What You Need To Know About Will–Writing In Malaysia (Updated on January 2019)
Q: Can I write my own will in Malaysia without a lawyer/will-writing agent?
A: Yes you can legally write your own will in Malaysia without a lawyer/will-writing agent but it is advisable to seek for professional help if you are unsure on how to write your own will. You may contact our panel law firm if you need assistance on preparation of your will in Malaysia (Click here to contact our panel law firm).
Q: What is the legal age to write a will in Malaysia?
A: Your will is only valid if you are above 18 years old in Peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia) at the time of writing a will in accordance to the Malaysia Wills Act 1959. On the other hand, in Sarawak, the legal age to write a will is 18 years old as well following the Malaysia Wills Act 1959. If you are below the age of 18, your will written shall be null and void.
In Sabah, the legal age to write a will is 21 years old in accordance to the Sabah Wills Ordinance Cap 158.
Q: What is the requirement to write a valid will in Malaysia?
A: To write a valid will in Malaysia, you need to be at least 18 years old and above (for Peninsular/West Malaysia and Sarawak); 21 years old and above (for Sabah), your will needs to be in writing,you must have a testamentary capacity (clear and sound mind to write a will) and there must be 2 or more witnesses of your will.
Q: Who can be the witnesses of my will?
A: You need to have at least 2 witnesses for your will to ensure that your will is legally valid in Malaysia. Your witnesses must preferably be above the age of 21 and they must witness the signing of your will in your presence and in the presence of each other.
It is important to keep in mind that your witnesses cannot be your spouse (husband/wife) or any beneficiary under your will (person who will benefit from your will). An Executor (person who execute/administer your will/estate) can be a witness as long as he/she is not a beneficiary of your will.
That said, the 2 witnesses need not know the content and distribution of your will as long as they know that you are in a sound mind.
Q: Can the executor of my will be the beneficiary under my will as well?
A: Yes. Appointed executor can be the beneficiary under your will. For instance, you can appoint your son to be the executor and beneficiary under your will. Bear in your mind that a beneficiary cannot be a witness of your will in Malaysia.
Q: Why do I need to write a will in Malaysia?
A: You need a will to ensure that your hard earned monies/assets are passed on to the right beneficiaries of your choice in the event you pass on. With a will, your Executor can apply for Probate (Court Order) to administer your assets.
If you die without a will, your monies/assets will pass on according to the law of Malaysia (specifically the Malaysia Distribution Act 1958).
Q: My father died leaving a valid will. How long does it take to apply for a Probate?
A: It will take approximately 1 to 3 months to apply for a Probate provided all legal documents are provided to the High Court in Malaysia. For matters relating to application of Probate/Letter of Administration in Malaysia, you may contact our panel law firm (Click here to contact our panel law firm) for more details and assistance.
Q:What will happen if I do not have a will?
A: Without a will, your next of kin (or family members) will need to apply for a Letter of Administration (Application of representation to administer your assets). This procedure is long and troublesome and will take around 6 months or more. For matters relating to application of Probate/Letter of Administration in Malaysia, you may contact our panel law firm (Click here to contact our panel law firm) for more details and assistance.
Q: What will happen if I do not have a will when I pass on?
A: If you do not have a will, your monies/assets will be distributed in accordance to the Malaysia Distribution Act 1958, particularly under Section 6 of the 1958 Act as below:
|Dies leaving spouse only||All||–||–|
|Dies leaving spouse and parents only||1/2||–||1/2 (to be shared equally between surviving parents)|
|Dies leaving children only||–||All (to be shared equally by children if more than 1 child)||–|
|Dies leaving parents only||–||–||All (to be shared equally between surviving parents)|
|Dies leaving children and parents only||–||2/3 (to be shared equally by children if more than 1 child)||1/3|
|Dies leaving children and parents only||–||2/3 (to be shared equally by children if more than 1 child)||1/3 (to be shared equally between surviving parents)|
|Dies leaving spouse, children and parents||1/4||1/2 (to be shared equally by children if more than 1 child)||1/4 (to be shared equally between surviving parents)|
Q: Do I need to stamp or seal my will in Malaysia?
A: No, you do not need to stamp or seal your will as it is not required under the law in Malaysia.
Q: Where should I keep my will?
A: You should keep your will in a safe and secure place and it is best to inform your Executor(s) where you keep your will so that he/she knows where to locate your will in the event you pass on. It is also important to note that you should not keep your will in your bank safe deposit box because the bank requires a Probate before they allow you to open to the safe deposit box.
Q: I have written a will few years back. How can I revoke my will and write a new one?
A: To revoke your will, you just have to write a new one and your old will shall be revoke automatically. Your will will also be revoked if you intentionally destroy it, remarry or you convert into Muslim.
Q: I have properties (real estate properties) outside of Malaysia. Can I include the real estate properties outside of Malaysia in my will?
A: It is strongly advised to write a separate will (without revoking your will in Malaysia) in the country where your real estate properties are situated as the distribution of real estate properties (or immovable properties) are governed by the law of the country where your real estate properties are situated.
Q: I am going through the process of divorce. Do I need a new will?
A: Your will will not be revoked if you divorce. However, you are advised to write a new one if you intend to change the distribution under your will. You are also advised to write a new will if you get married again as your old will will be automatically revoked under the Malaysia Wills Act 1959.
Q: I am residing in Sabah/Sarawak, Malaysia. Can I write my will online?
A: Yes. You can write your will if you are residing in Sabah/Sarawak. Just make sure that you are above the age of 18 (for West Malaysia and Sarawak) or above the age of 21 (for Sabah).
Q: How do I make payment for writing my will online?
A: You can make your payment online securely with Razer Merchant Services payment gateway (formerly known as MOLPay) where you can choose to make payment via online banking (FPX payment), debit or credit card.