A lot of people think the impact of property ownership is minimal or non-existent in Malaysian probate proceedings. Though they may be right to think that way to an extent, it’s not entirely that way. There are certain angles to look at this as the distribution of properties may not be as straightforward.
Let us outline how proceedings impact your property ownership in Malaysia. It’s not entirely so complicated and you’ll catch on pretty quick too.
HAVING YOUR DOCUMENTS IN ORDER FIRST
The first thing to look at when it comes to impact of property ownership is the documents you have at hand. Here are some of the documents you will need to have – preferably all. These will be the documents that are prudent to have to be submitted to the Malaysian High Court.
Latest will. The first thing you should do is to locate the latest will that is legally recognized by the Malaysian government. You may have it validated by a certified lawyer. In the will, you may include all your properties and assets listed in it. Hopefully, you have everything listed already by the time of your passing.
Supporting documents. Supporting documents usually refer to documents such as deeds, property certificates of ownership, and similar. These documents, for obvious reasons, state that you are the true owner of the properties or assets. It may also indicate that you own part of the property or asset (like a certain percentage or share of the property/asset in question).
Grant of Probate (GOP). When the owner has passed away and has his documents in order, then things would have been a lot easier. The Grant of Probate (GOP) is a legal document issued by the Malaysian High Court for an executor to carry out the distribution of the deceased’s properties. If there are any debts to be paid, it will also be included in this document too. Also, if there is a letter of administration (LOA) produced previously, it will be annexed with the GOP.
Letter of Administrations (LOA). The Letter of Administrations (LOA) also functions similar to the GOP. However, the only difference is that it’s for people who has passed away leaving behind no wills. Hence, this document will be produced by the next-of-kin who has interest in getting those properties back for their family members. They will bring it to the Malaysian High Court requesting for a GOP instead.
What other documents do I need?
In order to get a Grant of Probate (GOP), you will also need the deceased’s death certificate, original identification cards (or passport if you are a foreigner), beneficiaries’ ICs or passports, land titles or deeds, documentation of all assets and properties, and documentations of all debts and liabilities. In certain scenarios, more documents may be needed so you may need to check with the lawyers from time to time. Each case differs from person to person as no 2 cases are the same.
Movable and Immovable Assets
Before we go further, you will also need to know about movable and immovable assets. These will impact your probate proceedings also in Malaysia.
Movable assets refer to cash that you have. These usually mean your bank accounts and other monetary accounts under your name.
Immovable assets refer to lands and buildings that you own. If you own any houses, condos, or plots of land, then it will be classified as immovable assets.
Impact of assets’ monetary worth
Here’s what will also impact the probate proceeding in Malaysia – the monetary worth of all of your assets combined. The higher your assets are worth, you may need to apply to different departments for the release of your properties to your beneficiaries.
If your total assets are worth less than RM500k, then you may file your probate under Small Estates (Distribution) Act 1955 (SEDA 1955 for short). The administrator will help you to obtain the LOA at the High Court of Malaysia.
If your assets are worth more than RM500k but less than RM2mil, you may still file an application for distribution under SEDA. The administration will help you nonetheless. The application can be made at the Estate Distribution Unit of the Department of the Director-General of Lands and Mines. Small estate distribution typically costs less and is quicker than obtaining letters of administration.
Generally, there are no big issues in probate proceedings if you have all documents in order. Once everything has been settled, the beneficiaries can get their share of their assets within a few months. If there are any other complications, then yes the probate process can take longer for several years.
If you need any assistance with probate proceedings in Malaysia, feel free to reach out to us for further assistance. We will be more than happy to assist you in this matter.