Sunday, 28 May, 2017
Importance of a Will

Importance of a Will

 

A Will is probably the most important document a person can draw in his lifetime, which only comes into effect after date of death.

A will which is also commonly referred to as a “Last Will and Testament” should constantly be revised to reflect changes that may have taken place in your life or financial situation. An estate consists of assets and liabilities which a person has at the time of his death. The residue of the estate refers to that part of the deceased’s estate which remains after the payment of funeral expenses, administration costs, tax (if any), the testator’s debts and the legacies.

What is a Will?

A will is a document in which a person stipulates the manner in which his assets to are be distributed after his death and is a vital document to have.

Who should have a Will drawn up?

 

Anyone who is 16 years or older can attest to a will.

Why you should have a Will?

A person’s intentions are embodied in a will and you will ensure that your loved ones will inherit as per your wishes. Trusts may be created in terms of a will for the protection of minor or disabled beneficiaries and maintenance for their future upkeep. Guardians may also be appointed under a will to ensure the welfare of minor or disabled beneficiaries.

Dying without a Will

Should a person die without a will, the assets are distributed in terms of the Intestate Succession Act. Various formulas apply, some examples being:

• A surviving spouse is entitled to R125 000.00 or a child’s share, whichever is the greater;

• The property is divided amongst other family members, depending on the degree of consanguinity ie ascendants (parents), descendants (children) and collaterals (siblings)

• Where the intestate heirs are unknown or do not exist the executor converts the intestate estate into money and after payment of the deceased’s debts places the proceeds in the Guardian’s Fund. Only when 30 years have lapsed after the payment into the Guardian’s Fund and where no person is able to make a legitimate claim to it, then the estate will accrue to the State. The absence of a will and proper Estate Planning may also lead to assets being sold as well as lengthy delays in the winding up of the estate. Assets may also be distributed to people to whom you have no intention of inheriting.

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