Lawhub LLC

The Power of Decoupling
In Singapore!

Delegate with Confidence!

POA, Your Way.
Unlocking Real Estate Opportunities.

What Does It Mean?

In Singapore, decoupling is a strategy utilized in the real estate industry where married couples transfer property ownership from one individual to another. This is done to help the recipient of the property be considered a first-time buyer and avoid paying the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) when they purchase another property. ABSD is a tax imposed on Singaporean citizens and Permanent Residents when they buy a second or subsequent residential property. Married couples can save on ABSD costs and maximize their real estate investments by decoupling.
A Simplified 4-Step Process
Our Seamless & Personalised Process

Consult With a Lawyer

Transfer Ownership

Claim ABSD Refund (if applicable)

Plan For Future

What Is Power Of Attorney(POA)?

In Singapore, a power of attorney is a legally binding document that allows an individual, referred to as the “donor” or “principal,” to delegate the authority to act on their behalf to another person, known as the “donee” or “attorney.” A POA can be drafted for a specific purpose, or it can be more general in nature.

Most commonly used POA is the one for HDB flat and property transactions, which allows an agent to buy, sell, lease or sign agreements related to the property on behalf of the donor who is unable to be present or needs assistance. In addition, a POA can also serve the purpose of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), enabling the agent to act on the principal’s behalf in the case of mental incapacity.

A Simplified 4-Step Process
General POA
Specific POA
Lasting POA
POA for HDB flat & property
A Simplified 4-Step Process

Why Do You Need It?

How Do We Help?​

We provide you with expert decoupling services in Singapore for smooth and hassle-free transfer of property ownership between couples. Our experienced decoupling lawyers in Singapore assess your eligibility, prepare legal documents, liaise with relevant authorities and provide legal advice and support. We ensure compliance with local laws and regulations while delivering affordable, efficient, and client-focused services.

Service Inclusions

Our real estate lawyers can provide services that include:

Legal guidance & Advice: Provide guidance on the legal process of decoupling, explaining the different types of co-owning a real estate property in Singapore, and the costs and risks associated with it.

Draft legal documents: Help draft legal documents such as Sale and Purchase agreements, Tenancy-in-Common agreements, and Joint Tenancy agreements that are required for the transfer of property ownership.

Ensure compliance with regulations: Ensure that the decoupling process is in compliance with regulations and legal requirements, such as the Additional Buyers' Stamp Duty (ABSD) rules, which vary depending on the property type, and financing arrangements.

Assist in dispute resolution: Assist in dispute resolution if any issues arise during the decoupling process. This can include disputes over the value of the property, outstanding debts, and other legal issues.

Offer post-decoupling services: Offer post-decoupling services, such as updating property ownership records, handling tax filings, and dealing with any legal issues that may arise after the decoupling process is complete.

Property Succession Planning: Help with property succession planning, which is important especially if the owners choose to hold their property in grossly unequal shares or even in equal shares.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1 What is decoupling in property ownership?
Decoupling is a process where joint homeowners can transfer their property ownership in such a way that one co-owner transfers his/her share to the other, relinquishing his/her ownership completely. After this, the owner who transferred his/her share will be treated as a first-timer, as if he/she has not bought or owned a property before.
Q.2 How can decoupling help in buying a second property in Singapore?
Decoupling can help in buying a second property in Singapore by allowing the owner who transferred his/her share to be treated as a first-timer, which means he/she can buy a second property without incurring any Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD). ABSD is a hefty property tax that is payable by those buying a second property, and the rate varies for Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and foreigners.
Q.3 Is decoupling suitable for everyone?
Decoupling is not suitable for everyone, and HDB flat owners have not been allowed to transfer their ownership to a family member since 2016. In most scenarios, decoupling will only be possible for private properties.
Q.4 How can private homeowners practice decoupling their property ownership?
Private homeowners can practice decoupling their property ownership in two ways: transfer by way of sale (part purchase) and through a transfer as a gift. The process involves one party legally buying all the remaining shares of the property from his/her spouse, and all the terms of the contract would need to be spelt out in the sale and purchase (S&P) agreement, usually drafted by a lawyer or conveyancer. After this, the buyer would have to pay the seller for his/her rights to the property, as stated in the S&P agreement, and the Buyer Stamp Duty (BSD) to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

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