“Rather be safe than sorry
This proverb will obviously not apply to a deceased as he will not have any problem with the winding up of his estate.
If however you are a caring / diligent person and you have an estate, irrespective of the size thereof, it is advisable to rather have a will than not for the following obvious reasons.
- You can nominate the executor and agent.
- the Master of the High Court will appoint your nominated executor to finalize your estate unless there is very good reason not to.
- It is cumbersome for the heirs/family to have an executor appointed if there is no will
- The Master insist on the appointment of an agent if your executor is a family member/friend an not an expert in management of deceased estates.
- You can nominate the beneficiaries of your estate and can make provision for minor’s interest’s or for a parent or any family member which may have been dependant on you.v
- You can create a testamentary trust and nominate the trustees.
- You may specify that all your assets are sold and the proceeds distributed to the beneficiaries of your choice or you may bequeath specific assets to nominated beneficiaries.
- When you consider having a will drawn do not think a bank or institution is the best option. One more often than not sit with the situation that a bank manage all the estates form head office. Family members then have to deal with the executor telephonically or they have to travel far to discuss issues. It is much more convenient and personal to deal with an attorney or other expert in the area where your resided. If you have immovable property or if other legal work needs to be done a bank will appoint an attorney on their panel, which will most probably be another stranger to your family and for which your estate has to pay, without having any control over who represent the estate or at which cost. If you appoint an attorney everything is done under one roof and probably by one person.
- You may direct in your will that a beneficiary will only be entitled to the inheritance on reaching a certain age or that the inheritance be paid over to a trust to be managed for the benefit of the beneficiary even though he/she is a major. This will usually be done if your beneficiary is not able to manage his or her own affairs.
- By having a will drafted by an expert you will ensure that your loved ones, or charity of your choice are properly looked after and giivng them peace of mind to know they do not have to make decisions which could backfire or which may cause a family feud.
- If any provision in your will is contra bones mores it will not be possible to give effect to it. You may therefore not disinherit or state that a minor child of yours may not inherit. A minor always has a maintenance claim even if you do not make provision for the minor.
- Unless there is pressing reasons please do not disinherit a child or spouse and do not try to rule from the grave. Rather be forgiving and rest in peace.