When people talk about writing a Will, many people are confused about Probate. Probate is actually a legal process that takes place after someone dies. There are several steps. This is the job that is done by the executor if you have a Will, or by a court appointed representative or an administrator if there is no Will.
Although law are different in countries, generally probate involves the following:
- identifying and listing the deceased ‘s property
- accounting and appraisal of the property
- payment of income taxes and creditors
In some countries, the surviving spouse and/or children are usually allowed a specific amount of the deceased properties during the legal process of probate in order to help cope with any expenses. In Malaysia, the tax man comes first, creditors second and families come last!
If you don’t have a Will, the assets are distributed according to the amended Distribution Act of 1958. It gets interesting here because there are different treatment depending on whether you are a Muslim, a non Muslim, and also whether you are from the state of Sarawak and Sabah. Besides that, if you are a Muslim, some might have to follow Adat of a certain states. It is too complicated to go into detail here.
The thing to remember is without writing a Will, the probate process will take much longer and cost more. Instead of applying for the Grant of Probate, your beneficiaries will have to apply for the Letter of Administration.
Read about probate for foreigners who own property in Malaysia.
Find out more if you need help with Probate In Malaysia