In The Name Of My Father’s Estate (Episode 15)

With the bank information disclosed by John and Michele (children of Lee Sr) and Connie (Lee Sr’s 2nd wife), Dave pointed out to them that since overseas bank accounts were involved, it is advisable to apply for a separate Letter Of Administration (L.A.) in these overseas countries like Singapore, Australia and U.K. This will speed up the process of distribution. He added, “The application for L.A. for assets in Malaysia and those overseas can be done simultaneously.
Therefore, as for overseas application of L.A., I have to engage legal firms in each of the respective countries mentioned to deal with this matter.” John then asked, “Is this going to be costly and how long will it take?” Dave replied, “I am not sure about the cost and duration until I check with the lawyers in these countries. However, what I know is that your father’s estate may have to pay Inheritance Tax in U.K. and if you are late in filing the Inheritance tax forms then there is a penalty imposed.” Michelle asked, “How much is the Inheritance Tax rates and the time frame for filing these forms?” In reply, Dave said “If I am not mistaken, the Inheritance Tax rate is 40 per cent of the value of your father’s estate above £325,000 and the time frame for filing to avoid the penalty is within one year after death.” Three of the Administrators at that moment shook their heads in disbelief at the hefty Inheritance Tax.
Then, Connie asked, “Will this be applicable in Malaysia, Singapore and Australia?” Dave replied, “As far as I know, there is no Inheritance Tax in Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. Another lucky thing is that estate duty in these three countries have been abolished. However, as far as Lee Sr’s personal income tax is concerned, three of you as Administrators will have to ensure that if there is any tax outstanding, it must be settled with the tax department before any distribution of the estate is carried out. We can discuss further on this later.”
Dave then said, “Okay, let’s talk about the investments registered under Lee Sr. either solely or jointly in local and overseas markets.” John said, “I have here statements on all the unit trust investments jointly owned with my father, three of which are with my mother (Mrs Patricia Lee) and the rest are with each of my five siblings including myself (that is, Michelle, Nick, Steven, Sandy and Nancy). As for the shares in the share market, there are three CDS statements showing the local investments and here are the investment statements for those shares invested in Singapore and the U.K.” Dave then turned to Connie and asked, “Could you give me the investment details from your side?” Connie replied, “I have only two unit trust investment statements, two CDS statements for shares locally and a statement showing some share investments in the Singapore stock market all of which are under his name solely.”
Michelle asked Dave, “Do we need to be present in the overseas countries mentioned to apply for the L.A. and deal with the money and investments there?” Dave responded, “If it is inconvenient for all three of you to travel for this, then we will most likely have to appoint legal firms or Trustee Companies in these countries to act as the estate administrators. This is subject to all the beneficiaries’ consents.”
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: 0125078825/ 052554853 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.

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