Federal Constitution (Modification. of Laws) (Ordinances and. Proclamations) Order Ord. 26/ Small Estates (Distribution). DISTRIBUTION ACT We are a law firm based at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia specializing in various legal practice. Contact us at + for more. Distribution Act applies only for West Malaysia and Sarawak. Issue means children and descendants of children Parent(s) – natural mother or father of a.
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Since then, the Distribution Act has undergone some important changes. The major changes brought about by Act A to the scheme of intestate distribution for non-Muslims are by the amendments to section 6 of the Pembahagan Act The purpose of the present article is to set out these changes by highlighting the differences in the law before and after the enforcement of Act A It is hoped that this article will serve as a supplement to the above mentioned well researched and detailed work of Associate Professors P Balan and Rafiah Salim as they then were.
That article is still valid today except to the extent of the changes made by Act A as will be discussed below. This article is divided into six parts. After the introduction in Part I, Part II discusses the changes in the scheme of intestate distribution where a woman dies intestate.
Part III deals with the changes where a married man dies intestate. Part IV is about the position where an unmarried person dies intestate, or where a person, though married, dies intestate without leaving a surviving spouse or issue; these persons may be a male or a female.
Part V briefly explains the scheme of statutory trusts under pembaahgian 7 of the principal Act. Although Act A has not amended section 7 of the principal Act specifically, a brief explanation of the scheme of statutory trusts as set out by this section is pertinent to facilitate a better understanding of the operation of section 6, which, as stated, has been amended in important respects by Act A Finally, for easy and quick reference, the writers have prepared as an appendix to this article tables which set out in summary, in relation to intestate distribution of deceased married men and women, the intestate distribution entitlement of three main categories of beneficiaries, namely spouse, issue and parents, both in respect of the law before and after the enforcement of Act A Before Act A, ata principal Act made a significant distinction between the rights of a surviving husband and those of a surviving wife of an intestate.
It ignored the fact that, in modern times, many women work and accumulate substantial assets for the welfare of their children. It also failed to provide for old and infirm qkta of an intestate, who were dependent upon the daughter during her life-time.
As a pembahagin of Act A, the principal Act now makes no distinction between the rights of a surviving husband and those of a surviving wife. Section 6 1 awhich is currently in force, reads as follows:. If an intestate dies leaving a spouse and no issue and no parent or parents, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to the whole of the estate.
This is a significant change in the law. Now he may only claim the whole estate if the deceased intestate wife left no issue and no parent or parents. The term refers to a legitimate child or a child adopted under the Adoption Act  of Peninsular Malaysia or the Adoption Ordinance of the State of Sarawak. As stated above, before the enforcement of Act A, the surviving husband of an intestate married woman was entitled to the whole of her estate such that her surviving parent or parents were not entitled to any share of the estate.
Thus, the parents pembahgaian an intestate married woman who had settled valuable property in her name for her benefit or the benefit of her children, would find that the property would be inherited by the husband if she had left no issue.
If the intestate dies leaving no issue but a spouse and a parent or parents, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to one-half of the estate and the parent or parents shall be entitled to the remaining one-half. This new provision significantly improves the position of the surviving parent or parents of a married woman who dies leaving a husband but no issue.
This new provision will benefit old and infirm parents who have depended on their deceased daughter for their support. Where the parents have settled valuable property on the deceased, the parents will be entitled to at least half of it.
It would therefore appear that for intestate succession purposes, the law requires a formal legal relationship between the parent and a child; a mere blood relationship will not suffice. Both before and after Act A, where a married intestate woman atka leaving issue but no surviving husband or parent or parents, the whole of the estate will be inherited by her issue in the form of statutory trusts as set out in section 7.
Both before and after Act A, where a married intestate woman dies leaving a parent or parents but no surviving husband or issue, the whole zkta the estate will be inherited by her parent or parents. As has been noted above, before the enforcement of Act A, the result of section 6 1 i of the principal Act was that where an intestate woman left a husband and issue, her issue were not entitled to any share of the aktq.
Thus the estate of a married woman, who had accumulated pembagagian considerable amount of property for her children, would be inherited by her husband, unless she had prior to her death made testamentary or inter vivos gifts to the children or created trusts of her property pembahagiian their favour.
Section 6 1 of the principal Act, as amended by Act A, now provides in paragraph e as follows:. If an intestate dies leaving a spouse and issue but no parent or parents, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to one-third of the estate and the issue the remaining two-thirds.
The scheme of the trusts created by the section will be explained in Part V. By virtue of section 6 1 iii of the pre-amendment principal Act, where an intestate woman died pebahagian issue and a parent or parents but no surviving husband, the issue were entitled to the whole of her estate in the form of trusts set out in section 7. The relevant new xkta is paragraph f of section 6 1 of the principal Act, which provides as follows:. If an intestate dies leaving no spouse but issue and a parent or parents, the surviving issue shall be entitled to two-thirds of the estate and the parent or parents the remaining one-third.
The parent or parents, who were previously not entitled to any share of the estate, are now entitled to the remaining one-third. As is obvious from what has been mentioned earlier, before Act A, the fact that an intestate married woman was survived by her issue or a parent or parents was irrelevant because the surviving husband was entitled to the whole of her estate.
If an intestate dies leaving a spouse, issue and parent or parents, the surviving pembahafian shall be entitled to one-quarter of the aktaa, the issue shall be entitled to one-half of the estate and the parent or parents pembahagina remaining one-quarter.
This is a significant new development. The children, who previously obtained no share, are now entitled to one-half. The surviving parent or parents, who previously were entitled to nothing, are now entitled to the remaining one-quarter. An important point to note is that the parents are entitled to a share even where the deceased has left issue. The rights of a surviving husband and those of a surviving wife were treated differently by the principal Act before it was amended by the Act A Thus, in the event that the deceased husband left no parent or parents or any brothers or sisters or their issue or pembahagan or grandparents, the surviving wife was entitled to the remaining one-half.
As has been pointed out earlier, the principal Act, as amended by Act A, makes no distinction pembahwgian the rights of a surviving husband and those of a surviving wife.
As a result of the currently in force section aktw 1 aif the deceased husband leaves no issue or parent or parents, the surviving wife is now entitled to the whole of his estate. It is now irrelevant that the deceased has left brothers or sisters or grandparents. This has greatly improved the position of the surviving wife. This change, however, may not be wholly socially positive in all circumstances. In Malaysia, it is common for a working married man to provide financial support for his young siblings.
As a result of the new provision, his brothers and sisters are no longer entitled to a share of pembahaigan estate. It may also be noted that the siblings of a deceased person are also not entitled to bring a claim under the Inheritance Family Provision Act  as dependants of the deceased.
If the deceased husband leaves a wife and a parent or parents, section 6 1 b will apply. The surviving wife is entitled to one-half of the estate.
The parent or parents will inherit the remaining one-half. In this instance, Act A makes no change to the rights of the parents of a deceased married man and the legal position under the principal Act before Act A is maintained.
Finally it may be noted that section 6 2 of pembahzgian principal Act has not been amended by Act A Section 6 2 reads as follows:. If any person so dying intestate be permitted by his personal law a plurality of wives and shall leave surviving him more wives than one, such wives shall share among them equally the share which the wife of the intestate would have been entitled to, had such intestate left one wife only surviving him.
Both before and after Act A, where an intestate man dies leaving issue but no wife or parent or parents, the whole of the estate will be inherited by his issue in the form of statutory trusts as set out in section 7. Again, there is no change in the law.
Before and after Act A, where an intestate man dies leaving parent or parents but no wife or issue, the whole of the estate will be inherited by his parent or parents. Under section 6 1 ii of the pre-amendment principal Act, where a man died leaving a wife and issue, the surviving wife was entitled to one-third of his estate. The remaining two-thirds went to his issue. The significant point was that a parent or parents of the deceased had no right to inherit any part of his estate if he was pembahgian by a wife and issue.
If an intestate dies leaving a spouse and issue but no parent or parentsthe surviving spouse shall be entitled to one-third of the estate and pembahwgian issue the remaining two-thirds. The provision of one-third for the wife and two-thirds for the issue may seem to be a re-enactment of the former section 6 1 ii. But in fact, there is an important change in the law. The new provision only applies if the deceased has left no parent or parents.
As will be discussed below, Act A reduces the shares of both the surviving spouse and the issue if the deceased had left a parent or parents. Both before and after Act A, the issue take their shares in the form of trusts set out in section 7, the details of which will be discussed in Part V.
By virtue of section 6 1 iii of the pre-amendment principal Act, the issue of a deceased intestate who left no surviving wife or husband were entitled to ajta whole of his or her estate in the form of trusts set out in section 7. Act A makes another significant change in the law. The present section 6 1 f of the principal Act provides as follows:. The mother will inherit one-third of the estate when previously she was pembahafian to none.
As stated above, before Act A, if an intestate left a wife and issue, they took the entire estate, with the wife being entitled to one-third and the issue two-thirds. Act A alters the law by giving the parent or parents one-quarter of the estate when previously they had no share at law. By virtue of section 6 iv and v of pre-amendment principal Act, where an unmarried man or woman died intestate, or where, although married, he or she died leaving no spouse or issue, his or her estate would be distributed in the following manner and order:.
Land was reverted to the respective State Authority by virtue of section of the National Land Code By virtue of the new section 6 1 dif the intestate was unmarried, or if the intestate is not survived pembshagian a spouse or issue, the surviving parent or parents are entitled to the whole of the estate.
In this respect, the position pembxhagian Act A is maintained. The rights of the brothers and prmbahagian, grandparents, uncles and aunts, aktw grandparents, great uncles and great aunts are set out in the new section 6 i.
This provision maintains the law before Act A There is also no change in the law relating to bona vacantia and this is indicated in the new section 6 j. Cases of bona vacantiahowever, are rare because of the application of the statutory trusts in section 7.
This provision will be of assistance to a person who is not recognised as a lawful beneficiary, for example an illegitimate child of the intestate deceased. As has been noted above, both before and after Act A, certain beneficiaries of an intestate estate take the shares of the estate in the form of statutory trusts set out in section 7 of the principal Act.
These beneficiaries are the issue, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, and great grand uncles and great grand aunts. Section 7 1 deals with the shares of the issue of an intestate. This provision states the following:.
Where under the provisions of section 6, the estate of an intestate or any part thereof is directed to be held on the trusts set out in this section for the issue of the intestate, the same shall be held in trust in equal shares if more pembayagian one for all or any of the children or child of the intestate living at the death of the pembbahagian, who attain the age of majority or marry under that age, and for all or any of the issue living at the death of the intestate, who attain the age of majority or marry under that age, of any child of the intestate who predeceases the intestate, such issue to take 158 all degrees according to their stocks, in equal shares if more than one, the share which their parent would have taken if living at the death of the intestate, and so that no pembqhagian shall take whose parent is still living at the death of the intestate and so capable of taking.
D will be entitled to the remaining one-half in the form of trusts set out in section 7 1. Section 7 3 deals with the situation where a child or issue who survives the intestate but afterwards dies without attaining an absolutely vested interest. Section 7 1 further provides for the preservation of the interest of a child who, though predeceases the intestate, has left issue.
Pembqhagian that A dies intestate and is survived by his spouse B, his mother C and a son Aktq.
E is survived by a spouse, F, and two infant children, G and H.