Muslim Probate – Family Lawyer


Muslim Probate (With or Without Wills) and the Process

In the Muslim Probate process, a deceased who died domiciled in Singapore and is a Muslim, the personal representative of the Deceased must make an application at the Family Justice Courts to obtain the Grant of Probate and the Letter of Administration. 

The Syariah Court in Singapore does not deal with applications for the Grant of Probate and Letters of Administration. 

Does the Intestate of Succession Act apply to the Estate of a Deceased Muslim?

The Intestate of Succession Act does not apply to the Estate of a Deceased Muslim if he or she dies without leaving behind a Will. 

In Singapore, the Administration of Muslim Law Act applies to the Estate of a Deceased Muslim. The distribution of the Deceased’s Estate will be according to the Syariah Law of ‘Faraid’ where the Deceased dies with or without a Will left behind prior to death. 

The faraid law determines who will be the beneficiary (spouse, parents, children, siblings, aunties/uncles etc.) under the Deceased’s Estate and the number of shares each beneficiary is entitled to from the Deceased’s Estate. 

Does the Intestate of Succession Act apply to the Estate of a Deceased Muslim? How do I know who are the beneficiaries of the Deceased Muslim’s Estate?

The Syariah Court issues the Inheritance Certificate which contains information of the beneficiaries entitled to the Deceased’s Estate under the Syariah Law of Faraid and, the proportions each beneficiary can take from the Deceased’s Estate. 

Please visit the Syariah Court’s website at to make your application for the Inheritance Certificate.

The Inheritance Certificate provides guidance to executors under a Will and administrators on the correct division of the assets of the Deceased according to the Syariah law. 

The Family Justice Courts requires the Inheritance Certificate to be filed when making applications for the Grant of Probate and Letters of Administration. Hence, you will have to obtain the Inheritance Certificate from the Syariah Court first before making an application to the Family Justice Courts for the Grant of Probate and Letters of Administration. 

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Which court will hear my case if I want to dispute on the particulars of the beneficiaries in the Inheritance Certificate?

The civil courts will hear the case if you want to make a claim that the beneficiaries stated in the Inheritance Certificate issued by the Syariah Court is incorrect. 

Who is entitled to the Deceased’s Estate if he or she dies with no faraid beneficiaries?

If the Deceased passes away with no living spouse, children, parents, siblings and other relatives, the Deceased’s Estate will go to Baitumal

Baitumal is basically an organisation that acts as a trustee for the Muslims. In Singapore, the Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (‘MUIS’) is ‘baitumal’ and MUIS will receive the whole of the Deceased’s Estate if he or she has no living relatives. 

What you should do when a Muslim pass away?

If the Deceased passes away and left behind a Will and he or she is a Muslim, before filing for the application for the Grant of Probate at the Family Justice Court:

For example, if the Deceased has stated in the Will that he or she wishes for the whole Estate to be distributed equally to all faraid beneficiaries, all the beneficiaries must agree to this. If any of the beneficiary disagrees, the Will becomes invalid. The Estate will then be distributed to the faraid beneficiaries according to the number of shares they are entitled to under the faraid law. You must then apply for the Letters of Administration as the Will is invalid. 

If the Deceased passes away with no Will left behind, before filing for the Letters of Administration:

You will need at least 2 administrators if there is a beneficiary below 21 years old. You can have a maximum of 4 administrator for one Estate. A bankrupt cannot be an administrator unless leave is obtained from the court. 

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The Syariah Law on the distribution of the Estate of a Deceased Muslim can be complicated as there may be a situation where the civil law on inheritance conflicts with the Muslim Law on inheritance. Therefore, it is important to seek proper legal advice before drafting a Will or before taking any steps in dealing with the Estate of a Muslim.

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Mohammad Rizuan

Rizuan has a practice that deals in a wide area of practice including but not limited to Civil and Criminal Litigation, Family Litigation and Syariah Divorces.

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