| Petaling Jaya, Malaysia | | 23 Aug 2015 | Asia Samachar |
Most Sikhs in Malaysia have neither prepared a will nor realise its importance.
“There is a lack of basic awareness on the importance of a will in the community,” Gurmel Singh tells Asia Samachar after conducting a half-day seminar for Sikhs in Petaling Jaya, yesterday (22 Nov 2015).
Some 30 participants, mostly women, participated in the seminar organised by the Sikh Women Awareness Network (SWAN).
“I think they plan to have another session to target the men. In our society, the men still contol the assets and make these decisions in many families,” he said.
When asked if he had encountered any surprises when handling the seminar, Gurmel, a lawyer by training, said: “I was not prepared to deal with issues concerning properties in India. What happens when a spouse with property in India passes away? We had some questions on this.”
When asked on the importance of a will, he said that a person who dies intestate, that is without preparing a will, the law takes over your rights to administer the estate.
Gurmel ran thought more than 70 questions with the participants.
When a person dies intestate, the estate of the deceased will be frozen. The immediate family needs to apply for a Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration to unlock the deceased’s estate before able to transfer it to his/her family members i.e.i the legal beneficiaries, reads the first point.
He advised the participants of the some instances which will make the will null and void, including when the spouse converts to Islam. A will also becomes null and void if it is prepared before marriage without making express mention of the impending marriage and naming the spouse.
He also said the nomimees listed for the Employees Provindend Fund (EPF) supercede any names mentioned in a will. EPF is a Malaysian government-run retirement fund which makes compulsory salary deducation to be put aside for retirement.
SWAN anti-ageing talk on 23 Aug in GSPJ (Asia Samachar, 15 Aug 2015)