Wasiat: Making the Right Decision for Loved Ones
A Wasiat is more than just words on paper. It holds the key to transfer your assets to loved ones upon your passing.
Why is a Wasiat important?
In the Hadith riwayat Al-Bukhari and Muslim, it is stated that the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said,” It is not permissible for any Muslim who has something to Wasiat to stay for two nights without having his Wasiat written and kept ready with him.” Jumhur Ulama mentioned that writing Wasiat in Islam is Sunat Muakkad (strongly recommended).
When a Muslim dies, his or her assets will be frozen. In order for the assets to be released, a specific legal process has to be followed. Without a Wasiat, all beneficiaries will have to jointly agree on the appointment of an Administrator (person to distribute the asset accordingly). This first step may become complicated or unresolved if all beneficiaries do not come to an agreement with the appointed Administrator. Once this step has been overcome, further challenges may appear as the beneficiaries have to then find two sureties who each must have total assets of their own that is equivalent to the gross estate value of the demised person.
For example, if Mr. A who has total asset worth RM2 million passed away, his beneficiaries will have to find two sureties who each have total assets worth RM2 million as well. It must be noted that both sureties also have to agree that their RM2 million worth of assets are pledged with the court until full distribution of the estate. The probability of overcoming the legal process in order to retrieve the frozen assets becomes sadly tedious. You would not want your beneficiaries to face difficulties in attaining rights over your assets upon your death. Thus, this is where the importance of a Wasiat arises.
What is a Wasiat?
A Wasiat is equivalent to writing down a wish list based on your preference. It is a written document that allows you to distribute your estate (assets) to your desired beneficiaries upon your demise. In comparison, if you die intestate (without a Wasiat), the distribution of your asset falls in the hands of the Faraid Law (the Islamic Law that handles the distribution of the estate of a Muslim).
Under Faraid’s principles:
- The beneficiaries are fixed.
- Under normal circumstances, the beneficiaries will be the spouse, parents and children.
- The amount to be distributed to beneficiaries is also fixed.
- Non-Faraid beneficiaries have no rights to claim:
- adopted or step-children
- illegitimate children (father’s estate)
- non-Muslim beneficiaries (e.g. convert)
The Quranic Beneficiary’s Right of Inheritance is as below:
What are the benefits of preparing a Wasiat?
- Expedite legal process, faster distribution and less costly – distribution of assets will be less than a year as compared to without a Wasiat which can drag for a few years.
- Indicate assets to specific beneficiaries within their Faraid entitlement.
- Provision to non-legal beneficiaries up to 1/3 of total assets.
- Own choice of executor, trustee and guardian.
- Accommodate process of claiming “Harta Sepencarian” (any asset or property that you bought during the subsistence of marriage).
- Mitigate family disputes.
- Can retain ownership of the assets until death.
- No sureties required.
- Avoid depletion of assets.
- Able to include final messages.
How can I get a Wasiat done?
Public Mutual in collaboration with PB Trustee Services Berhad (PBTSB) provides Wasiat writing as a value-added service to our investors. For Mutual Gold, Mutual Gold Elite and Mutual Platinum members, the first Wasiat writing service will be at no cost. The Wasiat shall be kept under safe custody with PBTSB for free if they are appointed as the executor (person to administer the asset).
This article is prepared solely for educational and awareness purposes and should not be construed as an offer or a solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe to products offered by Public Mutual. No representation or warranty is made by Public Mutual, nor is there acceptance of any responsibility or liability as to the accuracy, completeness or correctness of the information contained herein.