Planning a Last Will and Testament
It is general practice to prepare a will at the legal age of 18, although a person aged 16 or older could also do so legally.
It should be realized that once you are married your position will constantly change, for example, with the birth of your children, death of a family member, or divorce.
It is for this very reason that you should examine your will at frequent intervals and check whether it needs to be changed in terms of our present and predicted future circumstances.
Let's take a look at the consequences of dying without a will (intestate)
- The Master of the Supreme Court will appoint an Executor to wind up the deceased estate. He may not necessarily appoint a member of the family. This means that the deceased estate will have to pay the prescribed professional fees of 3, 5% of the allowable value of the estate.
- The Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987, in operation from 18 March 1988, stipulates how such an estate should be distributed and in what proportion.
Administration Requirement at Death
In order to facilitate the expeditious administration of your estate upon your death, we recommend that you retain the following documents/items in a safe but accessible file/place:
- Identity document Original.
- Surviving spouse's Identity Document or a copy thereof and Marriage Certificate.
- Ante-nuptial contract if married Out of Community of Property under Ante-nuptial Contract Original.
- Title Deeds to Immovable Property/Registered Sectional Title Certificates. Share Certificates in respect of Share-block properties. Use and Occupation Agreement and Loan Account Agreement.
- House Owners Insurance Policy: Policy Number and name of Insurance Company.
- Mortgage Protection Policy.
- Life Endowment/Annuity/Investment Policies.
- Motor Vehicle Policy : Policy number and name of Company.
- Loan Account Number re: Mortgage bond and name of Institution.
- Firearm Licenses or certified copies.
- Motor vehicle Logbooks/Registration Certificate. License Receipt. (Originals).
- Electricity Account Number. (Copy of old account).
- Water Account Number.
- Telephone Account Number.
- Pension Details: name, Address and full details.
- Employer's details re: Salary, etc.
- Medical Aid Details. Name and address of Company.
- Income Tax Number and office at which Tax is payable.
- Foreign Assets : Full details.
- Details of Income from a Trust fund or Annuity.
- Liabilities re: Master Cards, etc : Latest accounts.
- Stamps, coins, etc.
Details re: Auditors for:
- Share-block Properties.
- Private Companies.
- Bookkeeper re: Sole proprietorship.
- Share certificates re: Public and Private Shares Originals.
- Building society Investment-Savings Passbooks, Shares, Fixed Deposit Receipts.
- Bonus bonds Original Certificates.
- Post Office Investments :Original Books.
- Current Accounts : Full details.
- SABC T.V Licence
- M-Net Account
- Rates Account (Annual)
- Details of Cellphone Accounts.
(If spouses are married in Community of Property, then the survivor's details re the above are also required).