14 March 2011

Will written for remuneration, ought to be done by Lawyers

The proposed motion by RWY lawyers was passed unanimously at the recent Malaysian Bar AGM. 

The logic of the Motion is this:-
Lawyers in Malaysia are covered by the Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII). If we are negligent, you can sue us, and if you win; the Insurance will pay you. 

On the other hand, non-lawyer Will-writers are not covered by PII. 

Apparently the Malaysian Bar is aware of complaints by Lawyers that they have received poorly drafted Wills to file Probate or Letters of Administration. Most of the time the beneficiary of the Will, is not even aware that the Will is poorly drafted. And the nature of the Will is such, that we will only know the Will is bad; after the creator is dead; as only when the creator dies, will the Will come into effect and come into attention. 

Most people; after executing a Will; thinks that they are safe, and will not check the Will. So it is too late, by the time we find out that the Will is bad. 

Of cos, RWY is not at all suggesting that lawyers will always get the Will right. In fact lawyers have made mistakes too. But the probability of a Lawyer making mistakes are far lesser than a non-legal Will writer due to the nature of the legal work. 

In addition, (as stated above) we have PII. That way, if the Will is defective, can that defect is caused by a Lawyer, then the beneficiary can sue the Lawyer and get damages via the PII.

So in the unfortunate event that the Will is wrongly drafted by a Lawyer; and that Lawyer is successfully sued for negligence; the beneficiary of the Will may be able to gain some compensation from the PII Insurance. 

The Motion reads:-

Proposed motion calling upon the Government of Malaysia to regulate the will writing enterprises/agencies in Malaysia
(Proposed by Richard Wee Thiam Seng and seconded by Sarah bt Kambali, dated 3 Mar 2011)

Recognising the fact that writing a Will is a crucial and significant, financial and personal decision that someone may make;

Recognising the need to protect consumers keen in engaging Will Writers in Malaysia;

Recognising the current practise where Will Writers may not be necessarily legally trained.

The Motion

The Malaysian Bar calls for the abolishment of section 38(2) of the Legal Profession Act 1976, effectively disallowing unauthorised persons, as defined in the Legal Profession Act 1976, to drafts wills for remuneration.

*The motion, as amended, was unanimously carried.

No comments:

Post a Comment