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When a parent passed away and leaves behind inheritance for their children, they will usually appoint a legal guardian and/or a conservator. The situation really depends, in all honesty. When a legal guardian is appointed, it’s often the surviving parent or a blood relative. Sometimes it may be a close family adult friend who will be appointed as the child’s legal guardian. 

However, what if both parents passed away and left their inheritance to their children who are not of legal age yet? What if the children are orphaned and inherited their parents’ properties and assets? Legal age in Malaysia is 18 years old, for your information. 

Who will look after the orphans? 

For obvious reasons, the orphans’ wellbeing are the most important thing in mind for a lot of involved parties. A legal guardian will be appointed to look after the orphans. Usually it’s a surviving parent or a blood relative. If there are no suitable survival parent or relative who can take care of the orphans, then the next suitable person will be appointed as their legal guardian. 

A legal guardian is someone who looks after the overall wellbeing of the children. For example, the legal guardian will oversee the education, lifestyle, life choices, and many other personal growth areas. The legal guardian will not oversee the financial aspects and assets management of the children’s estate. 

However, there will be times when the legal guardian will need to spend money on the surviving children. The legal guardian will need to take money from the estate to help purchase things for the surviving children. However, they cannot simply use the estate’s money. They will need to seek court approval before they can use the money on the children’s needs. 

Appoint a conservator for the orphans 

You can appoint a conservator to oversee the estate planning and asset management of the orphans’ inheritance. A conservator solely overlooks the estate and assets of the orphans’ inheritance that they have received from their late parents. The conservators do not oversee the personal aspects of the orphans’ lives. Even if they do, it’s often in rare circumstances and cases that they do. 

A conservator make sure that the estate and assets are well-taken care of and not be left in ruins. They make sure the estate is well-kept and managed properly. At times, the conservator will need to buy or sell the assets for various great reasons. Some assets are no longer needed or useful, hence the conservator may choose to sell it. The conservator may also identify assets that are useful for the estate and may try to acquire it for the orphan’s estate. 

However, the conservator cannot simply buy and sell the assets in the estate. The conservator will need to seek court approval before buying or selling any of the assets for or from the estate. A conservator, like the legal guardian, cannot buy and sell the estate’s assets on their own interest. 

How are legal guardians and conservators appointed? 

Legal guardians and conservators are usually appointed by the court. They can be someone the orphans know very well, or it can be a total stranger. However, there is a good chance that the legal guardian and the conservator may be someone the orphans know. They can be friends of their late parents, or they can be relatives. 

Not everyone can be appointed as a legal guardian or a conservator. They have to be thoroughly vetted before being approved by the court as suitable legal guardians and conservators. People don’t usually pick strangers off the streets to be their legal guardians or conservators. 

Bottom Line 

If a child has been orphaned does not mean that they will never be able to manage their assets. It just so happens that the court will appoint someone to be their legal guardians and conservators that overlook their personal lives and estate until the child reaches legal age. 

If you ever need help with inheritance, conservatorship, will writing, and legal guardian appointment, feel free to reach out to us for assistance. We will be more than happy to assist you.