As defined in Section 2 of the Wills Act 1959, a will is a ‘declaration intended to have legal effect of the intentions of a testator with respect to his property or other matters which he desires to be carried into effect after his death and includes a testament, a codicil and an appointment by will or by writing in the nature of a will in exercise of a power and also a disposition by will or testament of the guardianship, custody and tuition of any child’.
In Malaysia, to make a valid will, it must comply with the statutory requirements as stated in Section 5 of the Wills Act 1959. The requirements are as follows:-
- the testator must have attained the age of majority, which is 18 years old;
- the testator must be of sound mind;
- will must be made in writing and signed;
- the signature shall be made or acknowledged at the presence of 2 or more witnesses;
- the witnesses must then sign in the presence of each other and the testator.
One must be taken note that the witnesses must not be the beneficiary or the spouse of the beneficiary of the will.
In every will, at least one executor will be appointed. The executor who owes the beneficiaries a fiduciary duty plays an important role here. He will locate the will, engage a lawyer in applying for a grant of probate, pay the debts and liabilities of the estate, administer and distribute the estate in accordance with the Will.
A valid will impact the future of your estate. It guarantees your wishes will be honored and your assets will be handled as you envision after your death. Hence, it is safest to obtain proper advise to ensure that your will is properly drafted to protect the interest of you and your loved ones