In The Name of My Father’s Estate (Episode 20)

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Rockwills - wills and trusts - ipoh estate planningBy Peter Lee

Since all the beneficiaries of Lee Sr’s estate understood the procedure for application of the Letter of Administration (L.A.) after Dave (Lawyer) explained to them, all of them proceeded to sign the relevant documents given to them by Dave. After the signing was completed, Dave then told the beneficiaries that he would need a down payment of RM5000 for the time being to apply for the L.A. in Malaysia. He further informed the beneficiaries that he would ascertained the cost for the application of L.A. in overseas countries like Singapore, Australia and U.K. In addition, he would also ask for the cost of appointing the lawyers or Trustee Company over there to represent the three Administrators in Malaysia, namely: John, Michele and Connie to administer the overseas assets since three of them are unable to travel to these countries. John then asked, “Would there be any subsequent legal fees for these applications?” In reply, Dave said “Yes, because there will be additional charges for transferring of assets especially properties and maybe further legal work for this application.”

Michele then turned to all the beneficiaries in the meeting and said, “Can I propose that eleven of us as beneficiaries share the cost for this Administration fees?” Everyone looked at each other for a minute and then Connie asked, “Can this payment be made from the estate?” Dave replied “In this case, since all the money in Lee Sr’s bank accounts is frozen, the payment for estate administration charges would normally have to come from the family first. Once the Administrators collect the estate money after L.A. is obtained, then reimbursement will be made to all payments made by family members on behalf of the estate.” Michele then asked again “So, are there any objections to my suggestion on the sharing because if there are none, then I suggest that we quickly pay Dave to enable him to proceed.”  As all the beneficiaries present nodded giving their consent, Mrs Patricia Lee then said, “In our earlier meetings, I had mentioned that I intend to keep all the money and properties that are jointly owned by me and my husband. She turned to Dave and asked “So, did you and the Administrators discuss this? Dave then replied, “This was discussed and I must highlight again that your husband’s share will be subject to the intestacy law in the Distribution Act 1958 unless the other beneficiaries renounced their claims to it. So, I suggest that all beneficiaries discuss with each other to decide on this matter while I apply for the L.A.” John intervened and said “Mum, I think we also have to discuss about our shares held by father in our own family businesses and those companies with Connie.” Mrs Patricia Lee asked, “What are we going to talk about on father’s shares?” John then said, “Well, we have in our earlier discussion between me, Dave, Michele and Connie suggested that Connie renounce her entitlement to father’s shares in our own family businesses and in return our side of the family will renounce our claims to the shares held by father in those companies set up with Connie. Now, we have not come to any consensus yet on this matter.” Mrs Patricia Lee then turned to Connie and asked “Well, have you decided this yet?” “No” was Connie’s reply. Mrs Patricia Lee further said to John and Michele, “I think you guys better sort out this matter with her and come back to me and the family.”

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 excelsecms@gmail.com. Website: http://www.wills-trust.com.my. 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.