When a person passes away leaving a will, their loved ones would have to apply for a grant of probate. A probate lawyer is needed to unfreeze the assets so that their assets could be divided as stated on their will. The executor of will would not be able to proceed to complete the will without a grant of probate. So applying for a grant of probate plays an important part in the process of executing a will after a loved one has passed.
If you need a helpful guide about a grant of probate, read on to find out more about the steps you need to successfully apply for a grant of probate in Malaysia.
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Applying for Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration
There are a few factors to consider before applying for a grant of probate in Malaysia. The first condition is to have a valid will. The testator must have the testamentary capabilities for a will to be deemed legally valid. The testator must be of sound mind and able to comprehend what the will represents when signing the will. The witnesses should not be family members or beneficiaries. The will must also be signed without any intent of fraud. Applying for a grant of probate is only applicable when there is a legally valid will.
If there is a will but the will is legally invalid, applying for a letter of administration is a lot more complicated. Having to apply for a letter of administration means that you do not have any executor of will appointed to divide the assets accordingly. This could be a tough process because there is no basis for how the supposed beneficiaries should divide the assets.
If there is no will, then you should not be applying for a grant of probate, but you should apply for a letter of administration. The assets of your loved ones would be divided according to the Distribution Act 1958.
You can read more about how assets are distributed according to the Distribution Act 1958, here.
How to Apply for a Grant of Probate
After someone passes away, the bank would freeze their assets upon notice of their passing to avoid fraud. During this stage, the beneficiaries would not be able to receive their portion of the assets. To unfreeze the assets, an application for a grant of probate would be submitted to the High Court so that the documents could be processed.
The person who will be applying for a grant of probate is the appointed executor of will. The executor of will would submit an application to the High Court to process. The process will take up to 3 to 6 months. It could potentially be longer if the court encounters issues such as an invalid will. Then you would have to proceed with applying for a letter of administration instead.
After the High Court gives the authority for the executor of will to proceed with the allocation of assets to the beneficiaries, the executor of will would have to keep detailed information on the whole process and the allocation of assets for future references.
It is always recommended to hire a professional lawyer when applying for a grant of probate. It might be a lengthy process and a complicated matter to handle. However, it is also important to know the processes you will go through when applying for a grant of probate in Malaysia.
What Documents Should You Prepare When Applying for a Grant of Probate?
When it comes to legal matters, it is always best to prepare your documents beforehand. Ensuring that you have all the necessary documents needed will help ease the process of applying for a grant of probate.
It’s one thing to have all the necessary documents, it is another thing to ensure that your documents are neatly placed. Do not fold your documents and always have a few copies of your documents as well as the original. Authorities might want to check the authenticity of your documents so to make the process much easier for both parties, make sure your documents are well prepared.
Applying for a grant of probate requires the appointed executor of will to bring the original document of the will, the original copy of the death certificate of the testator, and all the original documents pertaining to the deceased estate.
Issues You Might Face When Applying for a Grant of Probate
As with other legal processes, there are also potential hurdles that you might face along the way. Attending legal matters is tough and might be a lengthy process, so it is important to be aware of the potential issues that might come while applying for a grant of probate.
You might face some complications if the original copy of the will is lost, or if you suddenly found out that the will is invalid. This is why it is important to ensure that you know the criterias of a legally valid will. You might also come across certain scenarios where a will is being contested, therefore the court would not be able to proceed with the allocation of assets.
These issues might become a legal dispute and ruin family relations. You may avoid these issues by hiring a professional probate lawyer in Malaysia who would be able to guide you through the process of writing a will. Your loved ones would not have to deal with these issues when applying for a grant of probate in the future and the family would be able to avoid potential legal disputes.
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