In The Name of My Father’s Estate (Episode 19)


Rockwills - wills and trusts - ipoh estate planningBy Peter Lee

One week after the last meeting, all the beneficiaries, namely: Mrs Patricia Lee (Lee Sr’s first Wife) and her children, John Lee, Nick Lee, Steven Lee, Michele Lee, Nancy Lee and Sandy Lee together with Connie (Lee Sr’s second wife) and her minor children Steve, Jimmy and Jennifer gather at Dave’s (Lawyer) office to sign the relevant documents to kick start the application for the Letter of Administration (LA).

As everyone settled down in the meeting room, Dave said, “Good afternoon and thank you for coming. Today’s signing of documents will involve all beneficiaries entitled to the estate to sign the letter of consent to appoint the Administrators, namely: John, Michele and Connie. Those who are not appointed as Administrators will have to sign a letter of renunciation renouncing their rights to be the Administrators of the estate. As for Connie, you have to sign on behalf of your three children as they are still below 18 years old. Then, the Administrators appointed must sign the affidavits for the application of LA. The other matter is that we have to submit the names of Guarantors for the estate, namely: Mrs Patricia Lee, John and Connie as agreed in our earlier meeting.”

“Now, are there any questions before signing?” Mrs Patricia Lee asked, “Dave, how long will this application take and when can we receive our entitlement?” In reply Dave said, “I am not sure about this because it really depends on how fast we can submit the LA to the High Court and this submission must also be accompanied by all the lists of assets which the Administrators have to forward to me. The other thing is that, as discussed in my earlier meeting with John, Michele and Connie, I also need the Death Certificate of Lee Sr’s parents. This is because they are entitled to a quarter (¼) of his estate if they were alive. So, to eliminate their entitlement I have to submit their death certificates to the High Court as proof.”

John then said, “Dave, I have asked my father’s brothers and none of them have my grandparents’ death certificates. I think you have to proceed applying for the presumption of death certificate as discussed in our last meeting. Mrs Patricia Lee then said, “Looking at the way things are going, I wonder whether I will be dead before I receive the assets from the estate?” Dave continued and said, “Okay, if there are no more questions or objections to the signing, we shall proceed with the signing?” As there were no objections, everyone signed on the documents required. Nick then asked Dave, “Can you submit the LA to the High Court even though the list of assets provided is not complete so that the application for LA can move first and subsequently any outstanding documents can be submitted later?” In response, Dave said, “By right, this kind of submission requires a complete list of items which I have mentioned but under your family’s circumstances, I will have to seek permission from the High Court whether I could do this.” Mrs Patricia Lee said, “Dave, please do proceed and try Nick’s suggestion. To this Dave said, “Okay, I will try with this suggestion.” Then Dave further said, “As you are all aware there are also overseas assets involved in this estate. Therefore, we need a separate application of LA from these respective countries to collect the assets. So, are the Administrators willing to travel to these countries to do this job?” All the three Administrators declined and asked Dave to appoint a lawyer or a Trustee Company to act on their behalf.

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 can be reached at: 012‑5078825/ 05‑2554853 or Website: His Book “To Delay is Human but to Will is Divine” (96 pages, RM28) is available at his office: 108 (2nd Floor), Jalan Raja Ekram, 30450 Ipoh; Rashi Mini Market (019-510 6284), 37 Jalan Perajurit, Ipoh Garden East; Ipoh Echo and at all major bookstores.