When Do You Need A Lawyer To Write A Will In Malaysia?
Under the law in Malaysia, one can choose to write his or her own will. But can you really write your own will (DIY will) if you do not have any knowledge on the estate planning law in Malaysia? When do you need a lawyer to write a will in Malaysia?
It is strongly advisable to seek for a professional estate planning lawyer when you fall into any of the following categories:
- people with large and complex estates,
- family with minor children or dependents where you have to factor in the guardian appointment and probably the set-up of a testamentary trust,
- a less straightforward manner and/or structure of distribution,
- unusual family condition or situation.
Additionally, there are a few other shortcomings of a DIY will, such as:
- Some legality might be overlooked without the advice or proofread from a professional. For example, one may not leave anything for the spouse, disabled children, unmarried daughter or son below the age of 21, and a family member falls within any of these categories can challenge the will under the Inheritance (Family Provisions) Act 1971.
- Signing a DIY will without the guidance from a professional might also lead to some error, such as a beneficiary unknowingly attests the will as one of the witnesses and in such scenario, the beneficiary is no longer entitled to benefit under the will.
- There are numerous cases where the validity of will has been challenged, mainly on the grounds like the testator lacked testamentary capacity or there were suspicious circumstances surrounding the making of the will. Writing your will with the assistance from a professional may minimize such risks as you may expect them to advise you based on your circumstances prior to having your will drafted. Additionally, a professional can also sign off as your witness (provided that he is not your beneficiary in the will) and such a person will stand a better position to prove your sound disposing mind if necessary.
- A DIY will may be outdated or even revoked by marriage. A layperson can easily overlook these circumstances without the reminder from a professional. There are a few other circumstances where you may consider rewriting your will, such as divorce, birth of a child, death of family member who is an intended beneficiary in your will and substantial change on the size of your assets.
Many have heard the importance of will writing. Similarly, writing your will with proper and professional guidance can save you from unnecessary errors or hassles. At Tam Yuen Hung & Co., we offer affordable and professional will-writing and probate-related services.
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