Part 1: Taboo Or No Longer? A Discussion On Death

“It is the modern individual, not modern society, that denies death” – Tony Walter

What must you prepare?


Although contemporary society is far more prepared to discuss death compared to the older generation, the topic of death has always been deemed to be inappropriate for conversations at the dinner table. But there will be a point in our life where we’re finally ready to plan our legacy, especially when our mortality is at stake during a worldwide pandemic, then the common question is  – how do I prepare for the inevitable?

Getting your affairs in order should not be treated as inviting death to knock on your door, but rather, should be seen as a responsible act as it would mean you are well-prepared for it when it happens. Having a valid and enforceable will is a significant step in the process that should never be left out, but it might be surprising to discover that there are plenty of other tasks that need to be completed other than the distribution of your worldly assets. In this regard, a checklist would be of great help in ensuring that nothing is left out. We use lists to organise all the details in our lives – to-do lists, grocery checklists, wish lists – and why should preparing for the inevitable be any different? Your list should include extensive details of your assets within your current country of residence as well as your country of origin, if applicable.

With regards to immoveable property, the necessary details would be the address, whether there is an outstanding bank loan taken out for the property, the details of the bank loan, whether the separate individual title has been issued for a property within a development sharing common facilities (i.e. condominiums, office buildings), and where your executors or beneficiaries would be able to locate the copies of the grant of title to your properties. Without a checklist in place, there is a possibility of your beneficiaries missing out on properties that you may have acquired without their knowledge which were not updated in your will. It is unfortunately a common occurrence amongst many testators, particularly those who have purchased properties via cash and there is no assignment with the bank for the properties to be traceable.

Your financial banking details should include all the banks that you have an account with, the bank account numbers, where your chequebook for the bank account is kept (if any), details and locations of the bank cards linked to the bank accounts, as well as the details of credit cards that you own. For expatriates currently residing in Malaysia on a “Malaysia My Second Home” visa, the bank account that is holding bond monies should also be identified.

Your personal effects should also be given due attention whilst compiling your checklist. For instance, if you have three high-end watches and four children, which of the four are to be the recipients of the three watches? The same problem may arise amongst mothers who have three family heirlooms to pass down, and four children to pass them down to. If you are the proud owner of valuable antiques or artwork that are worth a considerable amount of money, their valuations and insurance policies are important details that should not be absent from your checklist. It would be at the detriment of everyone if an unknowing executor sold these collections for a sum far lower than its actual value merely because he had no idea of its actual worth.

Here at Heritance Wills, your consultation with us starts with these details. With our comprehensive checklist that includes the finer details that may not have occurred to you but are assuredly significant and necessary regardless, you can be assured  knowing that your affairs are all in good order and well sorted out.  Your loved ones’ will be saved a whole lot of unnecessary legal or practical problems to tackle.

Get in touch today for a complimentary consultation to: 

  • organise your legal affairs with the right advice and plan;  and
  • minimise headache for your family in your estate execution  
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About the author

Ms. Kim Khoo

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