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What Happens to the HDB flat After Owner Passes Away?

Posted by Team SGHomez on April 12, 2019
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  • 5 min read by Team SGHomez

Property ownership has become a popular trend in Singapore. Often, we have witnessed descendants resulting into physical fights over properties they have inherited after registered owners have passed on. Others will seek a legal settlement in courts.

In this article, we feature answers to the commonly asked questions.

Q: In the Case of Co-Owners Death, what happens to the HDB Flat?

A: Most HDB flats in Singapore are bought under joint ownership schemes registered by couples who own equivalent shares. In case, a partner passes away; the surviving partner takes the sole ownership if she/he fulfils all the eligibility conditions.

However, under some circumstances, the HDB flats get registered as joint ownership between a child and a parent. In case of the unfortunate demise of one of the partners (Child or Parent), the survivor owns the flat. To be eligible, the successor should be citizens or registered as permanent residents in Singapore. Moreover, they need to be aged 21 years or plus and comply with the HDB current eligibility regulations to be allowed to take up the duly ownership of the flat. (Click for more details).

If the HDB flat is bought under the tenancy-in-common schemes. For example, two individual coming together and purchasing a flat with contributions of 40-60 percent, the deceased person’s share will be split according to whether he/she left a will, or by the Intestate Succession Act

Q: What is the Procedure for Inheritance and Transfer of HDB Flat Ownership?

A: For the family of the deceased,  as long as the eligibility conditions are met – the ownership of the property can be retained . If the deceased had written a will; it is advisable that the surviving family members seek guidance from a lawyer who is familiar in grant of probate. In turn, the executor is able to manage the flat accordingly to the deceased’s will.

Q: Our Family HDB Flat is currently occupied by my mum who lives with my unmarried Sibling. My Wife and I are the Co-Owners of the Flat. What happens to the HDB when my mum passes on?

A: The matter will be subject to your mother’s left will. The Intestate Succession Act will take up the issue and split it accordingly in case there was no will left by your mother.

In some instances, the parents transfer the ownership of an HDB flat to a child who is not married, which means that the other siblings a smaller share. Another scenario,  if the child already owns another property; the child must decide to choose either one to keep and sell the another one. This is because the HDB does not allow ownership of two HDB flats

In some rare cases where the mother has passed away but did not leave a will. Other siblings might insist to sell the flat and split the profits even it mean leaving the unmarried sibling homeless. And since the unmarried sibling is not the legal owner of the flat, there is nothing he or she can do about it.

Q: Dad Divorced my Mum and Married a Foreigner. In the case of Death, Does the Flat Go to the New Wife or Will the Children be Entitles to Anything?

A: The court will act accordingly to the father’s will. If the flat is included in the will to be given to the new wife, though as a foreigner is not entitled to own a HDB flat. However, she will get the proceeds after it has been sold. If there is no will, the flat will be subjected to the Intestate Succession Act. The children and half-siblings (if any)- in the case if your father has children with the new wife. will inherit half of the flat.

For any enquires of HDB resale flat, you may consider consult a probate real estate agent who has handled many similar cases in Singapore.


*Disclaimer – above article is served as a reference to common asked questions. It is advisable to check with Housing Development Board (HDB) in regard to your case.

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