How Many Personal Representatives Are Required When Applying for A Grant Of Probate Or A Grant Of Letters Of Administration?
Published on 16th February, 2021 by Bonsai Law
The number of personal representatives required to administer the estate of a deceased person varies depending on whether there is a valid Will or if the estate is to be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act.
In general, the number of personal representatives required range from 1 to 4, and 2 administrators will be required if there are beneficiaries below the age of 21 (if there is no Will) or if there is a life interest (when there is a Will).
When There Is A Valid Will
When there is an existing and valid Will, the number of personal representatives will usually be defined and stated clearly in the Will itself. Most properly-drafted Wills will provide for at least one or two executors.
In this situation, the personal representatives have already been chosen by the person who drafted the Will (also known as the "testator") and there is no right for anyone else to apply to be a personal representative of the estate, unless the executor(s) are unwilling to be personal representative(s) themselves and renounce their right to apply for the Grant of Probate.
When There Is No Will
When there is no Will, one of the deceased's family members will have to make the application to extract a Grant of Letters of Administration. In this situation, the number of personal representatives required depend on the circumstances and life stage of the beneficiaries.
As mentioned earlier, if there are minor beneficiaries (beneficiaries below the age of 21), there will need to be at least 2 administrators and the application for the Grant of Letters of Administration tends to be slightly more complex.
If the requirement of two administrators is
not met, the administration of the estate will have to be conducted through a
What Happens If Only One Person Has The Prior Right To Make The Application?
This is a common situation that occurs from time to time in Singapore. Sometimes, only one person has the prior right to apply for letters of administration when there is minority interest in the estate. This tends to occur in the event where a spouse leaves behind a widow or widower with young children beneath the age of 21.
In this situation, the person with the right to apply for letters of administration will have to make an application in the Singapore courts for a co-administrator (instead of 2 administrators), and this application has to be made with the written consent of the co-administrator.