Administration of Estates in Malaysia


When your loved ones passed away, their assets will be frozen and nobody is allowed to take them into possession without first obtaining permission and authorization from Court or other relevant authorized bodies such as JKPTG and the land office where the deceased’s immovable property is located. Hence the issue now is, how can the surviving beneficiaries take into possession the deceased’s properties and assets for the purpose of administration and distribution?

The estates administration in Malaysia is governed by Probate and Administration Act 1959 and Distribution Act 1958. The process for obtaining the said permission or authorization will very much depend on the existence of a valid will as well as the value of the deceased’s estate.

For instance, If the deceased died leaving a valid will (also known as dying testate), the named executor can make an application to the High Court for the issuance of Grant of Probate.

However if the deceased died leaving no will or the will is proven to be invalid or no executor has been appointed in the will (also known as dying intestate), the beneficiary(ies) can make an application to the High Court for the issuance of Letter of Administration. Two sureties having the assets of the same value with the deceased’s within the same jurisdiction are required to be produced acting as a security for the said administration, if the value of the deceased’s estate is more than RM50,000.00, unless Court makes an exemption Order.

Application for Letter of Administration can also be made to JKPTG or district land office where the deceased’s immovable property is located if the deceased’s immovable property is worth of RM2 million and below. This has been conferred in the Small Estate Distribution Act 1955. Should the beneficiary/ies opt for this option, they can make the application on their own without the necessity of engaging a lawyer.

Once Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration is issued and extracted, the executor/administrator can take into possession the deceased’s estate and settle the latter’s debts and liabilities first before distributing the remaining estate to the beneficiaries according to the Deceased’s will or the Distribution Act 1958. The Administrator will also require to make an application for Distribution Order from the Land office before distribution of estates to the beneficiary(ies) can be done. For Muslims, distribution of estate must be done according to Faraid Certificate or consensus.

What are the documents that you usually need to prepare for Grant of Probate / Letter of Administration applications?

  • The deceased’s death cert;
  • The valid will (if dying testate);
  • The sworn statements of the witnesses’ of the will (If dying testate);
  • List of Assets and Liabilities;
  • List of Beneficiaries;
  • The beneficiaries’ nric or birth cert and marriage cert;
  • The Executor/Administrator nric;
  • The renunciation statements by other lawful beneficiary(ies) (if dying intestate);
  • Any other relevant documents needed from time to time

Should you have further questions pertaining to the above matter, feel free to contact us for legal consultation.

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