It would be better if certain personal and financial matters of the deceased had been decided before. For instance, where to be buried, writing a will and so on. This traumatic period is probably not the best time to be managing all of these affairs after your loved oneís passing.
If youíre not sure what needs to be done, seek advice. There are many professional people and counsellors who can point you in the right direction.
You can also speak with your religious leaders. They are likely to have information and contacts who can give you further information.
NOTIFICATION & REGISTRATION OF DEATH
If your relative has passed away at home, you will need to notify the relevant parties. Contact the medical team so they can certify the death and cause of death and issue a medical certificate. Then you should notify the nearest police tation to get a death and burial certificate issued.
You should have important information such as:
- The time, date and place of death
- The deceasedís full name, date and place of birth
- Their residing address
- Their Identification Card (IC)
- Personal details of their spouse if appropriate.
You may also wish to inform any relatives, friends and so on about the death and funeral services. This would include making phone calls and placing a newspaper advertisement if needed. Then come arrangements for a wake either at a funeral house or at home. There is also the funeral itself.
Nowadays, most undertakers are able to handle these matters for you. Get in touch with a reliable and sensitive undertaker who will be able to manage many of these matters for you.
You may wish to look into some of these matters yourself, but having these things managed by an unrelated third party will allow you to focus on other personal matters such as to attend to your own feelings, be with family members and perhaps prepare a eulogy or look into any unfulfilled requests by your loved one.
The undertaker would also look into the preparation of the body for burial. You may choose to get involved (selecting the attire, etc) or just stand by and watch. Itís completely up to you.
If the death has occurred overseas, contact the relevant Malaysian embassy, high commission or consulate. They will assist you in all matters, including registering the death and transporting the body home.
There is the matter of finances such as medical and funeral bills to settle and insurance claims to make (if relevant).
It would be better to have all these prepared in advance before your loved oneís passing. Have them ready, including phone numbers of whom to contact.
Some matters such as insurance claims may have to be handled within a certain time frame. Please check the relevant policy or contact your insurance agent for more information. Others such as perhaps medical and hospital bills can be made in staggered payments.
You may also wish to look into any pension and welfare payments that your loved one was receiving. According to the Pension Act 1980, government pension of a deceased husband can be passed to the wife.
There may be other welfare funds or Employee Provident Funds (EPF) or tax rebates that are due to the deceased or should be remitted to beneficiaries. Contact your family lawyer or accountant to assist in legal and financial matters. Or contact the nearest EPF, Inland Revenue Board (IRB) and Social Security (SOCSO) office.
For more information, kindly refer to the following Malaysian legislation:
- Married Women and Children (Maintenance) Act 1950 (Revised 1981)
- Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1971
- Pensions Act 1980, Pensions Regulations 1980 and Employeesí Provident Fund
- Employees Social Security Act 1969, Regulations and Rules (505(0))
- Income Tax Act 1967 (as amended)
- Employment Provident Fund Act 1991
IS THERE A WILL?
A will is extremely important to ensure that your loved oneís possessions are distributed as intended according to his/her wishes.
Often times, families have fought over a deceasedís estate or have been Ďrobbedí of assets due to issues arising over the absence of a will. Wealth may end up in hands that the deceased would not have wanted.
Writing a will can be easily done by your loved one in the presence of an independent witness. An independent witness is someone who is not a beneficiary or is married to a beneficiary. An executor should also be named - someone who will execute the willís instructions. An executor can be a beneficiary in the will.
Itís better to engage a lawyer or a professional will writer to ensure the will is written to satisfaction and assets are distributed as intended.
They can also advise accordingly if there are complications i.e. a vested party in the will has passed away.