If the deceased left a will, the executor named in the will can apply to the High Court for a Grant of Probate.

If the deceased did not leave a will, heirs or individuals who have an interest in the deceased’s estate can apply to obtain Letters of Administration from the High Court or Pejabat Pusaka Kecil or Amanah Raya Berhad.

Once the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration has been obtained, the appointed executor or administrator has successfully obtained the authority. Therefore, they can manage and administer the deceased’s estate to the rightful heirs.

THINGS THAT HEIRS NEED TO KNOW BEFORE MANAGING THE DECEASED’S INHERITANCE

Before making an application for authorization from the agency involved, the heirs need to know these things:-

• Whether the deceased left a will

• What type of property was left by the deceased

• What is the value of the property left by the deceased

• Who are the heirs of the deceased who deserve to receive the inheritance

• Does the deceased have any debts either with the bank for example or individuals

• Collect all the documents regarding the inheritance of the deceased

In addition, for the deceased who is a Muslim, it should be remembered that before the administration of the inheritance is made, make sure the following matters are resolved:

HEIRS REFUSE TO COOPERATE IN APPLICATION FOR LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION?

Regarding the application for Letters of Administration, there are documents that need to be filed to the High Court. Some of these documents need to be signed by the rightful heirs of the deceased.

What should be done if there is an heir who refuses to cooperate and does not want to sign the court document?

The applicant can make a proceeding called Citation to summon the heirs who refuse to either accept or reject the Letters of Administration.

Within 14 days after the delivery of the Citation to the refused heir, if no appearance is entered, then the Court can proceed the application.

WHAT IS A WILL?

Section 2 of the Probate and Administration Act 1959:

Will includes any codicil or other testamentary document and a privileged will valid under section 26 of the Wills Act 1959 [Act 346], or the corresponding written law in force in Sabah or Sarawak.

Section 2 of the Muslims Wills (Selangor) Enactment 1999:

Iqrar of a person made during his lifetime on his property or benefits to complete something for the purpose of charity or any purpose permitted according to Hukum Syarak, after his death.

COURT CASE – WILL FRAUD

Ahmad lwn Mahmud [2017] MLJU 2223 (not the real name)

Ahmad is the brother of the deceased named Ali. Mahmud is Ali’s friend. Ali had died with a will and left a property. Mahmud is said to be the executor in Ali’s will. Through a will, Ali gifted the property to Mahmud.

Mahmud has applied for a Grant of Probate from the High Court to manage the estate of late Ali. Mahmud claimed that Ali had no heirs. The Grant was obtained and the property was transferred to Mahmud’s name.

Ahmad then filed a lawsuit in court against Mahmud after learning of Mahmud’s actions because Ahmad, as the brother of the deceased, did not know at all. He also claimed that the will was invalid and the gift by will had exceeded 1/3.

The court finally allowed Ahmad’s application because there was no strong evidence from Mahmud about the validity of the will and indeed the proportion of will had exceeded 1/3 of the overall property without the consent of the heirs.

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