Part 3: Taboo Or No Longer? A Discussion On Death

“I believe that life ends with death, and that is all.” – Tony Harrison, ‘Long Distance II’

 

THE ESTATE EXECUTION

There are three unavoidable things that a person has to go through after the death of a loved one: the grief, the funeral, and the administration of your loved one’s estate. Who to call, what to do, where to go – here are answers to oft-asked questions that may be of help while dealing with your loss.

When it comes to the belongings left behind by the deceased, everyone has different responses. Be it safely storing them away, donating them to charity, or throwing them away – these are all normal coping mechanisms for grief. However, before you proceed to do any of the above, you should firstly look for the will left behind by the deceased. Wills are often stored together with the testator’s other important documents, filing cabinet or in a safe at home.  If however, you are frequently travelling overseas, then the preferred, if not highly encouraged custody should be with a professional such as our WILLSAFE™ storage services.  It is common for original wills not to be found after a death, thus preventing execution of the estate. Based on such undesirable incidences is our storage services founded on.  Sometimes, even when the original will is available, the condition of the hardcopy is not acceptable by the court; resulting in a situation of unintended intestacy.

Wills, as we know it, are documents containing the intentions and wishes of the testator with regards to the distribution of his earthly belongings. Generally, the testator would list down the items to be distributed, and the intended beneficiaries they are to be distributed to. Sometimes, sentimentality makes an appearance in the will as the testator bequeaths certain items to specific beneficiaries, such as family heirlooms, valuable pieces of art, or even simple items that carry their weight in the memories they hold. The testator’s belongings should be dealt with in accordance with his will, not only because there could be complications in disposing of them without having regard to the testator’s last wishes, but also because it would be the final act of respect and love you could carry out for the testator.

After the will of the testator is available, the services of a solicitor need to be engaged to assist in applying to the courts for a grant of probate. We have affiliated solicitors partnering with us to execute on a deceased estate.  As your Will writer, we relieve the surviving spouse and beneficiaries of the task of engaging and instructing the solicitors.  If there are no disputes as to the validity of the will, the executor named in the will would be able to proceed with the administration of the estate upon obtaining the grant of probate, according to Section 3 of the Malaysian Probate and Administration Act 1959. In the event the testator did not leave behind a will, the solicitor would assist you in applying for a Letter of Administration from the courts, as per Section 30 of the Malaysian Probate and Administration Act 1959.

The difference between both applications would be that where only the named executors may apply for a grant of probate, any person interested in the estate (such as the next of kin or a creditor) may apply to be an administrator for an intestate estate. Furthermore, the distribution of a testate estate would be in accordance with the testator’s instructions contained in his will, whereas an intestate estate would be distributed according to the provisions of the Distribution Act 1958 of Malaysia.

The process of handling and subsequently disposing of a loved one’s estate may seem daunting, but with the assistance of experienced professionals it would not be as dreadful a task as it may seem.  Let us do the difficult tedious task of instructing and working alongside the solicitor to execute your estate; it will surely be appreciated by loved ones.

 

Get in touch today for a complimentary consultation to: 

  • plan for a smooth estate execution & distribution of assets; and
  • save legal costs which will drain your estate value 

 

Email: [email protected]

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About the author

Ms. Kim Khoo

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