Displaying items by tag: Last Will

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Last will is a legal instrument to distribute your assets to your next of kin after you’re gone. This is a very important document, and you want to do it the right way and properly. It’s because the property of the deceased belongs to the heirs, as long as there was no valid decision made in this matter. The decision you’re making on the testament will determine who gets what. Basically, it is a statement of your last will to the surviving persons at your disposal. It is also revocable when you’re still alive to do so. It’s totally under your control. The last will is your official statement to nominate several administrators to administer your assets with the terms and conditions according to your own preferences. 

The Definition

You see, let’s find out what is the official definition of a last will. Article 875 of Civil Code stipulates that: “A testament or last will is a deed, containing a statement of an individual's wishes and intents to take effect following his death, and which deed can be revoked.” The deed must specify a clarity regarding the assets and the heirs who will receive them. The terms and conditions written on your last will must prevent disputes from taking place between your heirs. 

Prenup or Postnup

You also need to have a prenup or to consider signing a postnup prior to writing a last will. You need to make sure that you have full control and authority in disposing of your assets, as they may be part of your joint property with your spouse. Your last will can not violate stipulations in the Marriage Law because it may be voidable. Your heirs may challenge it at the court, and things can go messy. 

The reason why you need to have a prenup or postnup before you write a last will is because you need to make sure that the assets you dispose of in your last will are totally yours. Not part of community property with your husband or wife. If they do, at least you need their consent. You can not dispose of a disputed asset on your last will.  

So, check again if your prenup got you covered for this. Otherwise, please consider getting a postnup before you write a last will.

Separate Assets

You may dispose of your own separate assets on your last will. This is doable. Things like your assets acquired from your parents, inheritance, or from other third parties. They are disposable in your last will.

Under Article 36 (2) of the Marriage Law that stipulates: “In the matter of separate assets of husband and wife, they have full authority in committing  legal action for their own property.”

Keep On Updating It

You need to update your last will to become recent and current. You may keep updating it according to your need to reflect your current situation. You may do so as long as you live. Your last will may only be executed when you’re pass-away.

I can't stress how important it is for your last will to get updated in regards to the terms and conditions, your heirs, and the administrator or executors nominated on your last will. 

The Best Type

There are three types of last will in Indonesia, but the best one is an Open Testament. It is being kept as an authentic deed so when you pass-away, the probate process will be able to determine your wishes and they can be easily executed.

I would not recommend the Closed Testament. This type is to conceal the terms and condition of your last will. Potential disputes may arise in the future. Your heirs may file a lawsuit to revoke your last will. It’s the last thing you need.


“Our thanks to Mr. Asep Wijaya of Wijaya & Co for sharing this article!”

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A testament in Indonesia is the right instrument to reflect your last will about your assets, and other things that you want your successor to do for you.

This is a very serious business as you need to make sure the person you trust as your administrator to execute those wishes after you're gone. 

In order to valid legally, you need to make sure your last will is being written in a recognized testament. You should know that according to the Indonesian laws on inheritance, anything you own while you are alive belongs to your heir, as long as you have not made any withstanding legal stipulation. Some terms and conditions are applicable in order to create the last will that works for you, not against you. 

One Testament for One Person

You and your spouse may have the same thing in mind. You love each other, spend your lives together, and think that it's now to pass everything to your loved ones. Both of you are thinking to write a last will to make sure they are getting everything after you passed-away.

It's a good idea! But you've got do it on a separate testament. Just because you're a husband and wife, you can't do it on the same document. You have to do it on a different deed. It's a last will, not a prenup.

Our Civil Code imposed the stipulation in Article 930: "A last will cannot be made by two or more individuals in one deed, whether it is in favor of a third party, mutual or reciprocal arrangement."

Types of Last Will

Your last will can be made by holographic. It means you can write it with your hand. It is a handwritten and testator-signed document. It is recognized in Indonesia, but it must be drawn-up with a deed of safekeeping. As the testator you must sign it at the bottom of your last will. It must also be signed in front of the two witnesses.  

With the deed of safekeeping, such holographic last will have the same validity as a last will made by official deed, without having regard to the noted date on the last will. At all times, you may reclaim your holographic testament. It is then shall be regarded as revocation of your last will.Even though Indonesian laws on inheritance recognized this type of testament, nevertheless, I would suggest you to make time to draw-up a formally-drafted deed.

Your last will can also be made by official deed. It shall be executed in the presence of two witnesses. The deed must be signed by you as the testator, and his/her witnesses. If you're intend to make a private or confidential statement, you are required to put your signature beside each of your stipulations, either written by yourself, or those that were written by somebody else.

Criteria of the Witnesses

In order to write your last will, you need to have two witnesses present. This is mandatory requirement as imposed by all inheritance laws in Indonesia. The primary criteria to serve as witness that they must present at the time that last wills are made, shall be of age, and shall be resident in Indonesia. 

Another criterias for serving as witness that you must meet capacities set-out by the law. No heirs, legatees, nor their blood relatives or relatives by marriage up to and including the fourth degree, nor their children or grandchildren, nor blood relatives in the same degree,  shall be permitted to be witnesses of a last will, made in the form of an official deed.

Last Will During Pandemic

Last will creating during pandemic where all relations have been prohibited due to plagues or other contagious diseases, can make their last will in the present of two witnesses. You as the testator must sign it in front of the witnesses.

In the event the testator or one of the witnesses declares that he is unable to write or has been prevented from signing, then such declaration including the cause of the impediment shall be expressly referred to in the deed. All the circumstances, which have resulted in the last will being made shall be stated in the deed.

The last wills shall be invalid, if the testator dies six months after the circumstances which resulted in the wills being drawn up in such a format no longer exist.  The last will shall be invalid, in the event that the testator dies six months after the date of the deed.

The formalities of the last will must be carefully observed in order to meet the stipulation according to the inheritance law. If you fail to do so, will render them invalid. 

Testamentary Gift

In Indonesia, we recognized this as "Hibah Wasiat." It is a special testament, under which the testator bestows onto one or more persons his properties of a certain kind, for example, all of his properties, movable or immovable, or the usufruct rights over the entire or part of his estate.

Each recipient of the testamentary gift must claim the transfer of the gifted properties against the successor or the testament recipient, who must transfer such properties. All taxes, under whatever name, payable to the state for each gift, is borne by the recipient unless otherwise stated in the testament.

Revocation and Expiration 

A last will cannot, either in its entirety or partly, be revoked in any manner other than by a subsequent last will, in which the testator declares the full or partial revocation of his earlier last will.

The revocation, either express, or implied, in a subsequent last will, shall be fully enforceable, notwithstanding that the subsequent deed is rendered invalid due to the incompetence of the nominated heir or legatee, or by their refusal to accept the inheritance.

Executor and Administrator

A testator, may, by last will, appoint one or more executors of his last will. He may also nominate several individuals, to succeed one another in the event of unavailability. They have very important jobs to make the last will properly implemented. 

The executors of a last will is to seal the inheritance. In the event that the heirs are minors under conservatorship, who, at the death of the testator have not been provided with guardians or conservators, or in the event that such heirs are not represented or are not present in person.

They prepare an estate description of the properties in the inheritance, in the presence of the heirs following the proper summons of those who reside within Indonesia. They ensure that the last will of the deceased shall be implemented. In the event of dispute, they can appear in court to maintain the validity of the last will.

The executors of last wills, including the administrator, may be discharged for the same reasons applicable to discharge of guardians.


“Our thanks to Mr. Asep Wijaya of Wijaya & Co for sharing this article!”

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