Monday, October 28, 2013

You can write your own wills!

Last Saturday I attended a Wills talk seminar. For those who have stocks, properties and other asset, it would be good for me to share here regarding the Wills matter according to Malaysia's law. As a famous quote, one will never know if the dead come first or tomorrow come first. It would be good to prepare the umbrella before it rain. I have group some of the important points:

Who can write the wills? Anyone above 18 years old, as long as your will is executable and you had name a beneficiary(s) and executor (can name up to 4 executors). What happen if you don't have a Will? If one demise without a will, the asset will be frozen, your family member will need to apply for Letter of Administration (LA, a court order vesting someone with right to administer the one who die without a will) The family member would have to cope some difficulties and finally the asset will be distributed as per Distribution Act 1958 (Amendment on 1997) as per below: 

Spouse Children Parents
1 All X X
2 ½ X ½
3 X All X
4 X X All
5 One third Two third X
6 X Two third One third
7 One forth ½ One forth
8 X X X

In situation (8), the asset will distribute to the following persons as per order:
a) siblings
b) grandparents
c) uncles and aunts
d) great grandparents
e) great grand uncles and aunts
f) government
Sample Wills
It's important to write a Wills so that you can decide whom to give, be it your spouse or your friends, if not, your asset might drop to someone whom not as per your intention.
Exception: for EPF and Insurance policy, the beneficiary will always follow the "name" which nominated in EPF and Insurance policy. Meaning, no point to include this in your will.

The advantage of having a wills, if one demise, it's faster, cheaper to extract Grand of Probate than LA and you don't need a guarantor. You may choose who is the administrator of estate, instead of someone whom you don't know.

Write down list of asset, including bank's account, properties, business, stocks and other investments and place all the supporting documents in one place, the better is put in a folder. Then choose someone you trust as a Executer(s), discuss with he/ she (you may choose up to 4 person) so that they are willing to do the job.

Then write down the Beneficiary(s), it can be your spouse, children or friend. Then, find a Witness to sign on will (one or two witness), the witness CAN NOT be the beneficiary or your spouse (or beneficiary's spouse).
One can write as many wills as he wish in case he would like to change his mind, in this case, only the final version will take effect. Hence, it's good to include a clause to revoke all former wills. Last remember to sign the wills and don't leave any empty line. Any clause appear after the signature is consider invalid. Finally, keep the Will in the safe place and let your family member or beneficiary know about it.

Points to think of: Should you appoint professional to have a will writing service? If your asset is less than $10k, then Amanah Raya is find to consider if you don't want to DIY (which charge 2% of the asset). If the asset are a lot, then find a Lawyer or Will witting professional if you want to save all those problems.

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