CAN I AMEND MY WILL?

Having a Will is a final statement of how you want your assets to be managed after your death. However, sometimes you may want to change it. You may have had a child, for example, and want to add him/her into your Will. You may have also acquired more assets and would like to reconsider how they get divided among your possible heirs.

What is a codicil?

When you want to add something to your Will or make a minor change, then you can make use of a codicil. A codicil is a schedule or annexure to an existing Will, which is made to supplement or to amend an existing Will. A codicil must comply with the same requirements for a valid Will. A codicil need not be signed by the same witnesses who signed the original Will.

What if I want to amend my Will?

  1. Amendments to a Will can only be made while executing a Will or after the date of execution of the Will.
  2. Amendments to a Will must comply with the same requirements for a valid Will and if you cannot write, with the same requirements listed under that heading.
  3. When amending a Will, the same witnesses who signed the original Will need not sign it.

Must I amend my Will after divorce?

A bequest to your divorced spouse in your Will, which was made prior to your divorce, will not necessarily fall away after divorce.

  1. The Wills Act stipulates that, except where you expressly provide otherwise, a bequest to your divorced spouse will be deemed revoked if you die within three months of the divorce.
  2. This provision is to allow a divorced person a period of three months to amend his/her Will, after the trauma of a divorce.
  3. Should you however fail to amend your Will within three months after your divorce, the deemed revocation rule will fall away, and your divorced spouse will benefit as indicated in the Will.

References:

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

WHAT ARE MUTUAL WILLS?

The most general mutual will is that of a married couple. This does not mean, however, that the estates are joined and that the Testator and Testatrix have to make a joint decision about the distribution of their estates. Each party may still make independent decisions about the distribution of his/her estate within one will.

As a result, a mutual will is very popular among married couples, but the person who draws up the will, should take into consideration each party’s assets, liabilities and needs regarding inheritance to determine whether he/she should draw up separate wills or a mutual will, i.e. 2 separate wills within one document or one will which determines that merging of the respective or mutual wills should take place.

What mutual wills should contain

In the case of a mutual will there should be a description regarding the execution of the will should the spouses die simultaneously or within a short period, such as 30 days of each other. For argument’s sake, the Testator and Testatrix could be in a car accident. The testator dies and the Testatrix is in a critical condition, rendering her unable to draw up a new will; provision should be made in the will for such scenarios.

Legislation acknowledges the principle of freedom of bequeathment; each person therefore has the right to bequeath his/her assets according to his/her preference. Despite a Testator and Testatrix having a mutual will, one of the parties could decide, for whatever reason, to have another individual will drawn up which is dated later than the mutual will. The surviving spouse will not be able to insist that the mutual will be accepted as the last will and testament.

Amending a mutual will

One party does not need the other party’s permission to amend a mutual will. Each party has the right to draw up a new will at any time, without any obligation to inform the other party thereof. Should the mutual will turn out to be the last will of the deceased, it will become the valid will regarding the deceased, regardless of whether the surviving spouse had already drawn up another will.

Do the estates merge?

Merging of estates takes place when the estates of two people are joined into one upon the death of the first spouse, mainly with the aim of managing an asset in which both parties had an interest. Normally a limited right, such as a usufruct, should be created in terms of any of the assets in the estate to the benefit of the surviving spouse. Even with merging of estates the surviving party has the right to accept or reject the mutual will and the resulting merging of estate assets after the death of the first party. It boils down to the fact that, even where merging of estates is determined in the will, the mutual will does not have much value if the surviving party rejects the stipulations of the will after the death of the deceased party.

The way in which the creation of the merge is worded in a will is of extreme importance, as the wrong choice of words could have a major impact on the payment of policies outside the estate which should fall to the surviving party’s lot. The acceptance or rejection of a will in which a merge was created should also be considered carefully, as there are several implications, e.g. Transfer duty, Donations tax and Capital Gains Tax.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

YOUR WILL AND FOREIGN ASSETS

Each country has its own legislation regarding inheritance and signing of wills. It would therefore be possible that your South African will does not comply with all the requirements of the country where your foreign assets are located. This may result in the non-inheritance of your foreign assets in terms of your last will and testament. It is therefore imperative that you should have two wills if you have foreign assets; one for your South African assets and one regarding your foreign assets according to the regulations of the country where these assets are located. It is always important to plan your estate carefully; should you have foreign assets, however, you must take extra care to ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant country’s legislation.

The aim with planning an estate is ultimately to reach your goals in the distribution of your assets and liabilities. These goals should make provision for the management of your estate during your lifetime, but also after your passing.

A further consequence of the increasing exposure to international investments is that South Africans are also exposed to foreign fiduciary services, including wills for their foreign assets.

Whether it is truly necessary to draw up a separate foreign will or just one global will depends on the following:

  • where your foreign assets are located;
  • the nature of the assets and the type of products in which these assets have been invested; and
  • who takes care of the administration of your foreign assets/investments.

Should your South African will be drawn up in Afrikaans, it may be necessary to have it translated and sealed before sending it to the foreign executor/agent. This could be time-consuming and very costly.

A separate foreign will also has other advantages: your foreign will is administered in line and simultaneously with your South African assets; an executor/agent who is familiar with the required procedures in the relevant country where your assets are located will save you time and money; and someone who draws up wills professionally within the jurisdiction of the relevant country can provide you with advice regarding the possible dangers in relation to tax accountability and hereditary succession when it comes to assets outside the borders of South Africa.

Although we would recommend drawing up a second will with reference to foreign assets, we suggest that, should there be any mention of foreign assets, your South African will must be drawn up in English and it should not pertinently refer to the fact that the document is only applicable to your South African assets.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

SHOULD I DRAFT A WILL?

A mother who has always wanted her daughter to inherit her diamond engagement ring may never get her wish if she dies without leaving a valid written will. The mother’s estate would then be distributed in terms of the Intestate Succession Act No. 81 of 1987. 

Taking the time to draft a will can leave you with the peace of mind that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes as far as possible. Your will should reflect exactly how you want your assets to be dealt with after your death and should not be contra bonos mores (against good morals). It should also not amount to “ruling from the grave”.

There are a number of legal requirements that have to be complied with for a will to be valid.  If it does not comply with all of these requirements it could be found to be invalid. Your estate would then also be dealt with in terms of the Intestate Succession Act of 1987. It is therefore of the utmost importance that you obtain the assistance of someone with the necessary specialised skill and knowledge to assist you with the drafting of your will.

A will should also regularly be revised and updated to adapt to your changing circumstances, for example after getting married, and when there is a child on the way. Section 2B of the Wills Act No. 7 of 1953 (as amended by the Law of Succession Act No. 43 of 1992) deals specifically with a change in marital status by way of divorce, and reads as follows:

If any person dies within three months after his marriage was dissolved by a divorce or annulment by a competent court and that person executed a will before the date of such dissolution, that will shall be implemented in the same manner as it would have been implemented if his previous spouse had died before the date of the dissolution concerned, unless it appears from the will that the testator intended to benefit his previous spouse notwithstanding the dissolution of his marriage.”

This can be explained by way of the following example: A and B get divorced and B dies within three months of the date of the divorce. B’s will was executed before they got divorced. Unless B’s will specifically indicated that A must benefit from B’s estate despite the divorce, B’s estate will then be distributed as if A died before they got divorced. A will therefore not inherit from B’s estate in this scenario. However, should B die more than 3 months after the divorce and B’s will, which benefits A, was not changed, then it will be seen as if B intended A to inherit, despite the divorce.

A person who was previously married and who remarries, should ensure that the necessary changes are made to his/her will. If not, this could have profound consequences for the “new” spouse, especially if the will still benefits the spouse from the previous marriage.

When there are minor children in the picture, it is advisable to make adequate provision for their living costs and education in your will. This can be done by creating a testamentary trust of which the minor children can be beneficiaries.

Thinking and talking about one’s passing is not a pleasant subject. Having a valid, clear and unambiguous will can prevent unpleasant family feuds caused by them having to make decisions about the distribution of your estate. It is certainly worth the time and effort to have a valid written will in place.

References:

Drafting of Wills 2013 – LEAD

Intestate Succession Act 81/1987

Wills Act 7/1953

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DIE WITHOUT A WILL?

Attorneys often emphasise the fact that you should have a will drawn up and revise it regularly in order to facilitate the bequeathing of your possessions after your death. Many people still omit to do this. The problem is that, should a person die without leaving a valid will, in other words intestate, his/her estate will be administered and distributed according to the stipulations of the Intestate Succession Act No 81 of 1987.

Below is a basic example of the effect an intestate death will have on the distribution of an estate. Should the composition of the beneficiaries of the deceased be more complex, the administering of the estate in terms of the Intestate Succession Act will also become more complicated.

Let us assume that person A dies and the value of his estate is R1.8 million. He is survived by his wife (B) and 2 children, of which one is of age and the other is a minor.

Scenario 1:

A and B is married out of community of property.

B inherits R125 000 or a child’s portion, whichever is the largest.

A child’s portion is calculated by dividing the total value of the estate by the spouse and number of children, in other words R1.8 million/3 = R600 000.

The spouse and children therefore inherits R600 000 each.

The inheritance of the minor will be paid to the Master’s Guardian’s Fund, as there is no will which determines that the minor heir’s inheritance should be placed in e.g. a Testamentary Trust, where the funds will be administrated on behalf of the minor until he/she becomes of age or reaches any other specified age.

Scenario 2:

A and B is married in community of property.

B inherits 50% of the estate due to the marriage in community of property.

B also inherits R125 000 or a child’s portion, whichever is the largest, with regard to the other half of the estate.

A child’s portion is calculated by dividing half of the total value of the estate by the spouse and number of children, in other words R900 000/3 = R300 000.

The spouse inherits R1.2 million and the children R300 000 each.

The inheritance of the minor will be paid to the Master’s Guardian’s Fund, as there is no will which determines that the minor heir’s inheritance should be placed in e.g. a Testamentary Trust, where the funds will be administrated on behalf of the minor until he/she becomes of age or reaches any other specified age. It is therefore clear that Intestate inheritance may result in an unpractical and often even impracticable division of assets.

The fact that the inheritance of the minor will be paid to the Master’s Guardian’s Fund may place the spouse in such a dilemma that she has to devise plans to finance the amount payable to the Master’s Guardian’s Fund to the benefit of the minor heir. Alternatively she could register a mortgage against an immovable property in favour of the Master’s Guardian’s Fund.

In case of death without a valid will there will of course be no person or institution appointed to support the surviving spouse in the administering of the estate. This should not usually present a huge obstacle, but the spouse should consider carefully which person or institution she appoints to assist her in this task. She should also negotiate the Executor’s fee with the relevant person or institution before the administering of the estate commences.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

MOET EK ‘N TESTAMENT HÊ?

‘n Ma se begeerte dat haar dogter haar verloofring erf, sal dalk nie bewaarheid word indien sy nie ‘n geldige, skriftelike testament nalaat nie, aangesien haar boedel dan in terme van die Wet op Intestate Erfopvolging No 81 van 1987 verdeel sal word.

‘n Testament sal jou die gemoedsrus gee dat jou bates sover moontlik volgens jou wense verdeel word en moet weerspieël presies hoe jou bates na jou dood hanteer moet word. Dit mag egter nie contra bonos mores (teen die goeie sedes) wees of neerkom op “regerend uit die graf” nie.

Daar is ‘n aantal wetlike vereistes waaraan ‘n geldige testament moet voldoen. Indien die testament nie aan al hierdie vereistes voldoen nie, kan daar bevind word dat dit ongeldig is en sal jou boedel dan in terme van die Wet op Intestate Erfopvolging van 1987 beredder word. Dit is daarom van die uiterste belang dat iemand met die nodige gespesialiseerde vaardighede en kennis jou bystaan met die opstel van jou testament.

‘n Testament moet ook gereeld hersien en opgedateer word om aan te pas by jou veranderende lewensomstandighede, byvoorbeeld nadat jy in die huwelik getree het of kinders gebore is. Artikel 2B van die Wet op Testamente no 7 van 1953 (soos gewysig deur die Erfreg Wet 43 van 1992) handel spesifiek oor ‘n verandering in huwelikstatus deur middel van ‘n egskeiding en lui soos volg:

“Indien iemand te sterwe kom binne drie maande nadat sy huwelik deur ‘n egskeiding of nietigverklaring deur ‘n bevoegde hof ontbind is en daardie persoon voor die datum van sodanige ontbinding ‘n testament verly het, word uitvoering aan daardie Testament gegee op dieselfde wyse waarop daaraan uitvoering gegee sou word indien sy voormalige gade voor die datum van die betrokke ontbinding oorlede is, tensy uit die Testament blyk dat die erflater ondanks die ontbinding van sy huwelik bedoel het om sy voormalige gade te bevoordeel.”

Hierdie klousule kan deur middel van die volgende voorbeeld verduidelik word: A en B se huwelik ontbind deur ‘n egskeiding en B sterf binne drie maande vanaf die datum van die egskeiding. B se testament is voor die egskeiding opgestel. Tensy B se testament spesifiek aandui dat A bevoordeel moet word uit hoofde van B se boedel ten spyte van die egskeiding, sal B se boedel verdeel word asof A gesterf het voordat hulle geskei het. A sal dus nie van B se boedel erf nie. Sou B egter sterf nadat meer as drie maande verloop het na die egskeiding en B se testament, wat A bevoordeel, is onveranderd, sal dit gesien word asof dit B se bedoeling was om vir A te bevoordeel, ten spyte van die egskeiding.

‘n Persoon wat hertrou, moet verseker dat die nodige veranderinge aan sy/haar testament aangebring word, andersins kan dit ernstige gevolge vir die “nuwe” gade inhou, veral in gevalle waar die testament steeds die eggenoot uit die vorige huwelik bevoordeel.

Wanneer daar minderjarige kinders ter sprake is, is dit raadsaam om voldoende voorsiening in jou testament te maak vir hul lewenskoste en opvoeding. Dit kan gedoen word deur ‘n testamentêre trust te skep waarvan die minderjarige kinders begunstigdes is.

Om oor ‘n mens se afsterwe te dink en praat, is nie maklik nie. Deur egter ‘n geldige, duidelike en ondubbelsinnige testament na te laat, kan onaangename familievetes verhoed word. Dit is beslis die tyd en moeite werd om ‘n geldige testament op te stel.

Verwysings:

Drafting of Wills 2013 – LEAD

Wet op Intestate Erfopvolging 81/1987

Wet op Testamente 7/1953

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies. (E&OE)

DIE BENOEMING VAN ‘N EKSEKUTEUR IN MY TESTAMENT

Hierdie is ‘n onderwerp waaroor al hoe meer besprekings en argumente plaasvind en dit is ook so dat individue meer ingelig raak oor wat die fooie is waarop die Eksekuteur van ‘n boedel geregtig is en hoe die fooie bereken word.

Soos ons in vorige atikels melding gemaak het, word die maksimum vergoeding waarop ‘n Eksekuteur geregtig is deur wetgewing vasgestel. Die huidige Eksekuteursvergoeding waarop ‘n Eksekuteur geregtig is, beloop tans 3.5% van die bruto boedelwaarde plus 14% BTW (indien die Eksekuteur natuurlik vir BTW geregistreer is).

Op die oog af blyk dit dat die vergoeding teen ‘n billike of selfs baie lae persentasie gehef word, maar kom ons illustreer dit met ‘n voorbeeld:

Kom ons veronderstel die bruto boedelwaarde beloop R2 miljoen. Neem kennis dat weens die drastiese stygings in die waarde van onroerende eiendomme oor die laaste paar jare, ‘n boedel met ‘n bruto waarde van R2 miljoen maklik haalbaar en baie realisties is indien u onroerende eiendom besit.

R2 miljoen x 3.5% = R70 000-00

Plus 14% BTW = R9 800-00

Totale Eksekuteursvergoeding = R79 800-00

Laasgenoemde Eksekuteursvergoeding sluit nie enige ander administrasiekostes bv. oordragkostes van die onroerende eiendom of begrafniskostes in nie. Dit is dus duidelik dat kostes om die administrasie van ‘n boedel met ‘n waarde van R2 miljoen af te handel maklik meer as R100 000 kan beloop. Die gevolg is dat individue al hoe meer oorweging daaraan gee om die langslewende of ‘n ander familielid as Eksekuteur te benoem, met die veronderstelling dat die genomineerde Eksekuteur dan in ‘n posisie geplaas word om die Eksekuteursvergoeding met ‘n instelling te onderhandel, wat dan as die genomineerde Eksekuteur se agent sal optree.

Dit gebeur egter dat die genomineerde Eksekuteur (bv. die langslewende gade) nie deeglik ingelig word oor wat hy/sy te doen staan indien sy/haar gade te sterwe sou kom nie en gevolglik stel hy/sy die eerste agent aan wat sy/haar dienste aanbied, geen onderhandeling vind plaas nie en die agent hef dus maar nog steeds die volle tarief wat deur wetgewing vasgestel word.

Ons aanbeveling is dus die volgende:

  1. Benoem die langslewende of ‘n ander familielid as Eksekuteur van jou boedel, maar maak seker dat die benoemde Eksekuteur deeglik kennis dra dat hy/sy die Eksekuteursvergoeding met ‘n instelling kan onderhandel; of

2. Indien jy voldoende vertroue in ‘n instelling het, benoem die instelling as Eksekuteur van jou boedel, maar onderhandel die Eksekuteursvergoeding voortydig en maak die ooreengekome tarief in die testament vas. Moet dit dus nie aan iemand anders oorlaat om na jou afsterwe oor Eksekuteursfoooie te onderhandel nie.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies. (E&OE)

U TESTAMENT – ‘N BELANGRIKE DOKUMENT

Die lewe is baie onvoorspelbaar en ons adviseer graag kliënte om erns te maak om ‘n testament in plek te hê en boedelbeplanning te doen. Hieronder is redes waarom dit een van u belangrikste prioriteite behoort te wees.

V: Hoekom behoort ek ‘n testament te hê?

A: ‘n Testament stel u in staat om erfgename volgens u keuse te benoem. Indien u sonder ‘n testament (intestaat) sou sterf, sal u bates volgens die Wet op Intestate Erfopvolging verdeel word. Dit mag dus die gevolg hê dat persone wie u nie as erfgename sou benoem nie, voordele by u afsterwe ontvang.

V: Wie mag u testament as getuie onderteken?

 A: Die testament moet in die teenwoordigheid van twee getuies geteken word, wat ook in die teenwoordigheid van mekaar teken. Slegs persone 14 jaar en ouer kwalifiseer om as getuies te teken.

V: Wat beloop Eksekuteursvergoeding?

 A: Die maksimum vergoeding waarop ‘n Eksekuteur geregtig is, word deur Wetgewing vasgestel en beloop tans 3.5% van u totale bruto boedelwaarde. Eksekuteursvergoeding behoort egter onderhandel te word met die persoon wat as Eksekuteur van u testament benoem word.

V: Hoe gereeld behoort ek my testament te hersien?

 A: Dit word aanbeveel dat testamente ten minste elke 2 jaar hersien word. Dit is egter ook belangrik om die hersiening van u testament met gebeurtenisse soos bv. ‘n huwelik, ‘n geboorte, ‘n egskeiding of die aankoop van eiendom te oorweeg.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies. (E&OE)

THE LIVING WILL

Most people are familiar with a will or testament and understand the importance of having this legal declaration drafted, by which the testator nominates an executor to manage his or her estate and provide for the distribution of his or her property to beneficiaries when he or she dies.

But how many people have considered drafting a living will?

A living will does not deal with assets, heirs and beneficiaries, but with the philosophy of death and dying, and should be considered carefully and drafted by a professional.

A living will is a legal document expressing a person’s wishes regarding life-prolonging medical treatment when that person can no longer voice his or her wishes. It is also referred to as an advance medical directive.

A typical clause in a living will would read as follows:

If the time comes when I can no longer take part in decisions for my own future, let this declaration stand as my directive.

If I suffer from physical illness or impairment expected to cause me severe distress, rendering me incapable of rational existence, from which there is no reasonable prospect of recovery, I withhold my consent to be kept alive by artificial means and do not give my consent to any form of tube-feeding when I am dying; and I request that I receive whatever quantity of drugs and intravenous fluids as may be required to keep me comfortable and free from pain even if the moment of death is hastened. I withhold my consent to any attempt at resuscitation, should my heart and breathing stop and my prognosis is hopeless.

The living will tells the doctor and family that the patient does not consent to being kept alive artificially. It speaks for the patient at a time when the patient may be unable to communicate.

South African law and most religions accepts the validity of the living will, but none of the main religions accept euthanasia.

Euthanasia is against the law. Sean Davison, the respected UWC professor who helped his 85-year-old terminally ill mother, Patricia Ferguson, die in New Zealand by preparing a lethal dose of morphine, was arrested in New Zealand in September 2010 on an attempted murder charge.

It is important to have a properly drafted, legal living will to avoid far reaching and traumatic consequences for the loved ones that stay behind.

Many lawyers who practice in the area of estate planning include a living will and a health care power of attorney in their package of estate planning documents.

The advantages of a living will

  1. The directives respect the patient’s human rights, and in particular his or her right to reject medical treatment.
  2. It encourages full discussion about end-of-life decisions.
  3. It also means that the medical staff and caregivers are aware of the patient’s wishes, and knowing what the patient wants means that doctors are more likely to give appropriate treatment.
  4. It will avoid the situation where the patient’s family and friends have to take the difficult decisions.

Disadvantages of a living will

  1. Drafting this document can be very depressing.
  2. The person may still be healthy and not in a position to actually imagine that he or she could ever be in the position where they would voluntarily give up living.
  3. When the time comes to act on the living will the patient might have changed his or her mind and it is then often difficult to amend the document.

Important points to consider 

  1. The living will should not be incorporated or attached to the last will and testament, which is only acted upon after death.
  2. A living will does not become effective unless the patient becomes incapacitated; until then the patient will be able to choose appropriate treatment.
  3. A certificate by the patient’s doctor and another independent doctor certifying that the patient is either suffering from a terminal illness or permanently unconscious, is required before the living will becomes effective. In the case of a heart attack, the living will does not take effect. A living will is only executed when ultimate recovery is hopeless.
  4. You have to notify your doctor and family of your living will and preferably have copies of the document available for the doctor, hospital and family.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

Wat gebeur as ek sterf sonder ‘n geldige testament?

Prokureurs lê dikwels klem op die optrek en gereelde hersiening van ‘n testament om die bemaking van jou besittings na jou dood te vergemaklik. Daar is egter steeds baie mense wat nie hierop ag slaan nie. Die probleem is egter dat, indien ‘n persoon te sterwe kom sonder om ‘n geldige testament na te laat, m.a.w. intestaat, sal sy/haar boedel in terme van die bepalings van die Wet op Intestate Erfopvolging Wet 81 van 1987, namens hom/haar toegeken en verdeel word.

Hieronder is ‘n basiese voorbeeld van watter uitwerking ‘n intestate sterfte op die verdeling van ‘n boedel sal hê. Indien die samestelling van die belanghebbende partye van die oorledene egter meer gekompliseerd raak, sal die verdeling van die boedel in terme van die Wet op Intestate Erfopvolging inderdaad ook meer ingewikkeld wees.

Kom ons veronderstel persoon A kom te sterwe met ‘n boedelwaarde van R1.8 miljoen en hy word oorleef deur ‘n vrou (B) en 2 kinders. Een van die kinders is meerderjarig en die ander minderjarig.

Scenario 1:

A en B is buite gemeenskap van goedere getroud.

B erf R125 000 of ‘n kindsdeel, wat ookal die grootste.

‘n Kindsdeel word bereken deur die totale waarde van die boedel deur die gade en aantal kinders te verdeel, m.a.w. R1.8 miljoen/3 = R600 000.

Die gade en kinders erf dus R600 000 elk.

Die minderjarige kind se erfenis sal aan die Meester se Voogdyfonds oorbetaal moet word, aangesien daar nie ‘n testament is wat bepaal dat ‘n minderjarige erfgenaam se erfenis bv. in ‘n Testamentêre Trust geplaas moet word om namens die minderjarige geadministreer te word totdat hy/sy meerderjarige ouderdom of ‘n ander gespesifiseerde ouderdom bereik het nie.

Scenario 2:

A en B is binne gemeenskap van goedere getroud.

B erf 50% van die boedel weens die huwelik binne gemeenskap van goedere.

B erf dan ook R125 000 of ‘n kindsdeel, wat ookal die grootste, ten opsigte van die ander helfte van die boedel.

‘n Kindsdeel word bereken deur die helfte van die totale waarde van die boedel deur die gade en aantal kinders te verdeel, m.a.w. R900 000/3 = R300 000.

Die gade erf dus R1.2 miljoen en die kinders R300 000 elk.

Die minderjarige kind se erfenis sal weereens aan die Meester se Voogdyfonds oorbetaal moet word, aangesien daar nie ‘n testament is wat bepaal dat ‘n minderjarige erfgenaam se erfenis bv. in ‘n Testamentêre Trust geplaas moet word om namens die minderjarige geadministreer te word totdat hy/sy meerderjarige ouderdom of ‘n ander gespesifiseerde ouderdom bereik het nie. Dit is dus baie duidelik dat Intestate vererwing ‘n onpraktiese verdeling, en in baie gevalle selfs ‘n moeilik uitvoerbare verdeling tot gevolg kan hê.

Die feit dat die minderjarige erfgenaam se erfenis aan die Meester se Voogdyfonds betaalbaar is, kan die gade in ‘n posisie plaas waar sy planne moet beraam om die bedrag wat ten behoewe van die minderjarige erfgenaam aan die Meester se Voogdyfonds betaalbaar is, te finansier of dat ‘n Verband ten gunste van die Meester se Voogdyfonds teen ‘n onroerende eiendom geregistreer moet word.

In die geval van ‘n sterfte sonder ‘n geldige testament is daar natuurlik ook nie enige persoon of instansie benoem om die gade by te staan met die administrasie van die boedel nie. Laasgenoemde behoort normaalweg nie ‘n struikelblok te wees nie, maar die gade behoort deeglik te besin oor die persoon of instansie wat haar met die administrasie van die boedel sal bystaan. Sy behoort ook die Eksekuteursvergoeding met die betrokke persoon en instansie te onderhandel voordat die administrasie van die boedel ‘n aanvang neem.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.