Wills FAQ 2018-01-15T02:10:08+00:00

WILL : QUESTIONS

Your will states your last wishes of what must happen to your assets.

If you do not leave a will, people may inherit from you that you did not want to inherit from you.

Your assets will go to your heirs in terms of the Intestate Succession Act, Act 81 of 1987.

This means if there is no direction from the deceased person as to what must happen to his/her assets (in a will), then there is a certain order that must be followed to determine who inherits from the deceased.

The Intestate Succession Act stipulates who stands in line in what order to inherit from you if you did not leave a will.

The order is, in a quick summary, the following:

If you were married and had no children, your spouse inherits everything.

If you had a spouse or children, you spouse and children inherit but your spouse may not inherit less than R250 000.

If you were not married and had children, your children will inherit from you in equal shares.  And so on and so on.

All neatly set out by the aforementioned Act.

Yes. It is also better if spouses make their wills together, because the first dying usually leaves his/her assets to the surviving spouse.

The will that you and your spouse make together will state what must happen to the last dying’s assets, so it will not be necessary to make a new will, unless the surviving spouse wants to change who must inherit from him/her.

The executor is the person who will wind up the estate.

To wind up an estate means the steps that must be followed to finalise the estate and transfer assets to the heirs.

There are many things an executor must do to wind up the estate.

We understand, you do need know-how on the subject.

We have many years’ experience in winding up deceased estates so call us let us help you.

You can, but with respect, you can make some nasty mistakes that can cost your heirs dearly.

Do not cut and paste a will. You need legal knowledge as well as knowledge of taxes.

An initial is half your signature: only the first letter of your name and the first letter of your surname.

You cannot just initial your will, it will be invalid. You need to put your full signature

Each page of the will must be signed with a full signature by the person who makes the will as well as TWO witnesses.

These 3 people must be in each other’s presence when they sign the will. You cannot sign the will and then the next day find one witness to sign and then the next day another.

The witnesses must be able to confirm that the signature on the will is yours and the only way they can do that is if they have seen you sign the will.

You can if you want to but it won’t be a valid will.

A will must be in written form (either by hand or printed) but more importantly it must be signed by you and the witnesses as described in the preceding question.

You will let the Master of the High Court know and if you are not happy with the Master’s decision you have to take the matter to Court.

By first of all let us draft a valid will for you that makes provision for that.

You can either leave the money directly to your mother or you can create a trust in your will to provide for her.

When it is not properly signed.

When it is not in writing.

When there is any determination in the will that is against the law or the morals of society.

A person who signed as witness to a will cannot inherit from that will.

The Master of the High Court is the overseer of all deceased estates

If there is a will in terms of which you much inherit, she cannot keep the assets.

If there is a will in terms of which you do not inherit, there is nothing you can do about it.

if there is no will and you are meant to inherit from your father in terms of the Intestate Succession Act, then you can do something about it.

You can approach the Master of the High Court who handles the estate.

Any person who has an interest in the estate of the deceased person (like children, spouses, parents for example) is entitled to a copy of the will of the deceased

Get one from the executor and if the executor does not want to give you a copy, get a copy from the Master where the estate was reported to.

If you choose us as your executor, we will only charge a nominal fee of R400 to draft the will.

We will also give you free revisions of your will on request and we will include a living will for you.

A living will means that you determine whether you want to be kept alive or on machines should you not be able to make decisions about your own medical condition any longer and deals with the donation of organs or not.

We have many years’ of experience in deceased estates and drafting of wills, so the best advice would be to appoint somebody that you know has the expertise.

It is not advisable to appoint a family member as executor. The reason for this is that if that person does not have the necessary experience to wind up a deceased estate, the Master will require that that person co-appoint an attorney to assist in any case.

So save your loved ones stress and worry and consider to appoint us.

The executor winds up the estate. To wind up an estate a lot of steps must be followed and you need the knowledge and expertise to do that.

To cover for shortfalls in your estate.

Let’s use an example:  Susan makes a will.

She leaves all her assets to her two children. She only possesses a house and nothing else.

She has debt of R100 000.  At her death, the executor can only transfer the house to the children if the debt of R100 000 is paid in full.

Also, all the expenses and the executor’s fee must be paid. Since there is no cash in the estate, the children must either pay in the monies to cover for the debt and the expenses, or the house must be sold to cover the expenses and debt.

If Susan had a life insurance policy of say R200 000, this amount would have covered for the debt and the expenses and the house would not have had to be sold.

We will look at the amounts you need to consider for shortfalls in your estate and then refer you to a life insurance agent.

It is a tax that you pay on being dead. The state makes money out of every phase of your life.

With careful planning you can avoid estate duty or at least reduce it.  You need to consult with us as each person’s circumstances are unique.

The Guardian Fund is a fund created by legislation and managed by the State.

Its purpose is to administer funds on behalf of minor children or incompetent people who inherit from a deceased person when no provision was made for a trust.

It is regarded that a minor child cannot manage his/her own affairs.

If a child inherits from a deceased, the monies that the child inherits are paid to the Guardian Fund for this reason, so that the state can manage the money on behalf of the children until they turn 18 years of age.

To avoid that your child’s inheritance is paid to the Guardian Fund, you should make a will and create a trust in your will. The trust is then registered after your death, the assets are transferred to your trust and your trustees (that you choose) then provide for your children.

Much better and easier and safer this way than to try and deal with the Guardian Fund.

The Public Investment Corporation which was established in 1911 and is wholly owned by the Government manages the moneys in the Guardian Fund.

The Minister of Finance determines how much interest the Guardian Fund will earn from time to time.

Interest is calculated and compounded monthly.

If you are the minor, you can claim maintenance from the Guardian Fund.

Monies that can be paid out will be for school/university fees, clothing, books, computers, accommodation and sporting equipment.

If there are other needs it must be well motivated and it may be paid out from the Fund.

By completing a heck of a lot of forms. It is quite a painful experience, but it can be done.

If monies were held by the Fund on behalf of a minor child, the minor child him/herself can claim the money when he/she turns 18 years old.

During the time that the child is still a minor, the guardian or the person looking after the minor can complete a form on behalf of the child and hand in documents and accounts that prove why the money is needed.

We understand the process well.

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