Small Estates (Distribution) Act 1955 [Act 98]


[Section 34]


1. In this Schedule, "Commissioner", "holding" and "Interim Register" have the same meaning as in the National Land Code (Penang and Malacca Titles) Act 1963 [Act 518].

2. Without prejudice to section 27, the Land Administrator may make a distribution order in respect of a small estate of a person who died at any time before the date when this Act came into force in relation to the States of Penang and Malacca, but not if the estate has been or is being administered under the law in force before that date for the administration of estates.

3. (1) Where the Land Administrator is satisfied in respect of a holding which is or forms part of a small estate that-

(a) the person registered in the Interim Register as the proprietor of the holding is dead; and

(b) some other person would be entitled (or if that other person is dead, would have been entitled while he was alive) to be registered as proprietor of the holding but for a failure or failures by any person, including that other person, to obtain probate or letters of administration on the death of the person registered as proprietor or any subsequent occupier, he may make in pursuance of paragraph 2 such distribution orders as are necessary in his opinion to vest the holding in that other person.

(2) Where two or more orders are made under subparagraph (1) in respect of a single holding, they shall be regarded as a single order for the purpose of assessing any duty or fee payable under any written law on the making of a distribution order under this Act.

(3) The making of an order under subparagraph (1) in respect of a death which took place on or after 1 January 1935, and before 4 December 1957, shall not cause any person to incur liability for the payment of any Estate Duty fee under Rule 17 of the Small Estates (Distribution) Rules 1955 [L.N. 495 of 1955].

4. (1) Before making any order under paragraph 3, the Land Administrator shall hold an enquiry for the purpose of satisfying himself as to the matters mentioned in subsubparagraphs (a) and (b) of that paragraph and may, in an appropriate case, combine the enquiry with a hearing under section 12.

(2) Section 12 shall apply with necessary modifications to an enquiry under subparagraph (1).