The role of an executor is of paramount importance in ensuring the smooth administration and distribution of a testator individual’s estate. In Malaysia, the role of an executor is crucial in ensuring the smooth transition of assets according to the wishes of the testator. Therefore, the primary responsibility of an executor is to guarantee the fulfilment of all the wishes outlined in the deceased’s Will. The duties of an executor encompass inter-alia as follows:-
Probate Application and Administration
The first and foremost duty of an executor in Malaysia is locating the original copy of the Will. After locating the Will, the executor is advised to appoint a lawyer to apply for grant of probate in the High Court. The grant of probate authorizes the executor to administer the testator’s estate according to the terms of the Will. The duration of this application typically spans from 3 to 6 months, taking into account the processing speed of the relevant court and the presence of any additional issues pertaining to the Will.
Executors are responsible for identifying and locating all assets comprising the testator’s estate. Additionally, the executors are required to notify financial institutions and the Inland Revenue Board, such as banks and credit card companies, of the deceased passing. The executors may need to set up a separate account for the purpose of administering the estate.
Settling Debts and Liabilities
Executors must diligently settle the debts and liabilities of the testator before distributing the estate to beneficiaries. Section 68(2) of the Probate and Administration Act 1959 emphasizes that the executor is obliged to discharge all lawful debts, funeral expenses, and administrative costs before distributing the remaining assets.
Distribution of Assets to Beneficiaries
Once all debts are settled, executors are responsible for distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the testator’s wishes and intention which stipulated in the Will. The executor is tasked with identifying the properties and assets bequeathed to each beneficiary. However, if the beneficiaries have any claim against the estate, then it will have to be dealt in the court accordingly.
In conclusion, the role of an executor in Malaysia is crucial for ensuring that the will is administered in accordance with the wishes of the testator. Therefore, it is crucial for an individual to seek legal advice, enabling a comprehensive understanding of the executor’s duties. This proactive approach not only facilitates the effective execution of the Will but also serves as a preventive measure against inadvertent mismanagement of the estate. With the legal guidance, individuals can contribute to a smoother and more secure transition of their assets in accordance with their intentions.
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