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Singapore Estate Matters: What Happens to the Cat?

When dear old Grandma reaches the end of her long and happy life and drifts gently into an endless sleep, what happens to Mittens?

Mittens would be considered part of Grandma’s estate. There are several procedures that may determine Mittens fate.

If Grandma wrote a will before she died, the Will would specify how Grandma’s property was to be dealt with after her death. Under the Will, Grandma would have appointed executors who would be responsible for managing the property after her death and who would make sure that the property was given to the correct person as named in the Will. The executors would have to apply for a grant of probate from the Court. Once the executor(s) is given the grant of probate, the executor may use the grant of probate to get Grandma’s property released (i.e. from a bank).

For instance, if Grandma left Mittens to her favourite granddaughter, Lucy, in her Will, then her named executor, her son Bill, would make sure that Mittens ended up in Lucy’s care and lived a happy life with the little girl.

Letters of Administration
If Grandma never wrote a Will, then Grandma’s relatives can apply to Court to be granted letters of administration appointing them as administrators of the estate. In deciding on who to appoint as administrator(s), the Court will have regard to the person’s relationship to Grandma and also to the interests of all of the people who could claim an interest in Grandma’s estate. The administrator(s) would be responsible for dividing Grandma’s property in accordance with the law. The persons who would be appointed as administrator(s) are listed in the Intestate Succession Act in the following order of priority: the spouse, the children of the deceased, the parents, brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, grandparents, and uncles and aunts.

For instance, Grandma’s son, Bill, could apply to be the administrator of the estate and as he is her son, the Court would be likely to grant the application. Bill would be responsible for dividing up the property fairly in accordance with the law and he would be able to give Mittens to Lucy as one of the beneficiaries of Grandma’s estate.

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