Can an HDB property owner place his or her flat in a Trust?

Does the Housing and Development Board allow the creation of trusts for minor beneficiaries? These questions are pretty common for homeowners who have children. It’s normal to want the security of doing estate planning for the future. But, information on the internet about putting HDB flats into a trust is very few. That’s why in today’s article the discussion will be about Trusts and Housing & Development Board property.

Is it Possible to Put an HDB into a Trust?

Putting a property like an HDB flat, whether it be an HDB BTO or an HDB resale, into a trust is only possible if the flat is bought as sole ownership or tenancy-in-common ownership. If the flat is purchased as a joint ownership or joint tenancy then naming a child as the HDB  property’s heir is not possible.

Let’s us Mr. A and Mrs. A bought an HDB BTO flat under the Public Scheme as joint tenants. Now, Mr. A wants to name his son as the HDB flat’s beneficiary should he die. He wouldn’t

be able to do so because by the Joint Tenancy rule, the beneficiary of the HDB flat, once Mr. A dies, is his wife Mrs. A.

Mrs. A becomes the beneficiary of the HDB flat because of the rule is known as the right of survivorship. Remember that Mr. A and Mrs. A bought the HDB BTO flat as joint tenants. Joint tenancy is governed by the rule known as the right of survivorship. This right means that when one of the owners dies, the surviving owner gets the whole property. With this said, when Mr. A dies naturally by right of survivorship Mrs. A will inherit the whole property.

Putting an HDB Flat into a Trust

One way to make things easier to transfer an HDB flat into a trust is by changing the manner of holding from joint tenancy to tenants in common. This way the HDB flat will have shares, and these shares can be placed in a Trust of a will.

Another way and the more convenient method is having both parents or parties undergo estate planning. By having both joint owners create a trust and a will that names their children as beneficiaries in the event that they both die. This naming of beneficiaries prevents the court from dictating who gets the property through the Intestate succession act. And it also protects the joint owner, normally the spouse from being kicked out of the flat, since he or she is an owner as well.

The purpose of the joint tenancy scheme of the Housing and Development Board is to prevent spouses (who are co-owners) from being kicked out of the flat by their unfilial children.

Cases of elderly parents being kicked out of the HDB flat by their children or relatives is common. Being joint tenants with right of survivorship prevents this scenario from happening.

Hire a Professional Trust Maker To Create the Trust

Before an owner decides to create a trust for their children, it is imperative that they get the approval of the Housing and Development Board first. Any trusts created without the approval of the Housing and Development Board is considered null and void.

And in order to prevent mishaps in getting the approval and creating the trust, it would be best to hire the services of a professional trust company like Rockwills. Wills and trusts are complicated things especially since they deal with assets, so caution is a must in making them. That’s why it’s better to get the services of people who have studied will making and are more than knowledgeable about the topic.


Putting a Housing & Development Board property like an HDB BTO or an HDB resale flat into a Trust is not hard if correct steps are taken in making the trust. Hiring the services of a Trust company ensures that the Trust created does not breach the regulations of the Housing and Development Board. Because, when it comes to estate planning it is best to be sure than be sorry.

Want to learn more about estate planning, wills and trusts? Grab a copy of the book “The Rockwills Guide to Succession and Trusts in Wealth Management” now! It’s filled with a lot of crucial notes about estate planning and understanding how it works.