What is a Will?
A Will in essence is a document, duly executed, that contains the wishes of the deceased. You have the right to determine through this document what will happen after your death to everything you own and specify who will inherit, who will be the person executing your Will (the executor) and any other specific condition that you would like to include.
Is it necessary to have a Will?
Yes, through this document you can clearly state your intention, which will speed up the administration process as you have left a guideline behind. If a person do not have a Will, distribution will be in accordance with the Intestate Succession Act and will most probable benefit people who you would not have intended to benefit. As a Will also forms part of estate planning, consult an attorney for specialised advice.
ADMINISTRATION OF DECEASED ESTATES
What is the first step after a person has passed away?
It is very important to appoint an executor and correspond with all relevant institutions in order to inform them of the passing of the family member or friend. The Master of the High Court supervises the administration process of the estate of a person who was resident in its jurisdiction at time of death.
What is the duty of the executor?
The Administration of Estates Act prescribes the formalities which the executor must abide by, which can be a lengthy process as numerous incidental matters may arise, such as, estate duty, validity of claims, validity of the Will or the interpretation thereof, maintenance claims and the sale of assets, but the process has been formulated to protect the creditors and beneficiaries of the deceased. Only at the end of the process, with confirmation from the Master, can immovable property be transferred to the beneficiaries and inheritance distributed and the administration process finalised.
At SH&CO INC Attorneys we available to assist with the above, contact us for a free first consultation on estate services.