You may own any assets such as bank accounts, investments or properties located overseas during your lifetime. You may not aware of the potential inheritance issues and legal complications in respect of the administration of overseas assets upon demise. How do you cover such assets if you are no longer around?
It is possible to have your Will to include your overseas assets. However, it is subject to the applicable laws of the jurisdiction it’s located in. There may be some problem for the estate administration in different jurisdictions.
If you have a Malaysia Will that also cover overseas assets, the appointed Executor named in the Will first will have to apply for a Grant of Probate, which will give him the power to administer the estate and distribute it according to the instructions in your will and then the Executor will have to apply for a Resealing of Grant of Probate in another jurisdiction where assets are located. Resealing is the process of obtaining the foreign court’s legal recognition in the country where the assets are situated. The resealing order will give the Executor the same power to carry out your instructions in relation to the overseas assets. The resealing of Grant of Probate involves more costs and time-consuming.
If a jurisdiction rejects your application for the Resealing of Grant of Probate, it is likely that you will be treated as having died intestate. Generally, Commonwealth jurisdictions, such as Singapore, United Kingdom, Australia, can reseal Grant of Probate granted by a Malaysia High Court.
In view of the above, it is advisable that you should make a separate foreign Will that only cover assets located in that particular country. This foreign Will shall be worded in such a way that it will only deal with the assets in that particular country and shall not have any effect on other assets located elsewhere.