Writing up a last will and testament means you will have control over who should inherit your belongings, but it can also save your family money.
Jeremy Woods, manager of fiduciary services at GTC’s offices in Johannesburg, says that if you die without a will, family members will have to nominate an official executor, or administrator, to manage your estate.
This person has to be approved by the Master of the High Court, and a bond of security for the full value of your estate needs to be provided by the executor.
“While this can be done by an attorney, it comes at a significant additional cost, which is another unnecessary burden for your loved ones,” says Woods.
If a person dies intestate (without a will), Woods says that the law outlines a specific method that is followed to determine who inherits your belongings.
According to the intestate law, a surviving spouse, in some instances, can only get a “child’s share” of the total inheritance.
This means that if the surviving spouse has children with the deceased, he or she has to share the inheritance equally with them.