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Subject: Bank Joint Account in Malaysia (Must Read)
Dear All, this is true and it has been confirmed with a lawyer……..
Good article !!! I received it from my friend about the Bank Joint Account in Malaysia.
“Just to share with you one recent article I read and shocked me a lot..
It happened in west Malaysia , about a husband and wife and one son. The husband passed away due to accident. The husband had a RM50,000 joint saving account with wife in a local bank. What happened is the wife ,like most people think, when husband passes away, she will get the money automatically since it is a joint account. But to her surprise, She could not withdraw even a single cent from the bank..
Joint saving account is meant for convenience when spouse needs it the most.. But most people always assume once the other holder dies, another half will get the money automatically which is very wrong.
I would like to share my opinion with all of you, you may take it as educational thoughts or for you to be aware.
When one person dies, the other joint holder of the saving account will get the money automatically only – if that particular bank practise ‘JOINT TENANCY’. This terms means one party die, the other joint party gets money automatically.
But unfortunately, not all banks practise JOINT TENANCY, some foreign banks practise but most local banks don’t practise.
If you want to be sure, just ask your bank whether your joint saving account based on JOINT TENANCY. If Yes, get the black and white.
Can you all imagine, when the other half passes away, the other half already suffers emotional loss. Now he/she will have to suffer another problem of having ‘NO MONEY’, although having money in a bank on a joint account.
Because of ignorance on the ‘terms and conditions’, the wife and the son have to suffer.
Hope the above can help for you. Just take note. ”
In response to the above email, a senior lawyer, Mr Tong Soo Tim, had kindly shared his view as stated below:
“I have read it and find that it represents an unbalanced view of the situation and it causes me concern.
This is my addition to the partial information in the article.
In theory there is such thing as Joint Tenancy versus Tenancy in Common. This is in English and Common Civil Law. If you actually ask most bank officers in Malaysia or even some lawyers in Malaysia, they wouldn’t be able to tell you what is Joint Tenancy or Tenancy in Common. This is because we don’t have exactly the same law as in England.
I know that some Malaysian banks have something called “Survivorship Clause“. This is more easily understood….to mean that if there is 2 or more names in a joint-account, the survivor (the one who didn’t die) gets to have all the money in the joint account.
I believe, though I have not checked with all the banks, that you can ask if they have this clause. It is a separate paper for both the account holders to sign when opening, or sometimes even after the account have been opened previously, in order to say that the account holders themselves, opt for this “Survivorship Clause”.
There are pro-and-con for Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common. While in the email below, it draws up a scenario where it may seem like a hardship for a wife (widow) not to have access to the bank accounts directly and immediately, but the fact is that, if the widow is to have all the money, sometimes there’s no guarantee the widow is actually the rightful person to have the money.
For example, 1. The deceased has parents, and children, besides the widow. The money should be shared between all of them. 2. The widow is only family…but they are separated, and pending divorce. The deceased may have done a Will to give his money to his brothers or sisters instead of his separated wife.
The freezing of account may be frustrating and problematic in some genuine cases…but to just allow widows or widowers to take out money from their joint-accounts may cause injustice in some cases.
Another scenario could be in the case of Joint accounts between a old parent and one of his 4 or 5 children. If the joint-account holder is allowed to just take out the money, it may be a temptation for the child not to honor his old parent’s instructions to share the money with all the children. This is actually a Breach of Trust. But if the money is already taken out, and there is a blanket policy of “Joint Tenancy”, then the other children have absolutely no cause in law to challenge the “joint-account holder child”.
Hope this helps to balance the article’s point a bit. Emotional approach is appealing, but it is sometimes not accurate nor even right. While we all wish for life to be more convenient, there are usually good reasons for legal processes…the law and lawyers are not here just to make life difficult ;-)”