Introduction of Making a Will

  • Have you ever imagined about what happens to your assets after you die?
  • Have you ever cared about who looks after your children after you die?
  • Have you ever worried about how you support your family members even after you die?

The purpose of this article is to spread the awareness and some basic knowledge of writing a will in Malaysia.



What is a will?

A will is ‘a declaration intended to have legal effect of the intentions of a testator with respect to his property or other matters which he desires to be carried into effect after his death…’, as defined under the Wills Act 1959. In other simple words, a will is a legal arrangement made by a testator regarding his property in a manner he wishes to carry out after he dies.





Testator (Male) / Testatrix (Female)

The person who makes a will


The person who derives advantages

 from the will

Executor (Male) / Executrix (Female)

The person who is appointed by the will maker to execute his/her will


The person who is appointed to administrate the deceased’s estate when there is no will


All assets owned by a testator at his death

 How to make a valid and enforceable will?

In Malaysia, a valid and enforceable will must comply with the requirement of formalities as enunciated in Section 5 of the Wills Act 1959. The formalities are as follows:

  • The will must be in writing;
  • The testator/testatrix must be at least 18 years old;
  • The testator/testatrix must be of sound mind;
  • The will must be signed by the testator/testatrix in the presence of at least 2 witnesses; and
  • The 2 witnesses must sign the will in the presence of each other and the testator/testatrix.

Note:        *The witness cannot be the beneficiary.

                  *The executor can be the beneficiary. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of making a will? 




Appointment of Executor

You may appoint anyone who you trust the most to be your executor, even lawyer.

Beneficiary under the law may apply to be appointed as the administrator.

Your choice of beneficiary

You may decide any manner you wish to distribute your assets.

The distribution of your assets will according to Distribution Act 1958.

Time taken to distribute the deceased’s assets

1 – 2 years

(even shorter)

2 – 5 years

Cost spent

  1. Apply for Grant of Probate
  2. Cost for transfer of immovable properties
  3. Stamp duty for the transfer – RM10/property
  4. Cheaper legal fees
  1. Apply for Grant of Letter of Administration
  2. Apply for Transmission Order for transfer of immovable properties
  3. Cost for transfer of immovable properties.
  4. Stamp duty according to market value of the immovable properties
  5. Higher legal fees

Requirement of two (2) sureties


Yes, unless exemption is granted by the court upon application.



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The information published in this article is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute any legal advice from the Yee & Partners. Feel free to seek legal advice from our professional lawyers.