3. If the value of the deceased’s estate does not exceed $50,000, will the application procedure be different?
- With effect from 1 st April 2007 , under the delegated authority from the Secretary for Home Affairs, the Director of Home Affairs takes over from the Commissioner of Inland Revenue the provision of various services for estate beneficiaries through the establishment of an "Estate Beneficiaries Support Unit".
- If the value of the estate does not exceed $50,000 and the estate consisted wholly of cash, the person who intends to apply for the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration ("the Applicant") can file an application form (HAEU5) and an affirmation/affidavit with the Home Affairs Department . This affirmation must declare that the total value of the estate of the deceased does not exceed $50,000 and the estate is wholly made up of money, and be filed together with a schedule in duplicate setting out the details of the estate. Details of the application procedure can be viewed from the website of the Home Affairs Department (Estate Beneficiaries Support Services).
- If the affirmation/affidavit is in order, the Secretary for Home Affairs will issue a confirmation notice exhibiting a duplicate of the schedule of assets of the estate. The Applicant or other third parties dealing with the estate would then be exempt from the relevant statutory restrictions concerning the intermeddling of the estate (handle the estate without permission).
- If the banks agree to release the balance in the accounts to the Applicant upon issuance of the confirmation notice, it will not be necessary for the Applicant to proceed further with an application to the Probate Registry either for summary administration or for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration. Please note that the banks have the discretion to decide whether to release the balance in the bank accounts stated in the schedule annexed to the confirmation notice.
- If more assets are found later resulting in the value of the estate exceeding $50,000, the Applicant should apply for summary administration or a Grant of Probate/ Letters of Administration (as the case may be).