By Peter Lee
With the instruction and consent from the family of the late Lee Sr, the Trust Company Representative (TCR) commenced first with the application of Letter of Administration (L.A.) for Lee Sr in Malaysia. However, TCR reminded the family that they would have to first extract the death certificate of Lee Sr’s parents from the National Registration Department (NRD) since no member of the family have these certificates. TCR further said “these death certificates would also be important for application of L.A. in Malaysia where the L.A. can be used for application of separate L.A. for the overseas assets. In the meantime, I will list down all the details of movable and immovable assets which I have for the submission of L.A. to the High Court. Similarly, I will do the same for those assets located overseas for the application for L.A. in those countries involved.
As discussed earlier, the overseas submission of the L.A. in each of the countries will be done by the legal firms that TCR will appoint. Now, as for the negotiation between some family members on renunciation of some of the assets especially the properties and shares of the companies in exchange for cash would have to be done after the Malaysian L.A. is obtained. Mrs Patricia Lee (Lee Sr’s 1st wife ) then asked, “So can you roughly tell us how long we need to wait before all the assets are unlocked for distribution?” In reply, TCR said “I am not sure but we will try our best to expedite the matter since we are dealing with assets local and overseas.” With a tired expression, Mrs Patricia Lee said “I guess we can’t do much except to wait. By the way, since you have the full picture of our family affairs, what other advice could you give to the family as all of us are here.”
To this, TCR responded and said “From this lengthy and difficult experience that everyone has gone through over the intestate inheritance and distribution of Lee Sr’s estate, I would strongly suggest that every family member have their own will written by a professional. This will definitely avoid the problems that all of you are going through with your father’s estate.”
“By doing your will, you can choose who is most suited to be your Executor instead of just passing the burden to your family members to choose. If you find that your family members already have a lot of things on their plate or are forced to choose sides between various family members, a trust company can be appointed to act as the executor instead.”
“Having said that, if any of you have a young family with minor children, then the choice of the Executor becomes more important as they will be holding the entire wealth of your estate for your minor children. You will also have to think about who is to be appointed as their guardian in case both parents pass on when they are still minors. Make the right choice and speak to those individuals whom you think are capable of taking up this responsibility and at the same time, to ascertain whether they are willing to assume this responsibility. Once these appointments are resolved, then you will have to decide on your distribution structure with probably a trust being created in the will to use the inheritance of the minors in a proper manner for their expenses for education, medical and maintenance until you think they are able to handle the inheritance.”
“As in the case of Lee Sr’s estate, it would be more of segregating the distribution utilizing a will and a private trust since there are two families involved. Alternatively, Lee Sr could have prepared a will and appointed a Trust Company like us to be the executor as our position is neutral and strictly following the instructions in the will.” Michelle Lee (Lee Sr’s daughter), while looking at her siblings, then said “I don’t know about you guys, but after hearing what TCR said I think I have to do my will.” Then she turned her attention towards TCR and said “I hope you can really expedite the application of L.A. in the name of my father’s estate.”
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