Protect Your Estate
Once executed, your Will is valid until it is replaced by a new Will, revoked in writing or destroyed intentionally. Your Will is automatically be revoked if you marry or remarry, or convert to Islam.
Your Will is automatically revoked upon your marriage or remarriage. An exception is where your Will expressly provides for an expected marriage in a ‘contemplation of marriage’ clause. A divorce does not affect the validity of a Will. A new Will is necessary in such circumstances.
You can appoint any adult (18 years or older) to act as your executor. You can appoint between 1 to 4 executors to jointly administer your estate. You may also name persons to step into the shoes of your appointed executor(s) in the event any of them predecease you or renounce their executorship. Alternatively, you can appoint a trust company to act as your executor. The decision on whether to appoint a friend or relative or a trust company will depend on the size and nature of your estate as well as the complexity of your Will and testamentary trust.
Yes, your executor may also be a beneficiary to your estate. In fact, if you are leaving everything to your spouse or adult children who are capable of managing their finances, it is a natural choice to appoint them as your executor(s).
The role of your executor is to ensure that your wishes in your Will are fulfilled. This will involve your executor
1. Locating your Will
2. Applying to court for a grant of probate
3. Calling in your assets
4. Paying off your liabilities
5. Distributing your assets according to your Will
6. Preparing a statement of account.
Generally, yes. Your executor may apply to the High Court to reseal the grant of probate in Malaysia. Thereafter, your executor may deal with and distribute your assets in Malaysia according to your Will.
Your Will should include a residuary clause which deals with the distribution of all your assets which are not specifically covered by any other clause in your Will. If you want to specifically deal with a new acquisition in your Will, you will either have to execute a new Will or a codicil.
A Will may be contested on the grounds that the contents have been altered, that your signature is forged, or that the execution was not properly witnessed. It may also be alleged that you were of unsound mind or under undue influence at the time you made your Will. Ambiguity or important omissions in your Will encourages dispute. If your intention is to exclude your spouse or any one of your children from your Will, it is advisable to do so expressly. Giving a justifiable reason for the exclusion will reduce the chances of a successful contest. If you are making your will under circumstances where the soundness of your mind may later be called into question, it is advisable to have your doctor examine you and certify that you still of sound mind. If there is a challenge, your doctor may be required to testify accordingly.
No, your Will does not need to be stamped to be effective.
Not everyone can be a witness to a Will. Here are the basic rules:
1. Adults - Each witness must be a legal adult, which usually means 18 or over.
2.Beneficiaries and their spouse under the Will can not be the witness If a beneficiary does serve as a witness, the Will’s gift to that person could be declared void by a court. The rest of the Will would remain in effect.