Equal rights to inheritance
Inheritance laws do not discriminate based on gender.
Right of daughters to inherit
Sunni daughters and sons from the same mother inherit equally from their mother’s estate.
Shia daughters can inherit the entire property in the absence of sons, thus excluding male agnates.
Sunni schools of law adopt the Shia practice where daughters can inherit an entire property in the absence of sons, thus excluding male agnates.
Right of orphaned grandchildren to inherit
The children of a parent who has predeceased their own parent (i.e. the children’s grandparent) can inherit from their grandparent through an obligatory bequest.
The children of a parent who has predeceased their own parent (i.e. the children’s grandparent) receive the share of inheritance from the grandparent’s estate which the predeceased parent would have received had they been alive at the time of the death of their own parent (i.e. the children’s grandparent).
Divisions of property through bequests, agreement, etc.
Bequests can be made in favour of an heir and beyond the one-third limit if other heirs agree to it.
Division of the deceased’s property can be changed in whatever manner if all heirs agree to such division.
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore has issued the following three religious rulings (fatwas) to protect the financial welfare of Muslim women and their dependants:
- The 2008 fatwa on joint tenancy recognises the surviving spouse (or co-owner) as the legal owner of a jointly held property upon the death of the other spouse (or co-owner);
- The 2010 fatwa on Central Provident Fund (CPF) nominations recognises that when Muslim CPF account holders make a nomination of their CPF savings in favour of their spouse or children upon their death, it is considered a valid gift;
- The 2012 fatwa on revocable insurance nominations allows Muslim policy holders to nominate their spouse or dependants to receive the full payout from the insurance company as a valid gift.
Procedures addressing inequities faced by women in the exercise of their inheritance rights
A court circular: (i) forbids women from renouncing their inheritance until four months after the death of the estate holder; and (ii) provides for a procedure whereby all heirs receive a detailed statement of the estate left by the deceased which is signed by all of them.