Why And When Do You Need To Write A Will In Malaysia
Why and when do you need to write a will in Malaysia?
Why do you need to write a will in Malaysia
Everyone should have a will. A properly drafted will is essential for your estate planning and it offers you and your loved ones a peace of mind that your assets will be properly distributed and taken care of after your death.
1. Distribution and appointment according to your will and choice
Having a will gives you a comfort of knowing that your estate will be distributed and managed according to your wishes when you pass away. If you die without leaving a will, your property will be distributed according to the Distribution Act 1958, and this more often than not will lead to dispute over your estate distribution. Besides that, with a will, you can choose the person you trusted to become your executor. Appointing a reliable and impartial executor is just as important as writing a will, as he will then oversee the processes of distributing your assets in line with your wishes. Also, it is highly advisable for parents of young children to make a will, as it allows you to appoint a trustworthy person to be your children’s guardian. If there is no will in place, that decision will be left to the court.
2. Time and cost factors
Where there is a valid will and a proving executor, probate may be granted to the executor appointed in the will, and it generally takes about 3 to 6 months for the executor to obtain a grant of probate to administer the estate. On the other hand, if the deceased dies without a Will, the application for letter of administration will be lengthy and costly compared to the former, and it normally takes about 6 months to 5 years (or even longer depending on the complexity and size of the estate). The value of your assets (for example, if you possess stock holdings) might depreciate by the time the letter of administration is granted. Worse still, your next-of-kin or loved ones will have to go through all the hassles and lengthy legal processes during a stressful and emotionally difficult time.
3. Administration bond
With a will, the application for the grant of probate has the advantage over the grant of administration in that the application is exempted from the requirement of furnishing an administration bond. The administration bond is a form of security for the due administration of the estate, where there must be two sureties (guarantors) who have assets within Malaysia equivalent to the amount of the deceased’s estate (without deduction of any debts due by the deceased). Obviously, this is not an easy requirement to be fulfilled especially when the estate left behind is enormous. Although the court may, for sufficient reason, decrease or dispense with this requirement, an application for such dispensation will result in further delay or longer period to get the letter of administration from court.
4. Foreigners with immovable property(ies) in Malaysia
It is advisable for foreigners who own immovable property(ies) in Malaysia to write a will in Malaysia because the law of the place where the immovable property(ies) are situated will apply. Having a will in Malaysia will ensure that those immovable property(ies) in Malaysia will be distributed in accordance with his intention after his demise.
When to write a will in Malaysia
Earlier is always better to have your will drafted. As long as you have attained the age of majority (ie 18 years old), a non-Muslim and possessing testamentary capacity (ie with sound mind, healthy and understand the nature of a will and its effect), you are always welcome to contact our probate lawyer on how to write your will in Malaysia.
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