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If you do not leave a will

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Any person of 16 years and over is free to make a will in order to determine how his/her estate should devolve upon his/her death.

 

If you die without a will, your estate will devolve in terms of the rules of intestate succession (your assets will, contrary to general belief, not go to the state).

 

What is said hereunder is not meant to replace the provisions of the Intestate Succession Act, no. 81 of 1987. The information is merely to inform the user of this site about some of the basic questions asked about intestate succession.

 

Deceased is survived by a spouse or spouses, but not by a descendant/s.

The spouse or spouses will inherit the intestate estate. In the case where the deceased was a husband in a polygamous marriage the surviving spouses will inherit in equal shares.

 

Deceased is survived by a descendant/s, but not by a spouse.

The descendant or descendants will inherit the intestate estate.

 

Deceased is survived by a spouse or spouses, as well as a descendant/s.

Each spouse will inherit R250 000 or a child's share, whichever is the greater and the children the balance of the estate. A child share is determined by dividing the intestate estate through the number of surviving children of the deceased and deceased children who have left issue, plus the number of spouses who have survived such deceased.

 

NOTE: In case of a marriage in community of property, one half of the estate belongs to the surviving spouse or spouses and , although it forms part of the joint estate, will not devolve according to the rules of intestate succession. For more information on the Intestate Succession Act, no. 81 of 1987 please consult the act or your legal representative.

 

The following two examples will illustrate what is said above about the child's share:

 

Example 1:

 

Value of intestate estate is R550 000.

The deceased is survived by a spouse and 3 children.

A child's share amounts to R137 500 (R500 000 divided by 4 (3 children plus spouse)).

The child's share is less than R250 000. Therefore the spouse will inherit R250 000 and each child will inherit R100 000,00. (R500 000 less R250 000 to spouse, divided by 3).

 

Example 2:

 

Value of intestate estate is R1 250 000.

The deceased is survived by a spouse and 3 children.

A child's share amounts to R312 500 (R1 250 000 divided by 4 (3 children plus spouse)).

The child's share is greater than R250 000. Therefore the spouse will inherit R312 500 and each child will also inherit R312 500 (R1 250 000 less R312 500 to spouse, divided by 3).

 

Deceased leaves no spouse or descendants, but both parents who are alive.

His/her parents will inherit the intestate estate in equal shares.

 

Deceased leaves no spouse and no descendants but leaves one parent, while the deceased parent left descendants (brothers/sisters of the deceased).

The surviving parent will inherit one half of the intestate estate and the descendants of the deceased parent the other half.

 

Deceased leaves no spouse or descendants but leaves one surviving parent, while the deceased parent did not leave any other descendants.

The surviving parent will inherit the whole estate.

 

Deceased does not leave a spouse or descendants or parents, but both his parents left descendants.

The intestate estate will be split into equal parts. One half of the estate is then divided among the descendants related to the deceased through the predeceased mother and the other half among the descendants related to the deceased through the predeceased father.

 

Deceased does not leave a spouse, descendant or parents, but only one of the predeceased parents left descendants

The descendants of the predeceased parent who left descendants, will inherit the entire intestate estate.

 

The deceased does not leave a spouse or descendants or parents or descendants of his parents.

The nearest blood relation inherits the entire intestate estate.

 

The deceased is not survived by any relative.

Only in this instance will the proceeds of the estate devolve on the state.

 

What is the position with regard to an illegitimate child of the deceased.

An illegitimate child can inherit from both blood relations, the same as a legitimate child.

 

What is the position with regard to an adopted child of the deceased.

An adopted child will be deemed to:

* be a descendant of his adoptive parent or parents.

* not to be a descendant of his natural parent or parents, except in the case of a natural parent who is also the adoptive parent of that child or was, at the time of the adoption, married to the adoptive parent of the child.

 

Source: http://www.justice.gov.za/master/m_deseased/deceased_intestate.html

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Any person of 16 years and over is free to make a will in...

 

Interesting read. Any idea on the easiest and least costly avenue to get a will drawn up?

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Any person of 16 years and over is free to make a will in...

 

Interesting read. Any idea on the easiest and least costly avenue to get a will drawn up?

 

Well, from an accountants view, I would suggest go to your accountant or attorney for help. But the average Joe do not have one of these.

 

Another option is to go to your bank, but to them you are only a number and you can not negotiate the executors fee to a lower percentage. And their customer services are NOT great, I speak from experience.

 

Another option is to get templates from internet, copy and paste them into one document, but you will never be certain if you left anything out or that something will be confusing/not clear in your will.

 

Best will be the to approach someone professional.

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Bump.

What happened to Joe?

 

I also need to get a will in order and I am very interested in the outcome of this.

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The problem with banks or professionals is that they do your will for free, but then they make themselves the executor of the estate and take a hefty chunk of your estate after you die.

 

Much better to pay an attorney a once-off fee for doing the will (it's usually about R1000 at most) and then make two trusted family members the executors. Then everything goes to the beneficiaries - the way it should be, with no fees for administering the will.

 

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How does it work with regards to accounts/savings I have.

 

tfsa

fnb

tyme

avbob

etc.

 

Do I just mention them, with their account numbers, or do I need to give full login details, etc ?

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No - basically the executor will consolidate your estate (ie. he/she will get an attorney to search for all your accounts and policies using your ID number) and will combine these into a trust account. Then your will will say how to divide the total. No need to specify details. You can usually just say "30% to X and 70% to Y" unless, of course, you have personal items that you want to go to someone in particular, then you can specify those.

 

Many attorneys (conveyancers in particular) will actually do a will for free without expecting anything in return. They may just suggest that " One day if you sell your house you can nominate me as the transferring attorney" or something along those lines.  Most people will feel loyalty towards that particular attorney because they do/regularly update your will for free.

 

In essence, you can actually do your will yourself, but it will only be valid at the Masters office (when it is executed) if it complies to all the procedural rules. These include stuff like that the witnesses must be identified in the will and be traceable and other technicalities like this, since there is a lot of scope for fraud with wills (because there are usually many versions of a will and only the most recent one applies, so the Master has to verify that you actually did the will.) If anybody contests the will, the witnesses must be traceable and swear that they signed the will etc. This is to protect the rights of the deceased.

 

Thus it is in your best interest to contact an attorney.Tell them you want to appoint family members as executors. It should usually cost you anything between free (minimum) and R1000 maximum.

Edited by SaurusDNA
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Coincidentally, this week is National Wills Week (or "Free will" week) at many participating attorneys in South Africa.

 

A list of participating attorneys who will do your will for free can be found on the website of the "Law Society of South Africa"

https://www.lssa.org.za/our-initiatives/advocacy/national-wills-week

 

But many other attorneys who didn't send their names through will still do it for you.

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Hi Saurus.

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond and explain.

I will definitely make time to find an attorney that can assist, as well as have a discussion with my relatives in regards to being executors.

 

Thanks again.

Etienne.

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1 minute ago, SaurusDNA said:

Coincidentally, this week is National Wills Week (or "Free will" week) at many participating attorneys in South Africa.

 

A list of participating attorneys who will do your will for free can be found on the website of the "Law Society of South Africa"

https://www.lssa.org.za/our-initiatives/advocacy/national-wills-week

 

But many other attorneys who didn't send their names through will still do it for you.

That's awesome.

Thank you very much.

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1 minute ago, e4et said:

That's awesome.

Thank you very much.

16 to 20 September. Grrrr, hahaha.

 

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Even though it's only until 20 September, most of them on that list will probably do it for you for free anytime.

It's how many conveyancers get new clients   😉

Edited by SaurusDNA

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13 minutes ago, SaurusDNA said:

Even though it's only until 20 September, most of them on that list will probably do it for you for free anytime.

It's how many conveyancers get new clients   😉

Thank you Sir.

I had a look through the list and I see the attorneys used by the seller of the property I bought two years ago are on the list.

I'll definitely reach out to them to enquire.

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