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Own A Joint Property? New Ruling Means Right of Survivorship May Not Always Apply: The Straits Times

Say you own a property under joint tenancy with another person. If you pass away, generally speaking, the right of survivorship will apply, it supersedes your will and your share in the house will be passed on to the surviving joint tenant. However, after a recent Singapore Court ruling, this may not always be the case, The Straits Times reports.

  • Court case involves a man who owns a 3-room HDB flat with one of his daughter as a joint tenant.

  • Man, a "traditional patriarch", said in his will that the flat will go to his only son. Man has 7 daughters and 1 son.

  • The High Court ruled that the daughter, who was a joint owner, would inherit the flat

  • But the Court of Appeal overturned the decision as there was sufficient evidence to show that the man didn’t intend for the flat to go to this daughter.

  • The court noted that a surviving joint owner of a property does not have an automatic right to inherit the property if this is clearly not the intention of the other owner. This is especially so if the surviving joint owner did not pay anything for the share in the property.

  • The Court ordered the daughter to sell the flat and be accountable to her father's estate for all income and losses relating to the property. She also had to pay the legal costs of $40,000 incurred by the family.


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