Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Don't ever let this happen to you

I actually had something drafted for today but something happened and I just have to highlight this.

Following my Mom’s passing, I blogged about
things we need to settle before, during and after a funeral and one of them is getting money out of the deceased’s bank account. Those who have been following AZAIG will know that it has been 8 months since Mom passed away. You would have thought that things would have been settled already. Well, think again.

I am not sure whether I have mentioned it before but I received a letter from the authority asking us to track Mom’s parents. Those who read entries about Mom will know that
she was an adopted child. Therefore, we are not sure who Mom’s birth parents are, let alone tracking them down. Further, we are not sure whether they are still alive or otherwise.

Because we are unable to track our birth grandparents’ where-about, the authorities, under the authority of Unclaimed Monies Act, will take a chunk out of my Mom’s account balances which they intend to “pass to my birth grandparents”. How are they going to do it? Beats me!!!

Now, the money inside Mom’s account is not exactly substantial. But what I am really angry is that the they, under the authority of Unclaimed Monies Act, will do all they can to take away whatever your parents or spouses have should they (touch wood) passed away without a will. And when you can show evidence that you are the children or husband or wife of the deceased, they will do all they can to bite of a chunk.

Thank God, me and my siblings are all educated people and we will do all we can to get what is rightfully ours, lest we want to give extra sponsorship to send another fucker (mind my language, I am pissed) to space. But I wonder how many people out there, perhaps out of total oblivion or the usual don’t-want-to-go-through-the-trouble attitude, have stupidly allow the them to just pocket what is rightfully theirs without even sending them a thank-you note. Imagine the deceased had property!

And imagine how much money just fall conveniently on the their pocket. If these funds are used for the betterment of the nation, then it’s fine. But hell… not when it’s… ok, let’s not go there.

So friends, the law is brutal. And if we let it capitalises on our ‘tidak-apa’ (“don’t care”) attitude, it will kill us. Therefore, make sure you get your parents or your spouses, particularly the Chinese to write a will now. I cannot stress enough.

61 comments:

ahjohn said...

my dad always get things sorted at the best all the time. he is still alive though. he says if anything ahppens to him, first go to the bank, withdraw as much as possible, take out every shares before you report anything.

second, if you report, say that it is by accident (example, fall down, or knock on the head, etc). in this case, you can get to claim PA aka personal accident. if not, all your PA every year burns away.

chill! here the trick ya!

evelyn said...

oh yeah... i remember someone told me even if you have a will done up, the EPF and insurance beneficiaries will still follow the ones stated in the form that you signed and nominated at time of application...

so in your case, if you have nominated your mom, since she has moved on to heaven... its time to go and update those info too...

otherwise i wonder what will happen to that money...

Zaty said...

wills ARE important.

but yeah, death and death-related documents are still sensitive issues. huhu. =T

@ahjohn. HEY! good idea! =D heheheh.

Tine said...

My dad told me the same thing. When my grandpa passed away, he didn't leave a will. But thank God, he and Mum shared the bank account (mum opened it for him years ago so that she can leave him money which he can withdraw at any time), and when he passed on in 2004, we didn't announce his passing in the newspapers. This was to allow Mum to withdraw the money without the so-called authorities taking the money.

Thanks for highlighting this to all. It's unfortunate that Asian culture do not understand the importance of doing a will (they all think it's "tai kat lai si" to do one). Think of all the physical and emotional stress we can avoid our children by just doing one.

Helen said...

Zewt, I didn't know that. I only know the children of the deceased have the right to fight for a share of the money.

Even siblings of the deceased have the right to fight for a share.

I hope you and your siblings can get every last cent out. :-)

Kelly Mahoney said...

My parents update their will every five years to reassess this situation, etc.

To answer your questions, Northwestern's grad school is a funny little hybrid. We're all required to work at the Medill News Service in order to graduate. We're fully credentialed, real reporters three days per week. We take classes the other two days. But I've had a bunch of internships and will be graduating in two weeks.

dan-yel said...

What the F$€RM!

Oh, pfff.. GOVERNMENT-OFFICIALS-OF-HEADS-MADE-OF-HARD-COLONIAL-MOST-SOUGHT-AFTER-TIN-BUT-AMAZINGLY-HOLLOW-CONTENT-YET-SITTING-IN-THE-HIGHEST-ORDER-OF-CIVIL-RANKS

These people, they too dumb, classic bureaucratic dumbass, incapable of even the slightest intellectual reasoning. Oh ya, should anyone be interested (note to those who never dealt with bureaucrats before), don't even think of REASON with them.

That's how people like Nazri and Zam kiss peoples' asses all the way up. It's not their culture to be clever and excellent civil servants. Their code is simple, follow the orders (or ill-conceived law). Tau jaga tepi kain sendiri kut...

Anyway, zewt my condolence.

angel said...

Thanks for the reminder.. now i need to convince my parents to make a will. I don't want any cent to go to "them". What right do they have?! Grrr!

babbles said...

Besides money issue, a will is important especially when you have children. Shd both husband and wife perish, if guardianship has been nominated in a will, it makes it easier for your appointed guardian to take care of your kids and apply for adoption. It also solves tussle of child custody between family members. Found this out when a friend and his wife passed away suddenly in a freak accident. Fortunately, they wrote a will.

So whether one has money or not, Will is important to help sort things out/tie loose ends/close your chapter.

So, my husband and I wrote a will immediately when my first child was born.

Klaw said...

Hey zewt,
I'm a new reader to the blog, sorry to hear bout your mum and my condolences.

You're doing a great service by telling people to write wills, so I hope more people will heed the call. There's nothing pantang in writing a will, it just makes good sense.

By the way, remember to update the beneficiary in EPF whenever your status changes (got married, current beneficiary passed away, got divorced etc.)

narrowband said...

Thanks for the reminder. My family practises this already and thankfully it is just as highlighted in your blog.

Cocka Doodle said...

As for your bank account, it's always good to let someone close to you know the PIN, so that in the event if anything should happen to you (touch wood) they can start making withdrawals. Don't inform the banks until you have already taken all the money out or they'll freeze the account.

l y n n w e i said...

yea....it's been 2 years and there are stil issues abt the land title that hasnt been resolve after my grandpa passed away!

hhmm..never knew that there were such a thing abt bank accounts! hhmm...how come give to parents? and not husband or kids?

Jo said...

I have seen so many dramas about the siblings fighting for their deceased parent's properties. No idea that the government is actually into it, and legally at that too. Nonetheless, this is a sensitive issue and it is hard to advise people to make a will and not sound offensive at that. Er, I wonder how do I tell my parents and elders without sounding too rude.

PrincessJournals said...

Zewt, sorry to hear wht u have to go thru. its weird tho coz all these while ud think the money wud go to the children, not the parents?

flaminglambo said...

A very, very apt post zewt.

My parents have gone through this not too long ago. I think it's important to let everyone know that a will is not simply a signed piece of paper with all your assets.

We've been told that they are sometimes not valid in court. Make sure or get some legal advice on how to make your will a valid one.

Over here, we can purchase a generic will kit from the newsagents but I don't know whether you guys have it over there.

For those who have kids, I think it's a good idea to talk about your assets and where you've kept that stash of cash just in case. I know it's a common thing for the elderlies to hide cash in places so obscure that you'd think your grandma's in the CIA.

myop101 said...

useful information. my parents have nominated my name for FDs, safe deposit box and such and just in case anything happens, they also told me to withdraw the monies first.

i am of the opinion a will is more important since the legal rights are clearly established.

may said...

I find it so totally appalling that the government is taking money from the deceased in claims of passing it to "natural birthparents" in these circumstances. urgh.

PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

I didn't know they will do that. Thats a cunning way to take away what is rightfully others. What a nasty govt we have.. and stupid too. I share your anger. I also got very angry knowing this.

Hopefully you will have everything sorted out.

gina said...

Erm.. I was given the understanding that, you can write a will - as long as you have two witnesses, it would be enforceable. I have done up my own will, so for my parents as well. You don't need to pay hundreds of dollars to the lawyers. I have a sample will. I can pass to you if you want it.

missironic said...

tats call taking advantage. teruk la...people passed away also kena ill-treated in tat kind of a way..yea, u r rite..nowadays will is so damn important! not to say being kiasu or wat..juz dun want the properties to fall into the wrong hands..correct? better give to charity...

Huei said...

ughhh! it sucks! my dad's one took like few years to get settled, and his birth parents/spouse/family are all still around

then again i duno the details..cos my mum wouldn't let me know

and my grandfather's will..i have no idea why it's dragging on for a year and more already, or it could be his childrens don't want to include us in cos my dad (their brother) is not here anymore..

so korupted hor..msians.. sigh

cc said...

Wow, that's really sneaky!! It's a kind of extortion, don't you think?! It is really important to have a will sort out nowadays, or else our hard-earned money might just get robbed off us.

cc said...

p/s: Sorry to hear about your mum. My deepest condolences.

The Pisces Man said...

Sori to hear that... it's easier for the government to take our money than to refund (in the case of overpaid taxes) and give what's rightfully ours (like in your case).

Anyway, wonder why you say "..make sure you get your parents or your spouses, particularly the Chinese to write a will now." i.e. you stressed on the Chinese. Do you think the government is after the Chinese only...?

gina said...

The Pieces Man: Not that the govt is after Chinese only. Just that for muslims, the distribution of assets are governed under Syariah Law. So - it's up to the law to distribute assets. Non Muslims should have all their wills written.. and not only to ensure your parents or spouses to have a will - yourself too!

beetrice said...

I suppose it's 'easier' for some others - the govt just divvys up the loot, regardless of will or not.

A lot of people don't like to make wills because "feels like I'm already going to die", but really, it makes things a lot easier...especially if you've got property and investments.. :)

j or ji said...

selalunya yg menjalankan/menguatkuasakan undang-undang macam ni tegas dia lain macam....
bab-bab yg kene tegas...penguatkuasaannya lembik...

fight for it!

jam said...

This is what our government best at - squeezing every little bit from us!

sharlydia said...

I totally agree with u that Will is important, but I practically have to "force" hubby to do it... Can u help to tell him that this is REALLY REALLY important that he should get a proper Will done?

willchua said...

yeah... Writing a will is important. My friend in is 20's also thinking of writing one.

Anonymous said...

the badawi administration... full of lowlife scumbags even to the extent of stealing from the dead.

~~~ arTong

Jacss said...

yes yes, WILL is so important, thank god i have parents who are so understanding...that kept remind us that they have done one!!

so it's time to execute one for ourselves as we are also parents now....

i can't imagine ppl taking away our $$$$$$$....

good reminder & sharing!!

Terra Shield said...

Yeah, I've heard similar stories... the public must know about their rights,

Elizebeth D.L. said...

This really sucks. It's like a licensed-bank-account robber, and poor 老百姓,really cannot do anything!

I wonder how other countries do this differently.

pablopabla said...

Yes, it is a real pain and hassle indeed when one passes on without a Will. I wrote a couple of articles in my Financial & Legal Matters Blog on EPF, Wills, distribution of estate and the like. Hope you'll be able to find something there useful.

bensiu said...

Wow! That is unbelievable! It is just some crap gimmick they do to take away your money. I bet if they cant find your grandparents, they will just gobble up the money!

I find it so unbelievable really! You are alive and kicking and they want to give it to someone whom they couldnt even locate!

Ini memang confirm blackmail on broad day light! Aiyooo... My fire suddenly lit up!

alan zed said...

i feel weird to ask my dad write a will. how leh?

Freethinker said...

Luckily my whole family has written their will... weird..even myself...

F.O.N @ frostee said...

I know my parents have written their will.

Not that we want their money but better us than this flippin good for nothing government who wastes ppl's $$$ to bring some idiot joker to space and claim that as a flippin achievement!

!@#@!$%$!#

Pardon me French ya.

Angie Tan said...

Hmmmm...

Time to get a will. Not to be "cheh kai" or anything but better safe than sorry. Everyone needs a will no matter what the age.

I learnt about this after listening to countless tv and radio ads in Aust during my student days about making a will.

I'm lucky that my parents have one done up.

My friend's dad passed away without a will and it took quite a while before they could get the $$ out. And her father is pretty well off.

Anyway, a tip for everyone out there is to check your KWSP (or EPF) nominations. I heard that despite some of us having done so, the records got "lost". So, do a check from time to time. :-S

You're right. Better to get all these things or else the $$ goes to the govt...

zewt said...

ahjohn - yeah, that is very true. there's plenty to do... just make sure we safeguard our money.

evelyn - if u dont update, then they will again make it difficult for you. that's the way it is here.

Zaty - i tot chinese pantang... melayu pun pantang?

Tine - joint account is still ok. if it's personal account. the money is as good as gone. yeah, the chinese tai kat lai si mentality sould be stopped.

Helen - we are not fighting with ourselves. i dont care who gets the money, as long as it's not the govt.

Kelly Mahoney - hey... thanks for dropping by again. and thanks for the info. i realised i have much interet i journalism after blogging.

zewt said...

dan-yel - thanks dan. and hope the vigil today was good for u.

angel - they have the law on their side.

babbles - yeah, i think we should not have any stigma in wriing one.

Klaw - welcome to AZAIG. yeah, there're just too many avenue they can take our money away, some without us knowing it. we have to be smart.

narrowband - good for u my friend.

Cocka Doodle - that is a good move actually. i will look into that.

l y n n w e i - 2 years? well, i guess they are really intersted in your land. fight till the end, dont give up. dunno why they give parents, part of law.

zewt said...

Jo - yeah, if u tell them to write one, it's like asking them for their money. this is the reason why a lot of money ended up in sending morons to space.

PrincessJournals - that's malaysia for u.

flaminglambo - good for u mate. hahahaha.... yeah, i have relatives who hide cash, stack and stack of them under their bed. luckily they came to their senses and it's now in the bank.

myop101 - we just have to make sure there's no avenue for them to bite in.

Purple~Mushroom - we will definitely fight till the end.

gina - so the witness have to sign and they will have to testify? i think we must get this properly done.

missironic - yeah.. better give it to charity... rather than give it to u-know-who.

zewt said...

Huei - yeah, if somoene is dead, they want u to prove it, else they take a portion. what the fuck!

cc - hey there. sneaky indeed. thanks for your wishes.

The Pisces Man - that's becos chinese just refuse to write one due to superstitious reason. also... well, no need to say la.

beetrice - precisely... it will not only make things easier... it will actually prevent a lot money going into waste.

j or ji - definitely bro.. definitely...

jam - damn right... damn right!

zewt said...

sharlydia - ok ok... i shal tell him when he comes for my wedding dinner hehe.

willchua - good for him! thanks for dropping by my friend. anymore ARK?

anon aka arTong - and what must we do?

Jacss - yeah, and i think lawyers will be making a lot from this.

Terra Shield - a lot of ppl are unaware... indeed, we all must know this.

Elizebeth DL - not sure about other countries but this one sucks.

zewt said...

may - yup... we cant locate them, they think they can? they will?

pablopabla - thanks my friend, i will have a look.

bensiu - yup... they wanna give it to someone we cant prove exist. and they wanna keep a portion for them. fuck right?

alan zed - cakap je lan... tak payah malu malu :P

freethinker - dont think that way. it's a good thing.

F.O.N @ frostee - no worries mate... french away. now.. that sounded dodgy.

Angie Tan - yup.... EPF nomination is one very important element. never forget that. it will take a gigantic effort to sort that out if something happen.

pamina said...

oh man thats annoying. u imagine for me, if i dun have a legal document, my gf might probably get thrown out of the house the day after i stopped breathing.

its not fair for anybody.

lynnx01 said...

For grandfather, he knew he was leaving, so he changed all the names to my grandmother and the car's ownership to my cousin.

As for my grandmother, she was just going for the bypass surgery (the one our Tun Dr M underwent) but she transfered everything to her children in case anything happen. And the worst really happened. :(

~*MiNDy*~ said...

I dun like the tot of giving money to "them" ~ sigh~

Thanks for bringing up this issue~ ^^ I think I'll discuss it with my parents~ ^^ hehe~ it's so illogical to take a chuck of those money out from us..

zewt said...

pamina - well, i must say your situation is even more complicated consider your orientation.

lynnx01 - yeah, when my dad went for his surgery, he did the same too. but my mom left in a sudden. sorry to hear about your grandma.

~*Mindy*~ - defintely. hope your parents understand. it will not be easy though.

gina said...

Yes. Get two witnesses - in the event one witness kick the bucket, at least you still have one more witness around. Ensure your family knew where you keep your will.

I wrote a post on this in my old blog.

http://gingerlyyours.wordpress.com/2004/11/11/good-will-writing/
http://gingerlyyours.wordpress.com/2006/05/23/precautionary-measures-2/

missironic said...

yea..i agree..i suggest give to world vision..help those poor and unfortunate kids..pity them, rite?

F.O.N @ frostee said...

what you said does sound dodgy man! Hahaha!

Messy Christian said...

Oh, that sucks. I did try tell me dad to draft up a will, but to him it's like me asking him to die fast. A bit frustrated, but what to do? He has property and such and I am fearful of the time where we have to settle it. :P

But he has hinted that he has drafted something, so maybe he's just being top secret... as usual. Dad's always top secret about his $.

zewt said...

gina - cool... i shall visit over the weekend perhaps. wow... those are old... i havent started blogging yet.

missironic - yeah, that's a good option. got one worker in my church.

F.O.N @ frostee - cos we have dodgy thinking haha!

messy christian - hahaha... maybe he has his own ways. one thing for sure... property, certainly takes a long time. read one comment up there... 1 piece of land still pending after 2 years.

Ehon said...

it's the same here in australia. as long as the person does not leave a will, the authority/gov't will take a part of the money. that's why everyone is encouraged to prepare their will under whatever circumstances..

tulipspeaks said...

call me ignorant, be i didnt know this. hmm.. will inform my elders!
thanks for highlighting it!


ammu.

zewt said...

Ehon - hmm... looks like govt all over the place is squeezing a lot out of the people eh?

tulipspeaks - no worries. better safe than sorry.

Zaty said...

hahah, no la zewt. melayu takde pantang, but of course people don't liek to discuss about dying and whatnot openly right? =P

interestingly it's actually quite good to think about deaths and whatnot. makes you feel closer to God and the afterlife, thus you will be scared to do bad things. lol.

but yeah. =)

zewt said...

zaty - that's true. my mom's death made me think about a lot of things...