The conversation that no one wants to have — what happens to the HDB flat after your parents pass away?
In Singapore, HDB flat ownership will pass to living relatives based on the will. But if there’s no will to follow, then the respective laws from either the Family Justice Court or the Syariah Court will determine how the property ownership will be distributed.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how the flat ownership is passed down:
The Family Justice Court will handle the proceedings according to the Intestate Succession Act. Following the order of priority, ownership of the HDB flat will be distributed as follows:
|Married with children||50%||50%||x|
|Married with children; spouse no longer living||x||100%||x|
|Married but without children; parents no longer alive||100%||x||x|
|Married but without children; has living parents||50%||x||50%|
If the owner of the flat is married and has children, once they pass away half of their property goes to their spouse while the other half is evenly distributed to their children.
On the other hand, if the flat owner has children but his/her spouse has since passed on, the children will inherit the whole of the property.
If the flat owner is married but didn’t have any children, then the surviving spouse inherits the property.
And if the owner didn’t have any children but left a spouse and living parents when he passed away, then 50% of the property goes to the spouse and the other half goes to the parents.
Things are a little different if your parents were declared Muslims before they passed: the Syariah Court and the Islamic Inheritance Law (Faraid) come into play.
Based on these laws, immediate family members inherit larger portions of the property while other relatives inherit smaller portions. In addition, men receive double the portion compared to women. To calculate how the flat would be distributed among your family members:
You’ll need to submit an application to inherit your parents’ HDB flat. This can be done without a lawyer.
For Non-Muslims, the form is available on the Family Justice Court’s website.
For Muslims, the forms are available on Syariah Court Singapore’s website.
Yes, but you’ll need to sell one of the two HDB flats because you can only own one HDB flat at a time.
Whichever flat you keep, you’ll have to sell the other one within 6 months of taking ownership of the inherited flat.
This depends on the date your parents purchased the HDB flat. If they purchased it before 30 August 2010, good news: you’re allowed to keep both properties.
If they purchased the flat on/after 30 August 2010, you’ll need to sell one of the properties.
When your parents applied for the flat, they were given 2 types of ownership options: joint tenancy and tenancy-in-common. The ownership type they chose affects how the property is distributed.
Joint tenancy means that all co-owners have equal stake in the property. So when one of the owners passes away, the property ownership automatically goes to the living co-owner.
Tenancy-in-Common means that each owner has a different stake in the HDB flat. If one of the owners passes away, their share will be distributed based on inheritance laws rather than being automatically given to the living owner.
Thank you for your article. I have a question after reading.
What would happened to my parents’ flat if both of my parents are passed away and both my elder brother & sister already have a flat (belong to single brother) and condo (belong to married sister) respectively?
I am the only one staying with my parents in their flat (bought in 1990) for the past 5 years after selling my flat few years ago. Currently, I do not own any property.
As my parents have not left a will, would their flat be legally passed on to me OR need to divide the flat into 3 portions?
If need to divide the flat into 3 portions, does that mean selling the flat in order to divide the proceeds into 3 portions?
Hi Chris, thank you for writing in. First and foremost, the 3 siblings have to decide on next steps with this flat and appoint an administrator. Do note that it is not possible for your siblings to take over the flat and the split portion is dependent on the arrangement with your siblings, not necessarily split into 3 portions. We will drop you an email shortly to follow up and advise you further:)
I have the same question as Chris. Would anyone be able to advise ?
Hello Lawrence! Firstly, your siblings and you will have to decide on next steps with the flat and appoint an administrator. The split portion is dependent on the arrangement with your siblings, not necessarily split into 3 portions (for eg. it could be 30-30-40) We will drop you an email shortly to follow up and advise you further:)
I would like to check, the owner of the HDB currently is my dad only. he didn’t write any will. So in the event will my mum become the ownership of the flat without involve with any lawyer? Is there a sum of legal or administration fees need to pay in order to become the ownership of the HDB?
Good morning Mike! If your parents are under a joint-tenancy manner of holding, they will just need to submit the death certificate to HDB and the other party will automatically become the sold owner. The fees vary accordingly case by case so it would be good to check directly on the fees with HDB on this 🙂
Thanks for your article.
Can I check with you?
I’m currently staying at my parent house & I’m also the owner of this house too. My dad has passed away 2yrs ago. Therefore, I’m the only owner of this house.
But probably end of this year, my BTO will be ready and be staying with my husband. As I’m aware, 1 person can only own 1 HDB. And I have plan to sell away this HDB as all my siblings have their own flat.
Now I’m thinking, How should I split the sales of this flat with my 4 siblings? If buyer is paying thru CPF, can the buyer split among us? How to go with it to have equal share??
Hi Jennifer, thank you for writing in and hope you are well! In any case, you will not be affected by how the buyer is financing the house as upon completion, you will get the proceeds via cheque. The proceeds receivable is nett the deduction of the CPF used & accured interest for this house. Hope that helps! Cheers, Jeff
Hi Pooja, I have a few questions. My parent has added my brother’s name in their current flat. My father has passed on. Currently, my mother is staying with my brother in this flat with his wife (who is still holding Special Visitor Pass) and a son.
1) what will happen to the flat if my mother and brother no around.
2) will my sister in law inherit 50 percent of the estate given her status.
3) Can I add my name in this flat if I’m owning a private property?
4) or can we appoint some family member to be the trustee of this house?
5) if none of the above applicable, will is the only way ? How much is the charge to write up a will?
Thanks yr time and hope to hear from you soon.
Hello Helen, thank you for writing in! We will drop you an email shortly to follow up on your questions 🙂 Cheers, Jeff
I am the owner of a hdb flat with my father under joint tenancy.
If my father pass on, can I inherit the hdb and rent out ?
I am married and staying with my hubby. I do not own any property under my name.
Hi Christine, thank you for writing in! You are able to inherent the HDB provided you don’t own any other property. However, do take note that you cannot rent out as you will need to fulfill the Minimum Occupation Period of 5 years from the date you change owner. Hope that helps! Cheers, Jeff
My parents have pass away and left the hdb flat to my brother and me.. My brother is owner and I’m Co-owner, and currently I have got my bto flat with my wife which mean I need to remove my name from the hdb that I’m staying now. My question is, can my brother do a resales part share and buy over my share? Or any option for me to have myself covered? he is not agreeable to sell and split the money now, he want my name to be remove and he will sell and get 100% of the share
Hi Daxon, thank you for writing in! Yes, you can do a part share with your brother and have him to buy over your share of the unit. If you need further clarification on the process, we would suggest that you reach out to HDB directly. Hope that helps! 🙂
My late mother had passed away in 2017 and I have done the letters of grant of admin in 2018.
My brother and I are the only children of our late parents. We have agreed that I take over the flat ownership and my brother will give up his share to me as he already owns a HDB flat n does not intend to ask me for paymemt of his share.
Can advise how do we proceed from here pls? Is a lawyer required?
Hello, thanks for writing in! For such cases, it would be better if you could go directly to HDB and they would be able to advise you accordingly. Do hope that this helps 🙂
Hello Soon Lee, for such cases you would have to go to the HDB branch office to settle. HDB branch office will be able to do it for you. Do hope this helps! 🙂
I intend to purchase a HDB with my husband under joint-tenancy. Both of us have children from previous marriage(he has 1 son and i have 2 daughters). I understand if any one of us pass on first, the property ownership automatically goes to the living co-owner. So if let say i pass on first, will my children be entitled to the shares of the house if my husband sell off the house? Fyi,i am a Muslim. Thank you in advance.
Hi Su! We would suggest that you get a Will done in this case as it would be more straightforward and clear. Hope that helps!
Hi Pooja! I became the sole owner of my parent’s flat after they have both passed on. The mortgage is fully paid for, and my CPF has never been used to pay for the house. I now want to sell the house so that I can buy another flat with my spouse. How will I get the proceeds as I will also have to split it equally with my three other siblings?
Hello Siti! Thank you for writing in. Since the mortgage has been fully paid for and no CPF was utilized for the house, the proceeds from the sale will be in full cash. As for the distribution with your other 3 siblings, it will depend on the parents’ Will. Hope that helps!
Hi Pooja, i am the sole owner of my hdb flat and i have 2 sons age 21 and 23 as occupants. I do not have any Hdb will. Will my sons inherit the property if let say i passed on? Both of my sons just completed their ns.
Hello Shy, the unit would go automatically to the next of kin if there is no will in place so in this case, the unit would go to your spouse. However, if you wish for your sons to inherit your unit, it would be advisable to do up a will 🙂
Hi, I am a Muslim, a single MOM and I have 2 daughters. I own a HDB flat. If I pass away, who will inherit the flat? I have an elder brother and he is the only male relative.
How do i ensure that my daughters inherit the flat fully? Can i add them as co-owners? (they are 23 and 21 years old)
Hello Jas, it would be ideal for you to have a will in place. Should anything were to happen to you, the will would be in place to ensure the ownership of the unit would be transferred to your children. Hope this helps 🙂
Hi, I am a Muslim.
My dad has his own house under his name.
He passed away on July 2019. My sister and I have a 50/50 share on his inheritance.
His lawyer said we will have to sell the HDB within 6 years. He said we can keep the flat indefinitely, but if we want to sell, we must sell within 6 years. If we want to sell after 6 years, we will need to ask aunties and uncles come to court. But i dont see anything about this.
Can you clarify on this?
Hello Haz, when you and your sister inherited the unit from your dad, was there a will? If so, what your lawyer meant was that the will is only valid for 6 years and should you not want to keep the property after the 6th year, you would need to go to the High Court. Let us reach out to you directly through email on this for clarity yah 🙂
Hi, my dad passed on without a will and my brother had sold his hdb flat after he bought my mum to a lawyer and sign letter of property transfer to his name.My mum was 88 year old and her mind wasn’t very clear on what she had signed. Now my mum regretted as my bro ill treated her, can we engage a lawyer to fight for this case so my mum can get back her share ?
Hello Mei, sorry to hear about what has happened to your mom! Yes, you would need to consult a lawyer who would be able to advise you accordingly on what are the next steps to be taken for this case. Do hope this helps 🙂
My parents bought a hdb years ago. When my mother passed away, her share 50% of the property was included in her estate. Now my dad is the sole owner with my unmarried sister living with him.
Now my dad wants to sell the house. However, we have all signed a deed of family arrangement that he can’t sell the house unless my sister is married.
If we do eventually consent to sell the house, do we get the share of the house from the proceeds of the sale since my mum’s share was not distributed back then? The share of the house would be divided according to the Inheritance certificate under Syariah Court.
Hello, it would have to depend on the holding of the property. Is the property under a joint tenancy or tenancy in common? If it is joint tenancy, the share of from your mom will be processed according to the will but it is a tenancy in common, the property would have been owned solely by your dad by now. Also, to ensure that your mom’s will is acted out accordingly, it would be advisable to engage a private lawyer to act for the sales. Do hope this helps:)
Hi, my both parents has passed on. Total we have 4 of us, only me staying in this house.
The house has fully paid from my Dad Cpf, he didn’t make a will also.
I want to know if we sell the house are we able to get in cash or the amount will go to our cpf?
Hello Zhang! In such instances, you would be getting cash. The sales proceeds would not be going to your CPF! Do hope this helps!
My dad recently passed on as sole owner of our HDB flat. We hv 3 siblings to inherit my dad flat. My dad didn’t make a will and so we engage a lawyer for Letter of Administration (LOA). My siblings is ok to transfer my dad flats under my name.
But my lawyer mentioned I can’t do that for at least 6 years due to some Rights Issue Law in between us siblings, even if my siblings is ok to transfer my dad flat’s under my name. He said the best I can be is being an Administrator of my dad flat for the next 6 years before I can transfer ownership or sell the flat.
My question is, this 6 years thingy is it in accordance with our current laws and that even with my siblings in agreement to give up their Rights to the flat inheritance, I still can’t transfer ownership till 6 years later ?
My father will like to transfer his HDB flat ownership rights to my sister, in hope that next time she will have a flat to stay in the future. The flat is currently co-owned by my father, my mother and myself. I’m approaching 35 soon and plan to withdraw to apply my own HDB. Can I ask if it is possible for my father to transfer his ownership to my sister without monetary consideration? he is worried for my sister and will like to make sure my sister has a place to stay in case he and my mother pass on. Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!
Hello Weisin! It would be hard to really give you a definite answer on this but you might want to try to submit the application for Transfer of Flat Ownership through HDB. You could find out more information from the URL here.
Do hope this help you in some way!
Hi, I not sure my parents is it under joint tenancy or tenancy in common. But I believe my parents didn’t make any Will.
And my parents both pass away. So does it mean the flat will be divided equally among 4 siblings?
Yup, it should be the case!
Hi, thanks for your reply.
My both parents pass away and we intend to sell the house 5 yrs later, can me and my brother become the owner?
WIth pleasure 🙂
For this, I think it would be better if you could check with HDB as they would be in a better position to advice you.
hi,I am the admin for the hdb my parent left… I understand that each of us will get 50% of the hdb share. and now we decide we will sell off the hdb… I understand this process will need around 3 mth if will got buyer, those prepare of docs needs to handover the key to the new buyer….
I would like to ask, If my brother request for extensions 3mth. itzi ok that I disagree the extensions of 3mth??
Hello Sin, rightfully you have the right to decide on whether you would want to accept the request or not. However, it would be good if you and your brother could come to a conclusion before moving on. Do hope this help 🙂
Hi, hope to be able to get some advice here.
My parents bought their HDB unit under co tenancy many years ago. When my mother passed away, her share of 50% of the property was included in her estate but the unit was automatically transferred to my father’s name as per HDB regulations.
Problem is that my father had left the family and country under a fugitive status and there has been no contact for more than 20 years. We are now stuck with a flat we cannot sell or do anything with. What would you advise us to do next?
Hello thanks for sharing and apologies for the plight that you are in! You would need to file for a police report for missing person and once that is done, engaging a lawyer would be the next step. Once the law firm applied to the courts that your dad is either missing or dead, you would be able to apply from HDB to become the administrator for the unit which allows to sell the property. Hope this helps!
My brother and I are willed to my parent house and I am the current occupier of the flat. My brother has his own flat so he is not rushing me to sell. As per HDB regulations, we are required to report and sell the flat within a year. I’m currently waiting for my bto to be completed within a few years and I have nowhere else to stay for now. Is there any way I could stay in the current house until my bto is completed?
Hello Jenna! For such cases, you would need to write into HDB to appeal on this! Do hope this helps!
Hi Pooja, what happens to my mother’s HDB flat after she passes away – the flat was purchased with my late father’s CPF 20 years ago, since then she has mentioned that she has named my brother as her sole beneficiary in a Will she had earlier prepared.. However, my brother already has his own HDB flat and another brother owns a private property, whereas I do not own any private property or HDB flat. Under the law, will he be allowed to inherit my mother’s HDB flat as per her Will, or will it be shared equally between my brothers and me?
Hello Clarina, based on the conditions that you have mentioned, HDB will ask you to sell off the unit and since there is a will done up by your mom, you will need to bring it the HDB for them to advise you further on how to settle the property.
I have 2 questions.
If my mother left me the hdb in her will and I own a private property, I understand that I can only keep either the private or the hdb assuming the latter was purchased a year ago. Question is if I sell the HDB, will I be subjected to the seller stamp duty for selling within a year?
Separately, I believe that since the hdb is will to me, the proceeds from the sale of the HDB will not be distributed to other beneficiaries not named in her will. Pls advise.
Hello Thomas, if your mom has held the property under her name for more than 5 years, there would not any SSD involved. In regards to your second question, before selling the unit, the grant of probate would have to be done and the notice of death would have to be lodged to HDB. The sales proceeds from the unit would then be distributed according to the will or according to the administrator’s discretion. Do hope this helps.
Hi Pooja, I got a question. My mum passed away so now hdb flat belonged to my dad. My parents only have my brother and me. I have my own hdb flat with my husb. My bro was divorced and remarried. He has no existing hdb flat with his current wife. But he got a hdb flat with the previous wife. His name is still in the joint application. Can he inherit my dad’s hdb flat?
Hello Apple, my sincerest condolences for your loss! Unfortunately, he cannot inherit your dad’s HDB flat as he has an HDB flat under his name. Do hope this helps 🙂
Hi, if I successfully get a bto and my mother passes away and I inherit her hdb while I am waiting for the bto to complete, can I own the inherited flat until the bto is complete? If I am already staying in the bto but mpo is not yet up, will I need to sell the inherited hdb? If the bto is under joint ownership, can I transfer the ownership to my partner instead? Thanks!
Hello Diane, yes, you can own an inherited flat until your BTO flat is complete and you would need to sell away the inherited HDB. You would not be able to transfer the ownership of your property to your partner. Do hit us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +65 3138 2554 to find out how we are able to help you sell your property faster and at the best possible price as well! Hope to hear from you soon!
My grandfather passed away decades ago, leaving behind the HDB house to my step grandma who passed away recently too. We are not in contact with her and only learnt the house has been sold to someone recently.i would like to check how is this possible as my step grandma has no family leaving in sg.
Hello Diane! Sorry about your loss and deepest condolences to you and your family! It could very much be the case that she did up a will and appointed someone to sell the property when she is no longer around since she does not have any family staying in Singapore. Do hope this helps 🙂
My husband is the co-owner of the house and he put my mother in law name as occupant when he bought the house.
Now we are married with 2 sons.
What happen if my husband pass awat?
He do not have a will.
Is your mother-in-law Singaporean? If so, HDB may allow the flat to be transferred to your husband but it is on a case by case basis. Also, HDB may allow you to take over provided you are eligible for it. Do hope this helps 🙂
I have an uncle who is the sole owner of his HDB flat which he intends to allow to be surrendered back to HDB(minimum occupation period below 5 years) as we (nieces/nephews) have our own HDB property and then to will the proceeds of the sale of the HDB flat(after surrendering to HDB) according to his will.
Is the above possible? Thanks in advance.
Hello Ti Jian, don’t mind me asking, has your uncle passed on? If so, cause it can be done if there is a will but however, the administrator would still have to be appointed.
I stay in a private property and my 3 siblings stay in hdb flats. My father does not have a will and he stays in a hdb flat that was purchased in 1999.
If my father passes on, can I check whether I would be able to inherit the flat and keep my private property? Thanks
Hi Chris, for such instances where the owner of the HDB unit did not have a will, the Intestate Succession Act will determine how the estate would be distributed accordingly. You and your siblings would have to appoint an administrator among yourself to sell the property.
Do hope this helps 😉
My uncle passed away about 1.5 years ago and left behind a HDB flat. He was single and left no will which means that the Intestate Succession Act will apply for the 3 surviving siblings.
One unmarried surviving sibling (mentally unstable) is staying in that HDB flat and the other 2 siblings are fine with it. However, no action has been taken to appoint an administrator to transfer ownership up to now as there seems to be no intention by any party to do so due to the unique circumstances. Aug 2022 is the cut-off time given by IRAS and I am now paying the non-owner occupied property taxes for a few months in 2022.
My question is if no action is taken to transfer ownership of the flat but my aunt continues staying inside and I continue to pay the non-owner occupied property taxes in future years, will anything happen to the HDB flat my uncle left behind? i.e. will government take it away?
Thank you! =)
Hi Mae, thanks for reaching out! You could go to the HDB Branch office to seek assistance on this! It is possible to transfer the ownership of the unit to your aunt who is staying there right now, provided that her two other siblings are okay with it. Do hope this helps!
Hi, Few years ago, I thought government took long period to distribute the flat if my mum passed away. I told my youngest bro put his name first. It was a mistake made by me. Now my bro is joint owner and my mum has 1/2 share of the flat. Now my mum passed away, will HDB allows me to be joint owner if my bro agrees?
Hi Elice, my deepest condolences for the loss of your mom from everyone here at Bluenest! if your brother agrees, you can try to seek assistance from HDB on this but you have to ensure that you meet the criteria to own an HDB first! However do note that if you are currently owning an form of residential property, you would not be allowed to be the joint owner even if your brother agrees! Do hope this helps!
Hi Bluenest team,
My parents and I are Muslims, and we would like to know if it’s possible for me (the youngest child and still living with my parents) to ultimately be the sole beneficiary to inherit the HDB flat when both of my parents pass on.
As the rest of my siblings have already gotten their own places, and I intend to live with and look after my parents whether in the current flat or my own flat (if I do decide to get one) in the future, my father wishes for me to be the next owner (not through sale) of the current flat when he passes on.
At the moment, the ownership of the flat is under both my parents names (joint tenancy), and the lease of flat has been fully paid for. We have already visited the HDB office, and that was how we were informed that my name cannot be added to the current ownership as there are no outstanding payments for the lease for me to take over.
We were also informed it is possible to have my name added to the ownership, but only through a written will.
Hi Ahmad Hakim, thanks for reaching out! Usually when the owner(s) of the HDB flat has passed and the shares of the unit would be spilt among the immediate family members accordingly. However, should there be a will involved, it would take precedence over what was mentioned earlier. Hence, if you would want to be the sole beneficiary of your parents’ unit should they pass on, it would only be possible through a written will, done by your parents. Do hope this helps!
Hi Bluenest team,
Thank you so much for replying to my inquiry.
It has given much clarity for my family.
Always happy to help and thanks for reaching to us too! 🙂