Singapore Estate Law – Can You Will Your HDB to Siblings?

Here’s another interesting snippet from Sunday Times. Agent friends should flip up Sunday Times and look out for the Invest Section – Your Personal Adviser: Finance



I would like to know if I can make a will and name my siblings as beneficiaries so they can inherit my HDB flat when I die. I am single and registered as the sole owner of the flat. Two of my siblings already have their own HDB flats, while another has a private property.

If it is not possible to will the flat to them, what will happen to the property after my death? Would HDB buy back the flat and then distribute the funds to my estate, and would it pay the original price or the market rate?

Professional Answer from Amolat Singh, Amolat & Partners:

Any person is free to dispose of his property by way of a will, unless other laws apply that might restrict this freedom. Such laws would include HDB’s rules and regulations governing the eligibility of ownership.

In order to inherit the flat, your siblings would have to satisfy HDB rules and regulations prevailing at the time of your death.

An express trust is one way of allowing your beneficiaries to retain a property after your death. However, such trusts are specifically prohibited under the HDB Act, so you will not be able to create one for your HDB flat.

It would be a prudent move for you to set out in your will how sale proceeds from your flat should be divided among your siblings.

The executor and trustee of your will would step into your shoes upon your death and sell the flat at the best possible market price, as well as attend to all other legal formalities, such as executing the necessary documents upon sale. Trustees have a legal duty and obligation to distribute the sale proceeds in the manner dictated by you and set out in your will.

You won’t be able to will your HDB to your siblings should they not satisfy the criteria list of HDB (you could still if they do).

But should anything unfortunate happen to you and if you would have a executor and trustee appointed, they could sell and distribute the sales proceed dictated by your will.

Written by Benson Koh
Benson is a professional real estate realtor with over 11 years of experience specializing in all forms of real estate consultancy and brokeraging of different segments from regal homes to commercial spaces. Also a boutique developer, he manages both SRI5000 Developments which concentrates on landed homes as part of his land bank segment and Singapore Realtors Inc (SRI), a real estate agency which has over 7 years of group experience. You can reach him here via various channels. [ Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | RSS Feed ]