When Death Happen To a Person, Compare A Person WITH A Will And A Person WITHOUT Any !

When Death Happen To a Person, Compare A Person WITH A Will And A Person WITHOUT Any !


When someone passed on, under the Malaysian law his/her estate will be FROZEN and to unlock the frozen estate, the following are the legal administration process (in general with exception):-

With a Will (Dies testate) – Apply Grant of Probate (GP)

The Executor appointed in the Will need to apply GP at the High Court. The GP can be obtained within 3 months to 1 year. Once the GP is extracted and all debts of the deceased settled, the Executor will distribute the estate according to the Will.

With A Valid Will,

You provide for your beneficiaries in the way you choose rather than letting the laws decides.

  • You exercise your RIGHT under the law to appoint people of your choice to administer your estate and carry out your wishes, ensure and safeguard the interest of those you loved and care.
  • You select your preferred executor whom is expected to do a good job when you pass on.
  • You can also provide support in monetary form or in kind to other selected family members e.g. stay-in partner, aging uncles, dependants, friends, step-children, “god-children”, church, temple or any charity organizations etc. All these persons have no provisions under the law.
  • You appoint Trustees and Guardian of your choice for your infant children in the event of your spouse predeceasing you or if both of you were to pass on. These are trustworthy persons who will ensure your children’s welfare are in good hands.
  • No sureties are required for application of Grant of Probate (GP).
  • Generally, it costs less in term of legal fees and less time to apply for a Grant of Probate (GP) than Letter of Administration (LA).
  • Family members who depend on you can avoid facing financial hardship.
Without A Will (Dies intestate) – Apply Letter of Administration (LA)

The legal beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate need to apply LA. One or two administrator(s) will need to be appointed for this purpose. Upon extraction of LA, the administrator(s) will distribute the net assets of the deceased (after settled all his debts) according to the Distribution Act 1958 (As amended in 1997).

To apply for LA, the deceased’s family may need to fulfill certain requirements e.g. looking for 2 guarantors; the appointment of the administrator(s) need 100% consent from all legal beneficiaries; appointment of guardians for minors who will in-turn give consent to the appointment of administrator(s) etc, thus, this process could take 2 to 8 years and in between family contentions could occur.

Without a valid Will

Firstly the deceased’s assets are frozen. His/her family, spouse and children might face cash flow problems while waiting for the extraction of LA.

With the LA, all his assets will be distributed according to the Distribution Act 1958 (As amended as at 1997).

  • He has lost the right to appoint executor, trustee and guardian of his choice. His children’s welfare may not be taken care of by the right person.
  • As Letters of administration (LA) is required, application to the High Court requires:

100% written consent is required from all lawful beneficiaries under the Distribution Act 1958 (Amended in 1997) for the appointment of the administrator(s). The administrator(s) who is chosen may not be the most suitable person to administer the estate. When there are minor beneficiaries, then, two administrators will be required before the court issues the LA. Guardians are appointed to decide for the minors as minors can not give written consent.


Qualified guarantors are persons who have net worth value that is more or equivalent to the gross estate value of the deceased. The security may be by way of bond in the amount equivalent to the GROSS VALUE of the estate of the deceased.

  • More time require to fulfill the requirements for the application of LA.
  • More legal cost are involved.
  • If both the husband and wife decease together, the court will appoint guardian for the minor children.
  • Family contention may arise. Family members may be fighting in the court over the distribution or choice of assets.
  • Under the Distribution Act, if there are surviving parents to the deceased, these parents received 1/4 share of the estate. Problems will arise if these parents die later. Their entitlements will in turn go to their children. This complicates the distribution as there are more claimants. (Please refer to the chart).

The Legal administration process in Malaysia is applicable to all Malaysians and foreigners domiciled in Malaysia who own movable and immovable assets in Malaysia (Please refer to Distribution Act 1958)




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