Getting a reseal of an Australian probate in Singapore or a Singaporean probate in Australia: is it the same?

Posted by Reg Biddulph | Apr 04, 2018 | 0 Comments

Getting a reseal of an Australian probate in Singapore or a Singaporean probate in Australia: is it the same?

In Singapore, it is possible to get a reseal of an Australian grant of Probate. This is because Australia is deemed to be a member of the Commonwealth.

In Australia, the situation is not so straightforward. Firstly, each of the six Australian States and two Territories are independent jurisdictions, collectively forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Each State and Territory therefore has its own equivalent to the Singaporean Probate and Administration Act. Moreover, in each State/Territory a reseal of a grant of probate can only be obtained if the grant of probate was obtained in one of Her Majesty's Dominions.

Singapore, by virtue of being a Republic, is no longer one of Her Majesty's Dominions.

Accordingly, it is necessary to obtain a fresh grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed) in order to deal with the Deceased's assets in Australia.

Practical Requirements.

An application for a grant of Probate in Western Australia (where an existing grant has been made in Singapore) requires:

A motion;

An affidavit of the applicant in support;

A filing fee to be paid.

The supporting affidavit should:

Contain all the information required by Rule 8 of the Non Contentious Probate Rules (“NCP”)

Annex a statement of assets and liabilities as required by Rule 9B (1) of the NCP i.e.-

“(a) all movable property, wherever situated, and all immovable property in Western Australia, comprised in the estate of the deceased;

b) the value at the time of the death of the deceased of the

property referred to in paragraph (a); and

(c) all debts, wherever situated, owing by the deceased at

the time of his death.”

Account for any aliases used by the Deceased (for example, it is common for Singaporeans to adopt Anglicised names and common to reverse first names and surnames on the title to real estate).

Explain why the original will cannot be produced (namely, that it is held by the Family Justice Courts of the Republic of Singapore) and that a copy of the will is produced to be sealed as though it were the original;

Annex a certified copy of the Singaporean grant.

It is, of course necessary, to produce a copy of the will that is to be probated. If possible a clean copy of the will should be produced. Invariably, what is produced is a photocopy of the will that has been sealed by the Singaporean Court. Although this would appear not to comply with Rule 12 of the NCP my experience is that such copies are accepted.

A certified or duplicate copy of the death certificate should be lodged with the application as well.

  1. Section 47 (1) (a) Probate and Administration Act (“PPA”).
  2. Section 46 PPA.
  3. Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia
  4. The Northern Territory and Canberra.
  5. See: South Australia being the exception that allows any foreign grant to be resealed.
  6. Malaysia and India, likewise.
  7. Probate filing fee
  8. Or Section 9 if the Deceased died Intestate.
  9. Note that these requirements are more extensive than if only a reseal were required.
  10. See Rule 11 NCP.
  11. There is some inconsistency amongst the various registrars as to whether an exemplified copy or a certified copy is required to be produced. In a reseal application an exemplification (or the original grant of probate) is required. However, in a fresh application what is being probated is the will itself and therefore only a certified copy of the Singaporean grant should be required.
  12. Rule 12 (3) provides: “The signatures referred to in sub rule (1) and any necessary exhibit note shall be endorsed on the cover of the will or on such other place where the signatures and exhibit note will not
  13. appear in any photographic reproduction of the will.”

About the Author

Reg Biddulph

Graduated in law from the University of Western Australia in 1987. He has been a partner at Biddulph & Turley since 1991. He is a member of the Society of Trusts and Estate practitioners and is professionally experienced in all areas of deceased estates. In September 2016 Reg was recognised ...


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