Case StudiesProbate & Estate AdministrationWillJune 24, 2024by Kai Xin YeohCan I appoint a Foreigner as my Executor and include him as my Beneficiary?

Mr. Lim came to us with a question: “I’m a Malaysian citizen married to a foreign woman, and we have a son who isn’t a Malaysian citizen. I own few properties in Malaysia. Can I appoint my foreign son as my executor and include both my son and wife as beneficiaries in my will?”.


Mr. Lim’s background:
Mr. Lim, a Malaysian citizen, is married to a foreign woman.
They have one son, who is not a Malaysian citizen.
Mr. Lim has few properties in Malaysia.
He wishes to appoint his foreign son as the executor and include his son and wife, both are foreigners, as beneficiaries.


Can Mr. Lim appoints his son, who is a foreigner, as the Executor?


Malaysian Law on Executors

Under Malaysian law, particularly the Wills Act 1959, an executor is a person appointed by a will to administer the deceased’s estate. The executor’s duties include collecting the estate’s assets, paying any debts, and distributing the remainder of the estate according to the will.


Requirements for an Executor

(i) Age and Capacity: The executor must be an adult (at least 18 years old) and must have the mental capacity to manage the estate.

(ii) Residency: There is no legal requirement that an executor must be a Malaysian resident or citizen.


In Mr. Lim’s case, appointing his foreign son as the executor is legally permissible. However, he has to consider that his son may face logistical challenges in managing an estate in Malaysia, such as traveling for court proceedings and dealing with local authorities.


Can Mr. Lim include his wife and son, both are foreigner, as the beneficiaries in this Will?


Foreigners can inherit property in Malaysia through a will. However, there are some restrictions on inheritance.

  1. National Land Code 1965: Transferring certain types of assets, particularly immovable property (real estate), to a foreigner may require approval from the relevant state authorities. Each state in Malaysia has its own regulations and approval processes for such transfers.
  2. Types of Properties: While foreigners can usually inherit residential properties, there may be restrictions on agricultural land, Malay Reserve Land, and properties designated for Bumiputera.


We may refer to Re Tan Kim Chuan [2004] 1 MLJ 563

This case involved the distribution of assets to foreign beneficiaries. The court affirmed that there are no legal barriers to foreigners inheriting property in Malaysia, but emphasized the importance of ensuring compliance with any foreign exchange regulations and property ownership laws.


Mr. Lim can appoint his foreign son as the executor and include his foreign wife and son as beneficiaries under Malaysian law. However, practical and legal considerations, such as the management of the estate from abroad and property ownership restrictions, should be carefully addressed.

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  • 林先生是马来西亚公民,妻子是外国人。
  • 他们有一个儿子,但他也不是马来西亚公民。
  • 林先生在马来西亚有一些产业。
  • 他希望委任他的儿子(非马来西亚人)作为遗嘱执行人,并将这个儿子和妻子(他们都是外国人)列为遗嘱受益人。





根据马来西亚法律,特别是1959年的《Wills Act》,遗嘱执行人是来管理逝者遗产的人。他的职责包括收集遗产、支付任何留下的债务,并根据遗嘱分配剩余的遗产。



(i) 年龄和能力:遗嘱执行人必须是成年人(至少18岁),并且必须有管理遗产的精神能力。

(ii) 居住地:法律上没有要求遗嘱执行人必须是马来西亚公民。






  1. 1965年National Land Code:将某些类型的资产(特别是不动产)转移给外国人可能需要相关State authorities的批准。马来西亚每个州都有自己的法规和审批流程。
  2. 财产类型:虽然外国人通常可以继承住宅物业,但可能对农业用地、马来保留地和特定为土著的物业有一些限制。

参考 Re Tan Kim Chuan [2004] 1 MLJ 563, 这个案例涉及分配资产给同样也是外国人的受益人。法庭确认外国人在继承马来西亚财产的部分没有法律障碍,但强调了遵守外汇管理法规和财产所有权的重要性。