Do you know the consequence of not having a will?
Whatever the size of your personal fortune and assets owned, a will is an important aspect of an overall strategy to manage financial affairs. Yet, many South Africans – close to 70%, based on statistics available from the Master of the High Court – do not have a valid will.
If a person dies without leaving a valid will, or where their will is declared partially or completely invalid, their estate will be distributed in accordance with the laws of the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987, as amended. While the provisions of this Act are generally fair, ensuring that assets are transferred to spouses and children, there are several problems that may arise, namely:
1. Assets may not be left to the deceased’s person of choice;
2. It may take some time for an executor to be appointed, and in addition they may not be someone you would have chosen for yourself. This person will be responsible for the winding up of your estate;
3. Any inheritance due to a minor must be deposited into the Guardian’s Fund, a government-run fund that safeguards their inheritance until they reach the age of majority, currently set at 18; and
4. Conflicts may arise between family members, as no clear instructions have been made regarding the division of an estate.
Click here to read our previous article:
Children under 18 should not be beneficiaries of your life policies.
Contact one of our advisors for more information.
Phone: 011 803 9686