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Article

Will or No Will

Date 18.06.2021

 

You may have pondered this question before: is it necessary to have a will?

Before providing an absolute yes or no answer, a determining factor to the question is to understand the difference between having a will and not having one.

 

What is a Will and the Governing Law?

 

A will is a legal document of the last testament of the person writing it, expressing his/her wishes and intentions in regards to his/her properties and other desires to be executed and carried out after his/her death. This is defined in the Wills Act 1959.

 

In order to produce a valid will, the following criterion have to be satisfied:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be of sound mind;
  • Have your will in writing;
  • Have signed your will in the presence of at least 2 witnesses and them signing in your presence.

 

In Malaysia, the inheritance of a deceased individual’s estate is governed by two laws. Inheritance under Shariah law follows the Islamic faraid principles which governs those practising the Muslim faith. For non-Muslim, inheritance is governed under the Civil Law, namely: Wills Acts 1959, Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1971 and Distribution Act 1958. 

Table 1: Will vs No Will 

Table 2: Distribution of deceased person’s estate under s.6 of the Distribution Act 1958

Having a basic idea on the difference of having a will and not having one helps in deciding how to pre-manage your estate when you pass on. Furthermore, having a will gives you and your family a peace of mind and clear instructions for those who survive you on handling and distributing your estate according to your wishes.

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