Distribution of Estate – Taking Control or Being Controlled?

ARC News   •   June 22, 2020

As of 22 June 2020, Covid-19 has taken a total of 468,061 lives worldwide and the figure is increasing day by day. In Malaysia alone, 121 individuals succumbed to death due to Covid-19. The benefits of having a valid will in placed are well recognised by many individuals but when it comes to producing a will, the effort is often at the lower priority thinking there will be a better time to do so.  Think again – is this true? Can we predict when we will be summoned to return to the Creator? What will happen to our loved ones if we leave without a proper estate planning?

 

Generally, a will allows a testator to have full control of the list of beneficiaries and how the estate is to be distributed upon the death of the testator. In addition, the testator may also choose his/her trusted friend or relative to act as the executor / executrix of the estate.

 

In contrast, the process of distribution of estate may be complicated and lengthy if a person dies without leaving a will (i.e. die intestate). In this event, the distribution of estate will be made in accordance to the Distribution Act 1958. Not only the process may take up to 2 to 5 years to resolve depending on the complexity for the matter to be finalised, but the bigger concern is this person will have no control over this matter to protect his/her loved ones.

 

The distribution of estate as provided for under the Distribution Act 1958 are as set forth below:

Surviving Family Members

Spouse Issue Parents

Spouse Only

1/1

Issue Only

1/1

Parents Only

1/1

Spouse and Issue

1/3

2/3

Parents and Issue 2/3

1/3

Spouse and Parents 1/2

1/2

Spouse, Issue and Parents

1/4

1/2

1/4

 

Should you wish to have the control over your estate distribution, will writing is the best solution moving forward. So why wait any longer – Life is unpredictable, you never know what will happen the next second. The pain of someone dear to us losing us is beyond words. If there is one last thing we can do to lessen their pain before we return to our Creator, would you want to do it yourself or let some stranger decide for you?

 

 

This Article is co-written by Yeo Shu Pin (Partner) and Serene, Tee Jia Qing (Legal Executive) of Messrs. Afif Rahman & Chong

Disclaimer: Every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided in this publication has been made. This publication does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice or opinions. Please contact the authors for a specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics.

2020-06-21T21:08:59+00:00