To manage the estate of a family member who has passed away, you should contact the banks and insurance companies. You can also engage professionals, such as lawyers and counsellors, to assist you and your family.
If the deceased is a Singapore citizen or permanent resident, you need not report the death to CPF Board. CPF Board will be notified by the relevant public agency and will distribute the deceased’s CPF savings expeditiously.
Managing the estate & inheritance
If your family member is a foreigner with a CPF account, you have to report the death to CPF Board. Otherwise, CPF Board will be notified by the relevant public agency. Upon being notified of the demise of your loved one, CPF will distribute the deceased's CPF savings expeditiously.
If the deceased has a valid CPF nomination, CPF Board will get in touch with the deceased’s nominees on the payment of CPF monies.
If the deceased did not make a CPF nomination, the CPF savings will be paid to the Public Trustee:
For more information on post-death matters on CPF, please refer to the brochure on "Losing a loved one".
Banks & credit card companies
Notify the banks where the deceased had bank accounts, so that they can make new arrangements for future cheques, mortgage payments and other transactions. You should also check for any outstanding debts, e.g. credit card bills.
Inform the relevant insurance companies to process the deceased’s payouts from insurance policies, credit and trade unions, etc.
Bills & miscellaneous items
Check for bills paid by interbank GIRO. You should inform the respective companies to cancel the GIRO arrangement.
Where appropriate, contact the deceased person's landlord, and cancel utilities such as electricity, telephone connections and other items such as safety deposit boxes, etc.
Remember to give the post office a forwarding address for the deceased's mail.
How to administer the estate
If the deceased left a will
The next of kin should inform the deceased's lawyer and obtain the deceased person's will. The person named in the will (i.e. the executor) should:
- Apply to the High Court or Subordinate Courts to obtain a grant of probate/letters of administration. You can also consult a lawyer from any private law firm or the Legal Aid Bureau to apply for these documents;
- File the schedule of assets with the courts; and
- Distribute the assets according to the deceased's will.
If there is no will
If the estate does not exceed $50,000, the Public Trustee will administer the deceased’s estates by doing these:
- Administer the deceased’s assets (e.g. bank deposits, undrawn salaries, CPF savings, New Singapore Shares);
- Sell or transfer shares held by the deceased person in Singapore-listed companies;
- Transfer the deceased’s vehicle(s) to beneficiaries;
- Verify the claimants' entitlement validity and the relationship between the claimants and the deceased; and
- Hold the beneficiary’s share in trust if they are minors; making monthly payments for the minor’s maintenance and education.
If the estate exceeds $50,000, you have to ask the courts to appoint an administrator for the estate.
If you need grief counselling
You can seek professional advice and support from your nearest family service centre (FSC) or other services:
Family service centres
T: 1800 222 0000 (ComCare hotline)
W: Map of family service centres
Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)
T: 1800 221 4444 (24-hr hotline)
T: 1800 353 5800 (hotline)