Why is it important to have a Will?
A valid Will ensures that your estate (assets and after-death income) devolves in accordance with your wishes. This is called “freedom of testation”.
What happens to your estate if you die without a valid Will?
If you die without a Will, your estate will be administered and distributedaccording to the provisions of the Intestate Succession Act, No. 81 of 1987(“the Act”). As a result:
- Your estate will notdevolve upon the person/s of your choice as this will be determined by theprovisions of the Act.
- The executor/executrixwill not be a person of your choice and will be nominated by the intestate beneficiaries.
- If the nominated executoris not your spouse, major child or parent, he/she will have to provide securityto the Master of the High Court.
- If your children arestill minors at the time of your death, any cash inheritance/s due to them willbe paid to and managed by the Guardians Fund under the supervision of theMaster of the High Court and they will only receive their inheritance/s uponreaching the age of majority.
Whatare the main advantages of having a Will?
- Your estate devolves uponnominated beneficiaries.
- You may nominate anexecutor/executrix who you know and trust.
- You can exempt your executor/executrixfrom furnishing security to the Master of the High Court.
- You can provide for theformation of a Testamentary Trust and nominate a Trustee to ensure financialstability for and protect the interests of your minor children.
- You can specificallyexclude a major child’s spouse from any entitlement to his/her inheritance.
- You can authorize yourexecutor/executrix to sell assets without the consent of the beneficiaries.
Why is it important to have your Will drafted by an attorney?
An attorney has the legal knowledge and expertise to:
- Draft a Will complyingwith all the legal requirements.
- Insert relevant clausesthat will simplify the administration of your estate.
- Advise you on the mannerin which your Will should be executed to ensure validity and acceptance by theMaster of the High Court.
- Assist you with estate planning.
If you require our assistance in having a Will drafted, send an e-mail to: