In The Name of My Father’s Estate (Episode 7)


Rockwills - wills and trusts - ipoh estate planningBy Peter Lee

With the consensus of all the beneficiaries on the appointment of Administrators and Guarantors, Dave said to every member of the Lee family in the meeting  “Okay, the first thing we need to do is to gather the entire assets in the estate of Lee Sr.  Since John, Michelle and Connie are appointed as Administrators of the estate, they have to help me list down all these assets in the estate for the application of Letter of Administration (L.A.).” Dave further explained “let’s start off with the bank accounts. I presume some of the bank accounts either in sole or joint names like Fixed Deposits, Current and Savings accounts are frozen. Therefore, please list down the name of the bank, branch, bank account number and amount. Please also check whether there are any overseas bank accounts.” Connie then asked Dave “How do you deal with those joint accounts that are frozen which I am entitled to half of the money?” Dave replied, “Once the Administrators receive all the money from this account, then they have to give half the money in this account to you but the other half that belongs to Lee Sr. will be distributed according to the Malaysian Distribution Act.” Connie then said “I thought since I am the joint holder I will automatically receive all the money.” “No, that’s not the case, “replied Dave and added, “By the way, I have to highlight to you all that the bank can freeze joint accounts even if there is a “joint survivorship clause”. This is irrespective whether the signing of accounts is either one or both. So, please check again whether there are any of such accounts.”

Then John said “Dave, what if all the money in all the joint accounts with the deceased is returned to the surviving joint account holder?” “Well, this can be arranged if all the beneficiaries consent to it in writing but this will not be in accordance with the Distribution Act and by doing so it’s going to look like following the Distribution Act on a selective basis. But having said that, you would still have to give me details of all these joint accounts” replied Dave. Michelle then asked “How are we going to unlock the overseas bank accounts say maybe in Singapore, Australia and U.K.?” “I feel that in this case, when applying for L.A. in Malaysia, we would also have to apply for L.A. simultaneously in countries where the assets are affected and for this I would have to contact lawyers from these countries to deal with the application,” replied Dave. “Now, I would like to move to the next item which is the investments in movable assets such as unit trusts or mutual funds and shares in local and foreign stock exchanges. I need to have the name of the unit trust or mutual fund companies and the amount that Lee Sr. had invested. This includes sole or joint names. I think all the required information can be ascertained from the statements received from these companies. When it comes to listed shares in our local stock market, all that is required will be the details of the CDS account. But as for shares held overseas, then it all depends on the L.A. application in that particular country. It is important to check whether there are any foreign shares held by Lee Sr. still in scrips. If there are, then these scrips must be handed back to the registrar of these companies so that they can be deposited into a trading account where the Administrator can claim from there later on.”

To be continued…

Peter Lee is an Associate Estate Planning Practitioner (Wills & Trust) with Rockwills International Group. He is also an Islamic Estate Planner providing Wills & Trust services for Muslims. He is based in Ipoh and can be reached at: 012‑5078825/ 05‑2554853 or Website: