Monday, March 30, 2015

DIY write your own will in Malaysia for free with template download

Have you written your will? If not, are you deterred by the charges of will writing and maintenance services?

Well, the good news is, under the Malaysian Wills Act 1959, you are empowered to write your own will which is recognised as legal document, even without the need of a lawyer or professional will service provider.

So, if you believe that your will is quite unlikely to be challenged, and is very simple and straightforward, you can try DIY your own will. Otherwise, you should think about getting the professional to help you in will writing to avoid any unexpected trouble after you die.

Why you should write a will, be it DIY or drafted by professional will writer? With a valid will, when you pass away someday, you are said to die testate and your will and testament will be executed accordingly. You will be able to inform about:

  • Who should execute your will? (the executor)
  • Who shall inherit your wealth (a.k.a. estate) and what portion they will get? (the beneficiaries)
  • Who you entrust to distribute your asset? (the trustee) Before the actual distribution to beneficiaries, your asset might need to temporary parked under this name to facilitate the distribution process.
  • If both your spouse and yourself die together, who will take care of your minor children? (the guardian)
  • Do you want to donate certain portion to charity, NGO, etc.? (the special bequests)
  • How you want your funeral to be? (burial, cremation, ...) Done under ceremony of what religion? (the additional request)
  • Any last words you want to speak to your family members?
After you die testate, your executor will need to perform the following duties:
  • Locate your Will
  • Make funeral arrangement
  • Apply for a Grant of Probate (GP)
  • Call in assets
  • Pay remaining debts
  • Prepare Statement of Accounts
  • Distribute assets according to your Will
  • Carry out your wishes mentioned in your Will
If you die intestate without a valid will, your family members will need to:
The possible problems due to die intestate could be (and not limited to):
  • Taking longer time to process.
  • The LA is generally more expensive than the GP.
  • Might need legal services, accountants, tax consultants and other professionals arises, which could end up more costly.
  • One asset being distributed out to too many beneficiaries, which might cause problem for them to sell the asset later, as all signatures are needed when disposing the asset.
  • The guardian of your minor children is not appointed when they become orphan.
  • Your funeral might not be carried out in your preferred manner.
What do you need to write a will?
  • Yourself as the testator, who is above 18 years old, be of sound minded. If your will is written when you are sick, you might want to get your doctor to sign and certify that you are of sound minded the moment when you write your will.
  • At least 2 witnesses, who are above 18 years old. The witnesses cannot be any one from your beneficiaries.
  • Have your will hand-written or computer printed on paper, and the testator and all witnesses to sign on it.
When you die, all your loans and debts need to be settled first, before the remaining to be distributed to your beneficiaries.

If your loans and debts are unable to be settled by your assets, then your estate is insolvent, and there is nothing left to distribute to your beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries will get nothing from you, but they also need not taking care of your remaining debt.

If you are able to clear off all your financial obligations and have a solvent estate, then your beneficiaries will inherit your estate accordingly.

Now you are pretty clear about the requirement and knowledge of writing your own will. You can download this template courtesy of Struan Inc. Sdn Bhd, fill in the necessary, and get it fully signed by all of your witnesses and yourself.

Note that under the Malaysian Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1971, your surviving spouse and/or children might be able to challenge your will if they are not agreeable with it, regardless they are stated as beneficiaries or not. If you wish to make your will unchallengeable, you should better engage the service of professional will writer to assist in your will writing.

Note: The above only applies to non-Muslim in Malaysia. There are separate laws and treatment for Muslim will writing.


LEY said... Reply To This Comment

Good sharing! Any sample letter? What title shall i put for such a DIY testament?

Voyager8 said... Reply To This Comment


Have you clicked on the "download this template" link in the main article above?

orchid said... Reply To This Comment

How do I make my will unchallengeable without using the services of a professional will writer?

orchid said... Reply To This Comment

Can non-Malaysians be appointed as executors? Can non-Malaysians be named as beneficiaries? Thank you.

Voyager8 said... Reply To This Comment


I think so.

But I think the execution will be carried out in the country of resident of the will writer.

Voyager8 said... Reply To This Comment


Your will need to fulfill all the requirements to be accepted legally as a "will", with all the needed components in place. And the wording cannot be ambiguous until it can be challenged.

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

What is the significance of the phrase " or dies within 30 days " in the sentence in the Template :
"If this person predeceases me or dies within 30 days
of my death "
Why 30 days and not other longer or shorter days ?

Voyager8 said... Reply To This Comment


It is a template, you can put other number in your own will, 50 days, 100 days, up to you. But if you put too long, it will bring difficulty for your executor to execute your will.

If you put shorter and the beneficiary dies right after you, you will also bring difficulty to the executor of your beneficiary.

micky78 said... Reply To This Comment

Dear Sir,

i wish to know, if the will is stated the share of the property (50%) is distributed among children while the remaining 50% is currently hold by surviving spouse. .

Assume GOP is obtained from high court, can the executor defer the transfer of the 50% share of the decease to the children until surviving spouse also pass away.

Post a Comment

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.