FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a process involving the counsel of professional advisors who are familiar with your goals and concerns, your assets and how they are owned, and your family structure. It can involve the services of a variety of professionals, including your lawyer, accountant, financial planner, life insurance advisor, banker and broker.
What is a Will?
A Will is a declaration in a prescribed form of the intention of the person making it of the matters which he/she wishes to take effect after his/her death.
What would happen if I passed away without a Will?
When a person dies without making a Will, it means you have died “intestate.” His property is then known as his estate, and his children, his “issue”.
Your assets will be distributed according to the formulas set out in the Distribution Act 1958, and not according to your wishes or the needs of your family members;
The distribution process will take longer and cost more, as it requires a bond and the appointment of 2 sureties to guarantee the proper administration of the estate, as well as further court orders to effect the transfer of real property.
The court may appoint a guardian for your minor children, and the person appointed may not be your preference.
How would my property be distributed if I passed away without a Will?
As mentioned above, It will be distributed among his surviving family members according to the Distribution Act.
What to do when a loved one dies without a Will?
You need to apply Letter of Administration.
What is a Will?
A legal document in which you declare your wishes in writing for your loved ones and how to distribute your assets after you pass on. It allows you to distribute your assets, appoint guardians for your children, and even provide for a favorite charity.
What are the advantages of making a Will?
By making a Will you can choose who you wish to inherit your assets, rather than this decision being made by the laws of intestacy. You can give opportunities to others by passing on your possessions. Here are 10 of the best:-
1. Providing financial security for loved ones;
2. Making gifts of possessions and money;
3. Appointing guardians for your children;
4. Choosing your executors;
5. Avoiding inheritance disputes;
6. Creating a life interest;
7. Specifying wishes for your funeral;
8. Speed up the distribution process considerably;
9. Reduce the costs of administering your estate;
10. Express your wishes for your funeral arrangements.
What kind of assets should I put inside my Will?
Ideally, your Will should deal with all your assets, whether specifically or collectively. You may consider the following:
1. Real property: land and buildings, residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural properties;
2. Personal property: cash, bank balances, shares, transferrable memberships, vehicles, movable furniture, clothing, jewellery, books, camera equipment, computer equipment, etc.;
3. Intellectual property: copyrights, patents, designs;
4. Trust property: property which is being held by a trustee on trust for your benefit;
5. Future benefits: assets which you expect to receive in the future, including an inheritance.
Can I include foreign properties into my Will?
Yes, your Will can include both assets within Malaysia and abroad. In order to enforce your Will overseas, your executor may need to reseal the grant of probate in a court of the foreign jurisdiction. However, it is better to obtain specific legal advice for foreign real property because the law of inheritance varies from country to country. In certain circumstances, it may be advisable to write another Will dealing specifically with your foreign property.