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Unprecedented events for South Africa, Is it crucial to have a Will?

The last two years have been nothing but a whirlwind of unprecedented events for South Africa and globally. We watched helplessly as we lost family members and friends to the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, we experienced the most destructive riots seen in this era, experienced the effects of the Ukraine-Russia conflict and devastating KZN floods that destroyed many homes.

As a nation, communities, individuals and corporates came together with spirit and tenacity to restore and uplift those most affected by these events.

During unsettling times like these, we all struggle to meet our commitments and our priorities tend to change. What used to be important seems to fall to the bottom of the list. The future doesn’t seem so far away any longer. The last few years has shown most of us that life can be short and unexpected things are happening more frequently. This is where the importance of a will plays a crucial role.

What are some of the implications if you die without a will?

Your estate may not be distributed according to your wishes. Dying without a Will in South Africa, means your deceased estate will be administered under the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987 (“Act”), also known as the rules of intestate succession.

There are five rules relating to intestate succession:

  1. In the case where the deceased is survived by only a spouse, the spouse will inherit the full estate.
  2. In the case where the deceased is survived by only descendants, the estate will be equally distributed between the descendants.
  3. In the case where the deceased had a spouse and descendants, the spouse will get a child share or R250 000 whichever is the greatest, and the balance will be distributed equally between the descendants.
  4. In the case where the deceased had no spouse nor descendants, his/her parents, aunts/uncles and or siblings will inherit the estate in equal shares.
  5. In the case where the deceased had no spouse, descendants, aunts/uncles and or siblings, his/her closest relatives will inherit in equal shares.

If the deceased had no relatives, the funds will be placed in the Guardian’s Fund for a period of 30 years. If no relative claims the money, the money will be distributed to the State. Read More

Most of us don’t want to think about death or dying, so we continuously delay setting up this important document. National Wills Week takes place between 12 and 16 September 2022, stop the procrastination and contact your financial Advisor today.

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