Inheritance In Malaysia 

 Inheritance In Malaysia 


In Malaysia, inheritance refers to the process by which the assets and properties of a deceased person are distributed among their heirs or beneficiaries. The specific rules and procedures for inheritance in Malaysia can vary depending on the religious and cultural background of the deceased individual, as well as whether they were governed by Islamic or civil law.

Islamic Law (Shariah) for Muslims:

  • Faraid: In Malaysia, the distribution of assets for Muslims is governed by the Islamic law of faraid (inheritance). Faraid outlines the rightful shares of heirs and is based on the Quranic principles. It determines the distribution of assets among the heirs, including spouses, children, parents, and other close relatives.
    • Heirs: Sons, daughters, spouses, parents, and other close relatives are common heirs. Sons generally receive a higher share than daughters.|
  • Syariah Court: Disputes related to Muslim inheritance are typically resolved in the Syariah Court, which has jurisdiction over Islamic family matters, including inheritance issues.
    • Heirs: The Syariah Court handles disputes among Muslim heirs, including spouses, children, and other family members.

Civil Law for Non-Muslims:

  • For non-Muslims, the distribution of assets is governed by civil laws, primarily the Distribution Act 1958 (amended in 1997). The Distribution Act outlines the rules for the distribution of a deceased person's estate among the surviving family members..
    • Heirs: : under civil law include surviving spouses, children, parents, and other relatives as outlined in the Distribution Act..
  • Non-Muslims may also leave a will to specify how they want their assets to be distributed. The Wills Act 1959 governs the making and execution of wills for non-Muslims in Malaysia
    • Heirs: Non-Muslims have the flexibility to name heirs in their wills, which may include spouses, children, extended family, and even organizations.

​​​​Intestacy Laws:

  • In the absence of a valid will, both Muslims and non-Muslims are subject to intestacy laws. Intestacy laws provide a framework for the distribution of a deceased person's estate among legal heirs based on a predetermined hierarchy of relationships
    • Heirs: Intestacy laws provide a hierarchy of heirs for both Muslims and non-Muslims. The order may include surviving spouses, children, parents, and siblings, depending on the specific circumstances..


Joint Tenancy and Nomination:

  • Joint tenancy and nomination are methods by which individuals can designate beneficiaries for specific assets. This can help in avoiding the probate process and ensuring a smoother transfer of assets to the intended beneficiaries.
    • Heirs: Beneficiaries designated through joint tenancy and nomination receive assets directly. Commonly designated heirs include spouses, children, and other chosen individuals.


Probate and Letters of Administration:

  • The probate process involves validating a deceased person's will in court. For those who die without a will, the court may grant Letters of Administration to the next of kin, allowing them to administer the estate.
    • Heirs: In the probate process, the named heirs in the will or legal heirs under intestacy laws receive the deceased's assets. The process ensures a legal and organized distribution to the rightful heirs.

Before Proceeding with inherited Procedures:

  • If you're dealing with inherited property, it is advisable to initiate a 'land search' beforehand. Land search provides detailed information about the land, including the owner's identity, and checks for any charges or restrictions imposed by others. It makes managing the inheritance process smoother and offers a clearer picture before diving into the asset distribution.
  • To perform an online 'land search,' simply click HERE. Easylaw makes the process quick and straightforward.