Wednesday, October 23

Borneo Post with the expert help of Rockwills Trustee Bhd, the leading specialist in estate planning having pioneered wills and trust 24 years ago, is publishing a regular Q&A column on estate planning. It will feature questions which readers have in mind but don’t know who to ask:

Question 1: If living with a same-sex partner, would leaving behind assets to the partner be an issue when I pass on?

Rockwills Answer: As same-sex marriage is not recognised in Malaysia, your partner will not be able to register as your legal spouse. When you pass away without a will, your partner will not inherit any assets from you as your spouse.

The same applies to you when inheriting assets from your partner if your partner passes on before you. Fortunately, you can write a will which will give you the freedom to choose anyone as your beneficiary of your estate regardless of whether the person is your spouse or not. So, if you wish to name your partner as beneficiary, you will need to have a will. In the event you decide to amend your will any time before death, you are free to do so provided you still have sound mind.

Question 2: What would happen if I have named my wife as the beneficiary in my will, then in a car accident, she is in comatose state and I have passed away? Is there a way that I can still ensure my moneys can be used to take care of her?

Rockwills Answer: When writing a will, simple instructions on giving away your assets to your spouse outright may not provide appropriate directions to your executor of what to do in such situations. You should further enhance your will by including specific distribution instructions to your Executor in the below situation:

1. When you wife is in comatose state;

2. If she recovers from the comatose;

3. If she passes away while she is in the comatose state We suggest you speak to a professional estate planners to tailor make the instructions in your will to best suit your beneficiary’s needs in such situations.

This Q&A Column in published as a joint public service and educational initiative with Rockwills Trustee Bhd. Please email your questions related to Estate Planning to [email protected] or Rockwills’ training and business development senior manager Sam Chan ([email protected]).