskllc.com.

Lasting Power of Attorney

1. What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”)?

An LPA is a document which allows an individual (“the Donor”) to appoint 1 or more persons as Donee(s). The LPA defines the conditions and restrictions of the Donee’s powers to make decisions and act on behalf of the Donor, if the Donor should lose mental capacity in future.

Loss of mental capacity must be diagnosed by a doctor or psychiatrist and supported with a medical report.

2. What are the requirements for a Donor and Donee to an LPA?

The Donor and Donee must have the following attributes: 

  1. Be at least 21 years of age; and
  2. Have mental capacity.
    Additionally, both Donor and Donee must not be undischarged bankrupts if the Donor intends to assign power to the Donee to administrate his finances and assets.

The Donor should endeavour to make his LPA as soon as possible, while he has mental capacity. The Donor can choose to make his LPA in Form 1 or Form 2. Form 1 presents a simplified format, whereby the Donor can select the conditions and restrictions from a list of standard options. Form 2 presents free text spaces whereby the Donor must list his preferred conditions and restrictions. Form 2 must be drafted by a lawyer.

3. What are the powers and responsibilities of a Donee?

The Donee has the power to administrate specific areas in the life of the Donor. The areas of administration are:

  1. Personal welfare – the Donee can decide where the Donor should live; determine what sort of social activities the Donor can engage in; and determine the medical treatments that the Donor can receive.
  2. Property and Affairs – the Donee can manage the Donor’s finances and assets.
    The Donee must always make decisions that are in the best interest of the Donor. He must consider the Donor’s personal preferences, beliefs, interests and values. The Donee must strive to maintain the Donor’s personal freedom and liberty, and preserve the Donor’s finances and assets.

4. What are the requirements for a valid LPA?

The LPA must be approved and registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, which is the government agency overseeing all applications under the Mental Capacity Act (Cap. 177A). Registration fees are:

Status of Applicant LPA Form 1 (incl. GST) LPA Form 2 (incl. GST)
Singapore Citizens Waived until 31 Aug 2020 S$200/-
Singapore Permanent Residents S$100/- S$250/-
Foreigners S$250/- S$300/-

Source: Table taken from Office of the Public Guardian

5. What is the estimated time taken for the Office of the Public Guardian to approve the registration of an LPA?

The Office of the Public Guardian will typically take 1 to 3 months to approve the registration of an LPA.

6. Can an LPA be revoked? If so, what are the requirements for revocation of an LPA?

The Donor may revoke an LPA via a Revocation Form. The Revocation Form must be signed by the following persons:

  1. The Donor;
  2. An independent witness to the Donor’s signature; and
  3. The Donee.

Thereafter, the Revocation Form and the original LPA must be presented to the Office of the Public Guardian with the payment of the cancellation fee of S$25/-.

For further enquiries concerning applications for Lasting Power of Attorney, please contact us at: +65 6224 6106 or +65 9362 4363, or email: su-mei@oskllc.com.

Mental Capacity Applications

1. When is it necessary to appoint a Deputy under the Mental Capacity Act (Cap. 177A)?

It is necessary to appoint a Deputy when an individual (“the Donor”) loses mental capacity without having registered a Lasting Power of Attorney, or when a mentally disabled person reaches the age of 21 years. The Deputy will make decisions concerning the Donor’s life and act on the Donor’s behalf.

2. What are the requirements for an application to be a Deputy?

The application process has to be filed at the Family Justice Courts. The process will include the filing of court documents, medical reports and attendance at case conferences and/or hearings.

In order to be appointed as a Deputy, the applicant must have the following attributes:

  1. Be at least 21 years of age; and
  2. Have mental capacity

An undischarged bankrupt is unlikely to be appointed by the Family Justice Court to administrate the Donor’s finances and assets.

3. What is the estimated time taken for the application to appoint a Deputy

The application process will typically take 3 to 6 months. The application process may be significantly prolonged if complications should arise e.g. objections from the Donor’s family members as to the appointment of the Deputy.

4. What are the powers and responsibilities of a Deputy?

The Deputy has power to administrate specific areas of the Donor’s life. The areas of administration are:

  1. Personal welfare – the Deputy can decide where the Donor should live; determine what sort of social activities the Donor can engage in; and determine the medical treatments that the Donor can receive.
  2. Property and Affairs – the Deputy can manage the Donor’s finances and assets.
    The Deputy must always make decisions that are in the best interest of the Donor. He must consider the Donor’s personal preferences, beliefs, interests and values. The Deputy must strive to maintain the Donor’s personal freedom and liberty, and preserve the Donor’s finances and assets.

For further enquiries concerning Mental Capacity Act applications, please contact us at: +65 6224 6106 or +65 9362 4363, or email: su-mei@oskllc.com.