Most people past the age of 40 would have had their will written. But with the continuation of the rise of the virus and whilst awaiting the vaccination, it is wise to re look into your legal affairs especially with regards to your will, if written more than 5 years ago. However, with conditional lock downs imposed in several states in Malaysia, the issue is whether a will can be revised online.
A will can be amended where the testator merely wishes to make minor changes. But where the testator intends to make major changes to several terms in the will, it is recommended that a new will be created instead. If the testator chooses to create a new will, the will needs to be executed in the presence of two witnesses. For an amendment to be made to a will, the amendment must be signed by the testator, and witnessed by two witnesses, who may be different from the witnesses who witnessed the execution of the will.
The law requires the witnesses to be present when the will is being executed or when amendments are being made, and with strict social distancing guidelines in place, it is challenging to finalise wills. The job of a witness cannot be done through online video conferencing platforms such as Skype, as the witness will need to attest on the physical copy of the will that the testator has the requisite mental capacity to execute the will.
There have been several creative suggestions to maintain social distancing practices while executing the will. For example, the witnesses may be present in an adjoining room, as long as they are visible to the testator. The witnessing may also take place through a window, or from a suitable distance. So long as the witness is physically present, the will may still be finalised.
Although it may be more tedious to make changes to your will in these trying times, it is not impossible and should be done to ensure that your will reflects your current wishes and the changes in your life. We have viewed with concern the situation in Malaysia under our extended MCO and have addressed our mind as to how to overcome the logistics of having a will written and properly attested and signed for it to take effect. It can be done with the correct professional supervision.
Contact us to learn more how to do the following:
• How to create or amend Wills within MCO 2.0 regulations
• Creating Wills / Legal Instruments that are in line with your full intentions