Case StudiesSeptember 22, 2023by Finex & CoCan a non-Muslim wife inherit the deceased husband’s assets despite having an affair?

In Malaysia, the rules of intestacy (when someone dies without a will) generally do not consider a spouse’s fidelity or personal behavior as a factor in determining their right to inherit. Instead, inheritance laws often focus on factors like marital status, kinship, or the presence of a valid Will.

It’s important to emphasize that this information is a general overview and may not cover all specific scenarios or considerations. Inheritance laws can be complex and may involve various factors such as the presence of a Will, the type of assets, and the number of surviving heirs.


Distribution of estate under Distribution Act 1958
Section 6 of the Distribution Act 1958 (As amended in 1997) provides the following:
(a) Spouse only alive (without parents or issue) – whole estate to surviving spouse
(b) Spouse and parents alive (without issue) – spouse – 1/2 & parents – 1/2
(c) Issue only alive (without spouse or parents) – whole estate to issue equally
(d) Parents only alive (without spouse or issue) – whole estate to parents
(e) Spouse and issue alive (without parents) – spouse – 1/3 & issue – 2/3
(f) Issue and parents alive (without spouse) – issue – 2/3 & parents – 1/3
(g) Spouse, issue and parents alive – spouse – 1/4, issue – 1/2 & parents – 1/4

The following person(s) are entitled in accordance to priority when an intestate dies without leaving a surviving spouse, child or parent:

  •  brothers & sisters
  •  grandparents
  •  uncles & aunts
  •  great grandparents
  •  great uncles & aunts
  •  government

Therefore, if you are concerned about your spouse, who’s having an affair, inheriting your estate, it is advisable to have your Will written as early as possible to ensure that your assets are given to your truly loved ones.

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