The following story is based on an actual series of events with some names and circumstances fictionalised and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional. Hope that this will help you understand the hard facts about the executor of a will in Malaysia.
Janet hates her husband! In a moment of anger out of frustration, the thought “why didn’t I die before you…” raced through her mind.
Tired and annoyed, Janet just couldn’t help taking it out on her late husband for the torture she underwent. For the umpteenth time this week she has been given the run-around from one Government department to another, to the bank, to EPF, to… only to be told that she doesn’t have the necessary documents or sorry, wrong department!
The Hard Facts About The Executor Of A Will In Malaysia
“Didn’t you know that the job of an executor of a will in Malaysia is that difficult?” she lashed out as if husband Keat was in front of her.
“How could you put me through this, you Mr Know All? You knew very well I’m useless in dealing with such stuff? Why? Why? Why are you so irresponsible…” her voice trailed off as she started to sob, shielding her face with her hands outside the Employees Provident Fund office.
Just slightly more than a month back, she lost her pillar of strength. It was cruel that Covid-19 had so suddenly taken Keat away and left her with their two little ones.
She recalled that she was numb with disbelief when she had to unceremoniously send-off Keat without a proper burial. She was allowed to watch only from a distance and say her last farewell as the casket was rolled into the furnace at the crematorium.
She was alone then and she had been alone mourning her loss after that as no one could visit her home as she and her kids were on home quarantine.
Janet didn’t know where she found the strength in those moments of grief. But now, as time heals, she felt like being dealt with another cruel blow.
The Pain Of Losing Loved Ones And Executing The Will
Little did she know what she had to go through as she started the process of executing Keat’s will. It was only after having a taste of it that she realised the folly of Keat in insisting that they keep things within the family and appoint each other as Executor of their respective wills.
It was torture which she as the surviving spouse would want to be spared. The question before her is would she be able muster any more strength to go through this while taking care of the children’s needs…?
The role of an Executor of a will in Malaysia is to carry out instructions in the will and ultimately distribute the assets to beneficiaries.
The process before assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries involves settling debts and liabilities, for example loans, credit card dues, and taxes, efficiently and without bias.
This can be an onerous task – complex and time consuming especially for the uninitiated as it involves legal, taxation, accounting and administrative matters such as tracing of assets, application for probate and attending court hearings as well.
Local government agencies and statutory bodies such as land office, EPF office, Inland Revenue will have to be dealt with depending on the assets left behind by the deceased. Then there are the banks, the credit card issuers, insurance companies, debtors, creditors, stockbroking firms, company secretary, accountants… the list goes on.
Huge Burden On The Executor
The person appointed as Executor of a will in Malaysia as such needs to have a wide knowledge in legal, accounting, tax and administration work to ensure that the process of applying for Grant of Probate, administration and distribution of assets is carried out smoothly.
Any undue delay in the distribution of the assets may be to the detriment of the beneficiaries who, due to the demise of their sole breadwinner, for example, may be in difficult financial situation with sudden loss of income.
As individuals with the necessary capabilities may be hard to come by, a prudent consideration is to appoint a trust company like Rockwills Trustee Bhd that have specialised in estate administration matters for decades.
The professional company will have experienced and skilled personnel with the time and resources on hand to administer to one’s estate and Trust. Unlike the individual executor, the company will exist in perpetuity thus averting any possibility of untimely death before or in the midst of carrying out duties of an executor.
Now you know what the executor of a will in Malaysia have to face?
About Rockwills International Group
Rockwills International Group, now in its 27th year, pioneered professional will writing in 1995 and has since evolved into the leading estate planning specialist in the country. It is today the largest provider of solutions and support services in the areas of trusts, succession, management and distribution of wealth. It has shareholders’ funds exceeding RM50 million. It has done over 280,000 wills and 15,000 trusts and hold more than RM25 billion in assets under trust.