Can I give my HDB away to my beneficiaries in my Will?

Typically when you purchase a property (including HDB and private properties) in Singapore, you choose between sole ownership (only you own the property), joint tenancy (both you and the other owner(s) owns the property) and tenancy-in-common (both you and the other owner(s) own a stipulated share of the property).

For joint tenancy, right of survivorship applies meaning if whoever dies earlier, the other joint owner(s) will inherit the share of it. You can still give it away in your Will PROVIDED that you subsequently own the entire property (e.g. through inheriting it when you outlive the other joint owners).

In the case of sole ownership, yes you can, and for tenancy-in-common, you can give away your share of the HDB.

HOWEVER, giving it away doesn't automatically translate to your beneficiary able to KEEP the HDB. The proposed owners (both remaining and incoming) and occupiers staying in the flat must be able to take over ownership of the flat under one of the existing eligibility schemes. In the case where the beneficiary is not eligible to hold, they will have to sell their share to someone else. HDB typically does not coordinate the sale. The beneficiary can also try to appeal to HDB to keep the property with approval on a case-by-case basis.

This is one of the many intricacies that might not be so obvious at the first glance, which is why we always encourage people to speak with a Certified Estate Planner, who looks deeper into such issues rather than just a simple touch and go at the surface when it comes to Estate Planning.

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