Many South African’s remain ignorant of the possible ramifications of not drafting a final Will and Testament. Not drafting a Will, in the proper legal manner, can result in:
- The government allocating your Estate to the parties it stipulates to be most fitting, irrespective of your intentions
- Familial disputes over who gets what
According to the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987, “your estate will devolve in terms of the rules of intestate succession” – http://www.fidsa.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/wills.htm#what_happens
This usually means that your spouse will be first in line to inherit your Estate, immediately followed by any surviving heirs along the succession path. In 9 out of 10 cases this will be exactly what the Estate owner intends. However, the manner in which the Estate is distributed (and the stipulation of the individual heirs thereof) will not be specified, leaving your heirs with a possible nightmare on their hands: fighting over who gets what.
Trust and Fiduciary services include the drafting of Wills and strategic Estate Planning. Drafting a Will and commencing with effective Estate Planning can protect your loved ones from possible repercussions, such as lawsuits and bankruptcy, in the event of your death.
Trust and Fiduciary Services: DIY Wills
The drafting of DIY Wills is also not recommended for this reason. Without sound knowledge of the legal processes at work behind the drafting of wills, your final wishes could end up not being fulfilled. Or worse: lengthy lawsuits could ensue as family members fight over possible ambiguities in your DIY Will.
According to Margaret King of Personal Finance magazine, “If you get things wrong, it could have painful unintended consequences. You may simply not be able to achieve what you intended, or your beneficiaries could end up in a long and expensive court case as they battle over the interpretation of your words or actions. When money is involved, some beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries will look for any loophole to exploit”- http://www.iol.co.za/business/personal-finance/financial-planning/estate/wills-pitfalls-to-avoid-1.1343476
When dealing with something as sensitive and important as succession planning, drafting your Will should take top priority. Finding a Will and Testament template, completing it and intending it to take effect legally is an incredibly difficult feat to pull-off (unless you are well versed in South African law- particularly Acts surrounding succession and intestate). Consult your Fiduciary Advisor now to see how Trust and Fiduciary services can protect your family in the event of your death.