Is it time to refresh your will?

Life and milestones happen with the blink of an eye. Perhaps you got married, bought a new house, moved to a new city. If you had previously drawn up a will, it is likely that your old will would not reflect the changes in your life. It would be prudent to look into revising your will to ensure that it is not outdated, or even draw up a new will.

A will drawn up before your marriage is automatically revoked upon your marriage. Your earlier beneficiaries when you were single would most likely be your parents, siblings or even good friends. But now you would have to amend your will to add your spouse. It would be advisable to draw up a new will instead of amending the old will to avoid future complications. On the other hand, a divorce does not affect the validity of a will. A new will is required if you do not wish to have your former spouse as your beneficiary.  

Do you need to constantly revise your will every time you acquire new assets? If your will has a residuary clause, which covers all your assets that are not expressly listed in your will, there is no need for amendments. However, if your will does not have a residuary clause, your estate becomes partially intestate. The assets that you had later acquired may not be distributed according to your wishes. Even if there is a residuary clause, you may want a particular asset to be distributed to your preferred beneficiary, and not the residuary beneficiaries. To prevent these from happening, you should draw up a new will to clarify the distribution of all your assets.

If you have assets in Malaysia as well as overseas, you may make provisions for all your assets in your will, but it is recommended that you draw up a separate will with regards to your immovable property overseas. This is due to the fact that the distribution of immovable property follows the law in the foreign country. If you have a foreign will, it would be recognised by the Malaysian courts under s52 of the Probate and Administration Act 1959, but only with regards to your moveable assets in Malaysia.

As you constantly experience changes in your life, keep in mind that you should update your will accordingly to ensure that your will reflects your intentions at all times.

To learn more on :

  • How to make provisions for your assets in Malaysia and overseas
  • Creating Wills / Legal Instruments that are up-to-date with your intentions
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About the author

Ms. Kim Khoo

P.J.K, C.L.P., LL.B (Hons) London
Principal Legal Consultant