Without a Will, your estate will be distributed according to intestacy laws.
Have you ever wonder what are the consequences of intestacy and the issues that may arise.
What if you don't plan?
What is Intestacy?
Intestacy is the term used for someone who has passed away without a Will.
So when one passed on intestate, your estate will be distributed according to Intestate Succession Act. (Chapter 146).
Take note : The Intestate Succession Act does not apply to Muslims. The estate of a Muslim is governed by Muslim law.
For Muslim estates, the beneficiaries must apply to the Syariah Court for an Inheritance Certificate to establish the share of each beneficiary. A Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration may need to be obtained after the Inheritance Certificate has been issued.
Muslims can dispose or give away their estates through a hibah or nuzriah. However, through a Will, Muslims can only give away a third of their estate to persons who are not already entitled under the Inheritance Certificate.
Consequences of intestacy
Should you pass away intestate, a number of issues may arise.
- Delay in settlement
Without a Will, the probate process gets more complicated. Distribution of assets may take longer resulting in higher legal costs.
- Unintended consequences
Distribution of assets may not reflect what the deceased intended. Elderly parents will be excluded if the deceased leaves behind a spouse and children. When appointing administrators, the law gives priority to the next of kin of the deceased person’s family. This may not be in accordance with your wishes.
- Uncertainty over guardians
If both parents pass away at the same time, guardianship over their children is uncertain. Disagreements may arise as to who is the most suitable person to be the guardian. The ex-spouse may be able to gain access to the assets as the other parent of the children.
In conclusion, consult your estate planner on the issues that may arise to prevent any uninvited consequences of intestacy.