Anybody with assets and loved ones ought to have a Will. But why are there still many Malaysian who do not have their Wills written? According to the Star Online, there are a staggering RM60 billion worth of estates unclaimed as at early Feb 2016. Today, I believe this figure is even more substantial, surpassing RM 60 Billion as I write.
If you haven’t written a will, it’s about time for you do so. Here’s why:
#1. Save money!
Without a written Will, the deceased is considered to have died intestate. In this situation, his heirs need to apply for the Letter of Administration (LA) instead of Grant of Probate (GP). The legal fee is higher for the application of LA because LA requires more documentations. Besides, it takes more time to get a LA.
#2. Your wish vs Government’s wish
In Your Will, you can state:
– Who should get your assets?
– How much your wife and children should be receiving?
– Should you leave some ‘souvenirs’ to your siblings, parents or members of your extended family?
If you have the same thinking of the government, just follow the Distribution Act 1958 (amended 1997). It is because, for those who died intestate, the law has a standard distribution schedule. Your wife, parents, and kids will each get their portion where the proportion is fixed by the government.
#3. Executor vs Administrator
You can appoint an executor in your will. If none is appointed, others can apply to be the Administrator of your estates. Those who are eligible would include your legal heirs, your creditors, your not-so trustworthy or ‘just plain evil’ relatives.
#4. Appoint Guardian
Yes! If you have children whose age are below 18 (minor), you’ve got to write your will now! There is no other way to appoint a legal guardian except by writing a Will.
#5. No need two sureties
Two sureties (someone act as a guarantor to your estate administration) is necessary for the application of LA. Imagine if your best friend passed away without leaving a will. His son asks you to be one of the sureties required by the court. You will have to disclose all your assets to prove that you have more than the deceased estates. If his son runs away with the estate money, you will need to compensate the legal heirs with your asset. Do you want to sign the paper? (It’s complicated)
Before I forget, may I ask, ‘Did you keep your Will in a bank’s safe deposit box?’ If so, here’s a problem of that. Your heirs will have no way to retrieve it because it is against the law for the banker to grant them access to your deposit box if they couldn’t provide any legal proof of the administration of your estate.
Have you got your Will signed in front of two witnesses? Got questions? Post it in the comment section.