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It is very possible for a minor to receive an inheritance from their next-of-kin. They could have been appointed as beneficiaries in their parents’ wills or relatives’ wills. However, there will be circumstances where they are too young to claim the inheritance as they are not of legal age yet. Legal age in Malaysia is 18 years of age. So if the minor has not reached 18 years old yet, then the person will be considered as a minor. 

What happens to the assets if the beneficiary is a minor? 

When the beneficiary is a minor and not of legal age, then things can get a tad bit complicated. It’s not wrong to leave behind assets to your kids. However, there will be situations when you may passed away before your child becomes of legal age. 

You will have to consider what will happen to the assets and money left to them when you die prematurely. It will take more than choosing the best person to look after them and the assets. 

For the most part, you will need to appoint a conservator to look after the assets and money you have left to your child. A conservator is someone who looks after the assets and money you leave behind. They will take care of the assets and financial aspects of your properties. Until your child has reached legal age only then will the assets be transferred over to their control. 

A conservator cannot use the property and asset’s monies for their own advantage and gain. They can only help to manage the estate property and monies on behalf of you and your child. If the conservator needs to buy or sell any properties on behalf of the child, they will need to seek court approval before they can finalize the transaction. 

On the other hand, you should also appoint a legal guardian to look after the well-being of the child also. A legal guardian often oversees the education and overall health of the minor. The legal guardian don’t usually oversee the finances of the minor’s estate. However, there will be times when the legal guardian will need money to purchase new items for the minor. 

If that is the case, the legal guardian will need to make the necessary arrangements and seek court approval before they can use the money from the estate. Basically, the legal guardian’s role is almost similar to the conservator, except a legal guardian oversees the personal wellbeing of the minor. Both legal guardians and conservators cannot use the estate’s money without having final approval for using it. 

What happens if you did not appoint a conservator? 

Sometimes, some people forget to appoint a conservator or guardian. It can be a huge headache for many people, including the minor. If you did not arrange for property management for your underage child, then the probate court will do it for you. The probate court will appoint someone to serve as the child’s property guardian. Most times the court will appoint the other living parent or a living relative. That is not the case all the time. 

Such arrangements are not necessarily easy as the appointed guardian must report regularly to the court. The legal guardian has limited authority over the property and has limited say on how the property must be managed. 

It’s easier with a Will 

We are not kidding when we say it’s easier if you have a will. In your legalized will, you have the freedom to choose who to be the legal guardian and conservator. It can be anyone you can trust instead of having the court to choose for you. 

Sometimes, the person the court chooses for your child may not exactly be the person you’d want to be the legal guardian to your child. It’s not to say the person you have appointed has your child’s best interest at heart. Anything can happen regardless of who is appointed by any party. 

At the same time, in your will, you can factor in the financial and special needs of your underage child. All you need to worry about is whether your estate has sufficient funds to take care of your children until they reach legal age. That’s pretty much all you need to worry about when you are no longer around anymore. 

Bottom Line 

Make sure that before you passed away appoint someone you can trust as a legal guardian or conservator over your child and your estate. If you didn’t appoint someone, the court will choose someone for you. 

If you need any help with appointing a conservator and a legal guardian, feel free to reach out to us for help. We will be more than happy to assist.