How to apply for Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration in Malaysia
How to apply for Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration in Malaysia?
Upon the passing of our loved one and as soon as the death certificate is extracted from the Registration Department of Births and Deaths, most of the deceased’s assets are frozen up indefinitely.
Put in other words, the deceased’s assets such as the immovable properties, the monies in the bank accounts and vehicles etc. cannot be transferred to the respective heirs until the executor or the administrator procure the “key” to unfreeze it.
The “key” in this context means either the Grant of Probate (GP) or the Letter of Administration (LA). Probate is granted when there is a valid will and a proving executor. A proving executor means that the executor nominated in the will is able, willing and has the capacity to carry out the administration of the estate.
Application of Grant of Probate (With A Valid Will)
The application for GP will be made to the High Court and the entire process will generally take about 3 to 6 months depending on the size of the estate. Once the probate is granted and extracted, the executor can collect all the deceased’s assets into his possession to first settle all the deceased’s debts and liabilities.
Upon settlement of all the debts and liabilities, the executor shall then distribute the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries named in the Will in accordance with the terms of the Will. The executor must prepare a complete account of all assets that came into his possession and keep the account after distribution for future reference.
Application of Letter of Administration (Without A Valid Will)
On the other hand, the application for LA applies when the deceased dies without a Will or when the deceased leaves behind a Will but no proving executor. This process is both lengthy and costly if compared to the application for GP. It will normally take about 6 months to 2 years +. The application for LA must be filed together with the death certificate, the particulars of the applicant, the list of assets and liabilities of the deceased, the list of beneficiaries and the existence of minor interest (if any).
Further, only applies in the case of LA, in the event the value of the estate exceeds RM50,000.00, the applicant is required to provide two sureties who have assets within the jurisdiction equivalent to the amount of the deceased’s estate (the sureties must also be residents in Malaysia) as security for the due administration of the estate, unless the court makes an order for dispensation.
Having extracted the LA, the administration of the estate can seek to transmit all the deceased’s assets to his possession to first settle all the deceased’s debts and liabilities. Upon settlement of debts of the estate, the administrator has to distribute the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries pursuant to the Distribution Act 1958. Thereafter, the administrator is required to apply to the High Court for the confirmation on the distribution. As such, a complete and detailed account of the distribution has to be prepared by the administrator.
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