National Wills Week will take place from 26-30 October 2020

Why must you have a will?

By making a Will you ensure that your assets are disposed of in accordance with your wishes after your death. This is called “freedom of testation”. Dying without leaving a valid Will, means your assets are distributed among your spouse and/or blood relatives in terms of the Law of Intestate Succession.

Why should a Fiduciary Specialist draft your Will?

Fiduciary specialists are professionals qualified in law. A fiduciary specialist can advise you on any problem which may arise with regard to inheritance and your Will. A fiduciary specialist has the necessary knowledge and expertise to ensure that your Will is valid in terms of the Wills Act and accurately reflects your wishes. It often happens that a Will is not valid because the person drafting the Will does not have the necessary legal knowledge to ensure that the requirements of the law are met.

What happens to your estate if you die without a valid Will?

If you die without leaving a valid Will, your assets will be distributed according to the provisions of the Intestate Succession Act. The provisions of this Act are generally fair and ensure that your possessions are transferred to your spouse and/or blood relatives.

The following consequences may result if you die without leaving a Will:

  • Your assets may not be left to the heirs of your choice.
  • It can take a long time to have an Executor appointed. The Executor who is appointed may be somebody you may not have chosen yourself.
  • There is no business continuity until the Executor is appointed which may result in loss of income
  • There can be extra and unnecessary costs.
  • No trust can be set up for minor beneficiaries and their inheritance (all sold for cash) will

be deposited in the Guardians Fund

There surely will be unhappiness and conflict among family members because there are no clear instructions on how to distribute your assets.

Why is it important for an estate to have cash?

All the expenses of the estate must be paid for in cash (such as Executor fees, advertisement costs, transfer costs, etc.) and if the estate does not have cash available to make these payments, assets will have to be liquidated and possibly sold at a price lower than the asset’s fair market value to generate the necessary cash.

If you do not have a valid or updated Will and you are not sure if you have enough cash in your estate, we have the solution for you. We offer the Estate Preservation Plan. As an added benefit to the plan, we will draft your Will or modify your existing Will, all the estate expenses will be paid and more. We can also make sure that your family will be able to pay their day-to-day expenses while we are winding up the estate.