What every executor should know about his duties

The following is an advisory which I received quite some time ago from Rockwills Trustee Berhad. Just thought that it is best to share it around so that the general public, especially those individuals who are acting as executors and trustees for their deceased family members or friends do know where they stand with regards to this anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing piece of legislation. Note: you may have already seen references to this legislation in the paperwork when you do a financial transaction like opening a new bank account, etc., without really understanding the implications.

Have you heard of AMLATFA? It stands for the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 which came into effect on 15 Jan 2002. With this Act, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is appointed as the regulator for the purpose of combating money laundering activities in the country.

Money laundering means the act of a person who engages, directly or indirectly, in a transaction that involves proceeds of any unlawful activity. Any person who engages in, or attempts to engage in; or abets the commission of, money laundering, commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both.

Since 2006, Trust companies as defined by the Trust Companies Act 1949 have been gazetted as a reporting institution under AMLATFA and therefore are required by law as a reporting institution to assist BNM in their task to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing offences, including reporting of any transactions they come across that are regarded as suspicious.

In addition, there is now a notification from the Inland Revenue about failure to report income and evasion of tax and the consequences. Bear in mind that the risk for the individual who is appointed as an executor is that he is now also exposed to a hefty fine and/or imprisonment if he fails to file up-to-date tax returns for the deceased or for the estate.

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