Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Will For Non-Muslims

No. Question Answer
What is an estate? Estate refers to the property of a deceased person, which includes both moveable and immovable property.

Examples of moveable property are cash, shares, EPF contributions, insurance compensation, vehicles, furniture, clothes, gold, branded goods and etc.

While immovable property includes land, houses, mines, rice fields, wells and lakes.

2. What is a “small estate”? A small estate means an estate of a deceased person that is left intestate and not exceeding RM2,000,000.00 in total value. The following are considered as small estate-

  1. land only;
  2. land with house;
  3. land, house and moveable property such as jewellery, shares, EPF contributions, cash savings, motored vehicles, furniture, clothes, etc.; and
  4. land and any amount of claims under Section 7 and Section 8 of the Civil Law Act (Act 67).
3. What are the categories of value for an estate?
  1. moveable and immovable property exceeding RM 2,000,000.00 in total value;
  2. immovable property with a value exceeding RM 2,000,000.00; and
  3. moveable property such as cash, shares, vehicles, even if the total value does not exceed RM 2,000,000.00.
4. What is a testate and intestate estate? Testate estate-

A testate estate is when the deceased passed away with a valid will.  A will explains how the deceased’s estate is to be distributed amongst his heirs.  


Intestate estate-

Intestacy occurs when the deceased died without leaving a valid Will. 

5. What is the last valid will? Refers to the last will prepared by the deceased before his demise and such will is in compliance and not conflicting with any applicable laws.
6. Why do I need to prepare a will? If you prepare a will, you can ensure the welfare of your loved ones are taken care of after your demise.  Besides, a will could facilitate the distribution of your estate after your demise. 

Furthermore, a will is not only an instrument for the management of your estate, but a will also allow you to choose anyone to receive your estate after your demise.

7. What if I pass away without leaving a will?  If you pass away without leaving a will, your estate will be distributed according to the provisions under the Distribution Act 1958 (Act 300).  Such distribution is subject to the surviving heirs as provided in Act 300.
8. Who may prepare a will? Individuals who are 18 years of age, be of sound mind and owns any estate.
9. How should my will be executed after my demise? An executor who is appointed under the will shall apply for a Grant of Probate (GP) in the High Court to administer the deceased’s estate in accordance to his will.
10. What is probate? Probate refers to the act of certifying and validifying a will left by the deceased.  The purpose of probate is to recognise a will that is legally valid.
11. How will my estate be administered if I pass away without leaving a will? For individuals who pass away without leaving a will, the estate distribution of the individual’s estate will be administered as according to Act 300.  The deceased’s heir must apply for Letter of Administration to administer the distribution of the deceased’s estate.
12. How many times can a will be rewritten? There are no limits or restrictions to rewrite your will.  Though, only the latest will shall be enforced.
13. Can I prepare my own will without acquiring the services of a lawyer? We advise for you not to prepare your own will.  This is because there are a number of things and laws that need to be complied with so to ensure that the will is valid and enforceable.   Therefore, it is advisable that you seek professional services in preparing a will.
14. I am still single and I have prepared a will for my parents. If I get married, have children later on, and I did not manage to prepare a new will before I pass away, will my wife and child not receive my estate? Section 12 of Act 300 provide that a will made by a person will be revoked by his or her marriage unless the will is made specifically in contemplation of a marriage.

“Section 12. Every will made by a man or woman shall be revoked by his or her marriage, except a will made in exercise of a power of appointment, when the property thereby appointed would not in default of such appointment pass to his or her heir, executor or administrator or the person entitled in case of his or her intestacy: Provided that a will expressed to be made in contemplation of a marriage shall not be revoked by the solemnization of the marriage contemplated; and this proviso shall apply notwithstanding that the marriage contemplated may be the first, second or subsequent marriage of a person lawfully practising polygamy.”

15. Can I bequeath my property to a charity? You may bequeath your estate to anyone you want.  However, you are advised to provide complete information for the beneficiary of your estate to ease the distribution process later.


Prepared by, 

Nur Syaheerah Razailani

Legal Associate

Messrs Misyail Othman & Co


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