Tag Archives: wills explained

In The Name of My Father’s Estate (Episode 21)

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Rockwills - wills and trusts - ipoh estate planningBy Peter Lee

As all the beneficiaries of Lee Sr’s estate agreed to proceed with the application for the Letter Of Administration (L.A), Dave (Lawyer) said, “While I am applying for the L.A., I would advise the Administrators, namely: John, Michele (children of the first family) and Connie (Lee Sr’s 2nd wife)  discuss issues in relation to the money in the bank accounts especially those that are under the joint names of Lee Sr and Mrs Patricia Lee (Lee Sr’s first Wife) in which Mrs Patricia Lee intends to keep. If the rest of the family beneficiaries agree to give it to her, then all of you must sign a renunciation letter to renounce your rights to the entitlement. Further to this, I hope the Administrators could settle on the distribution of shares in the family Companies held by Lee Sr together with both sides of the family.   This is to say that whether the distribution for all the shares in all the companies will be based on the Intestacy Law. Otherwise, the other option would be the first family taking control of shares in the companies which they are managing and renouncing their rights to the shares in Companies that Lee Sr set up with Connie. In return, Connie and her three children will renounce their rights to all their entitlement in shares held by Lee Sr together with the first family and keep those shares in Companies which Lee Sr set up with her.”

John asked his own family members, namely: Mrs Patricia Lee, Nick, Steven, Michele, Nancy and Sandy, whether they are agreeable to let their mum have the entire amount of money held by their father jointly with her. He highlighted to them that the joint bank account which is now frozen is in ZNA bank, Singapore with an amount of roughly S$3 Million. He further explained that this amount could only be withdrawn once L.A. is obtained from Singapore. Every beneficiary from the first family consented to giving their mum by nodding. Then John asked Connie “What about you?” Connie replied “I think I would prefer to take my entitlement under the intestacy law.” In response to Connie, Mrs Patricia Lee said, “Can’t you let go of this for God’s sake?” Connie replied, “Look here, I have three minor children to take care of whereas your children are adults and financially independent.”

Mrs Patricia Lee then asked “So, what about the money in the joint bank accounts with our beloved husband which we have withdrawn?” “I guess you can leave those out” replied Connie. She further said “Let me remind you that I have two joint bank accounts in Malaysia which are frozen, one of which is in CDS Bank, Jalan Bunga, K.L. with an amount of RM500,000 and the other one is in Bagus Bank, Jalan Mewah, K.L. with an amount of RM800,000. My husband also has three other joint bank accounts with each of my three minor children. The amount in each of the account is roughly RM200,000. These accounts are all in Bagus Bank. So, you can see that these are subject to Intestacy Law in which all of your members are entitled to.”  In response, Mrs Patricia Lee said “Ok, why not my children and I renounced our rights of entitlement to the money in these bank accounts and you on the other hand renounce your rights of entitlement to the money in Singapore.” Connie replied, “Sorry! I can’t do this because of my children’s future.”

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 can be reached at: 012‑5078825/ 05‑2554853 or [email protected] 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.

“Why Buy A Cow When Milk Is Cheap?”

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Why Buy A Cow When Milk Is Cheap?”

By PETER LEE

Very often people tell me that they don’t have many assets except a house and some savings in the bank. Therefore, it is easier to transfer their house to their children during their lifetime especially when they feel that they are already old and having health problems.

Such perception reminds me of two stories which I thought only happened in TV dramas. In fact, it does happen in real life and many would have heard of such stories as well.

The first story is about an elderly man who transferred his house to his son because he felt that it’s time to do so as he is getting older and has health problems. Soon after the transfer, he was shocked in disbelief and disheartened when he received a letter of eviction from his son’s lawyer. The second story is about a mother who after transferring the house to her loved ones, was asked to live in an old folks home because they complained she was grumpy.

Although these incidents may not happen to everyone, parents should be aware that these incidents are real. To avoid such situations, it would be much simpler for a person to distribute his/her properties and other assets to his/her loved ones with a ‘WILL’. After all, it does not cost much and it protects a person against such potential problems.

A ‘WILL’ does not require the owner to let go of his/her properties and other assets during their lifetime. Any transfer of wealth will only take place upon the demise of the owner. In addition, a person can change his/her ‘WILL’ anytime he/she wants without the need to get any consent from others.

The executor of the ‘WILL’ is the person who ensures that the testator’s wishes are fulfilled. Thus, it is important to get at least two persons who are capable of carrying out such duties. The discussion with the executors does not require the testator to reveal the contents of the “WILL”, but to seek their consent on taking up such responsibilities.

So, if you consider transferring your properties to your loved ones during your lifetime for even the most respectable reasons, please ask yourself “why buy a cow when milk is cheap?”.

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 [email protected].