Legal Property Advice – Chances of Getting a Share of Property Proceeds after Divorce

Sunday Times is a weekly must read for me, especially with the columns that touches mostly on legal issues on real estate.

This week they’re covering issues with regards to divorce and how the judgement would be like when it comes to handling a property’s proceedings.

I am married, without any kids. My husband and I live in a condominium. His mother is a joint owner. He is paying for the home solely by himself, including the monthly housing loan and all other bills, while I am paying the monthly maintenance and conservancy fee of $300.

In the event of a divorce, do I have a chance of fighting for an equal share from the proceeds of the condominium?
A Normally a legal owner would have beneficial interest in the property. The beneficial interest acquired by the mother will be in proportion to her financial contribution. However, if the property was bought without any financial contribution from her, then it is arguable that she has no beneficial interest in the property.

An answer from Lie Chin Chin, Managing Director of Characterist LLC.

Upon a divorce, the court can order the division of the sale proceeds attributed to the share in the condominium that is the matrimonial asset.

For example, if the mother has a 30 per cent share, then only 70 per cent share in the condominium can be available for division between you and your husband.

The division will be in such proportions as the court thinks just and equitable, considering several factors such as length of marriage, and the parties’ direct and indirect financial contribution towards acquisition of the matrimonial property.

Indirect contributions could include efforts to enhance the welfare of the family, looking after the home or caring for the family or any aged or dependant of either party. The facts that you have no children and that your husband’s financial contribution is significantly more than yours are not factors in your favour.

Your contribution to the maintenance of the condominium is a factor in your favour. However, to have a higher chance of getting 50per cent of the matrimonial asset, you need to show there were extensive indirect contributions on your part.

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?

Continue reading “Singapore Estate Law – Can You Will Your HDB to Siblings?”

Singapore Estate Law – Can Foreigners Inherit Landed Property?

Sunday Times is always the best source for uncommon Singapore Real Estate laws. Here’s the snippet and answer:-

My boss is a Singaporean but she lives in Malaysia as she’s married to a Malaysian. She has a few landed properties in Singapore. In the event of her death, can her children and/or husband legally own the properties if willed, as they are not Singapore citizens or permanent residents (PRs)?

Professional answer coming from KhattarWong Partners, Lim Choi Ming,

In general, only Singaporeans are allowed to own land and landed properties in Singapore.

The following descriptions of land/landed property in Singapore are classified as restricted residential property:

  1. Vacant residential land;
  2. Landed property (that is, detached house, semi-detached house, terrace house including linked house or townhouse); and
  3. Landed property in strata developments which are not approved condominium developments under the Planning Act.

Foreigners and PRs are allowed to own restricted residential properties only if they have obtained the prior approval of the Land Dealings Approval Unit (LDAU).

Your boss may will her landed property to her husband and/or children even if they are not PRs or Singaporeans. However, upon her death, a foreign beneficiary will have to obtain LDAU approval before he is eligible to legally own such landed property.

If the foreign beneficiary is not granted approval to acquire the landed property, the trustee of the estate of the deceased person will have to sell the foreign beneficiary’s share in the landed property within 10 years of the date of death of the deceased person.

If, for some reason, the trustee is unable to sell the property within the 10-year time limit, he will have to apply to LDAU for a time extension.

So if you have a landed property being passed down to you if you are a foreigner, you would have to dispose it should you decide not to reside in Singapore unless you have very special reasons that you could write to LDAU to allow you to own the house and at the same time reside in your home country.

At the very least, you could still wait and dispose your property at the right time since there’s no restriction on when you have to dispose the landed property within the 10 years timeframe.