Calls for initiatives in estate planning

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Institute of Estate Planners (MIEP) is proposing several initiatives ahead of Budget 2024 to address the multifaceted challenges of estate planning and unclaimed funds.

MIEP is proposing that the government considers retaining and expanding the nominal stamp duty of RM10 for property transfer from a parent to their children or grandchildren.

According to the association, the measure has been proven effective in promoting responsible estate planning and reducing financial burdens on families.

MIEP also proposed the continuity of the personal tax relief of up to RM500 per individual taxpayer for will and estate planning, as it is said to encourage individuals to proactively plan their estates, as well as curbing the issue of unclaimed monies.

To attract high-net-worth individuals to engage in comprehensive estate planning, bolstering the financial security of families and the nation, MIEP is recommending that the government consider introducing tax incentives for family offices.

“This could include a favourable 15% tax rate for family office investments exceeding RM20mil,” it said in a statement.

Investments and support by the government for digital solutions in estate planning was also proposed by MIEP.

It said this could include offering tax incentives or grants to technology companies developing user-friendly platforms for will creation, asset inventory management and other estate planning activities.

The association believes that such an initiative would make estate planning much more accessible to the general public.

In an effort to promote business continuity and succession planning with families, MIEP also suggested a capital gains tax exemption for the transfer of family-owned businesses during estate planning.

MIEP stated that this measure ensures businesses to be passed down to the next generation without the burden of hefty capital gains taxes.

The introduction of tax deductions for costs associated with attending estate planning seminars and consultations with certified estate planners was also recommended.

MIEP said this could encourage individuals to seek professional advice as well as foster the culture of seeking expert guidance in estate planning matters.

As for its final proposal for the upcoming Budget 2024, MIEP is advocating for the simplification of probate procedures to ensure efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

“By streamlining the probate process, it will reduce the administrative burden on families during times of grief and ensure that assets are distributed according to the deceased’s wishes more promptly,” it said.

MIEP president See Kok Loong said in a statement that the set of proposed initiatives for Budget 2024 underscores MIEP’s unwavering commitment to addressing issues of estate planning and unclaimed monies.

“By combining education, incentives, technology and collaboration, we aim to build a stronger and more financially secure future for all Malaysians,” he said.

The proposals are said to build on the success of those made for the previous budget, in which MIEP suggested two policies that were implemented in Budget 2023.

The measures were nominal stamp duty of RM10 for property transfer as well as personal tax relief of up to RM500 per individual taxpayer for will and estate planning expenses.

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