If you die without a will, South African law stipulates who will be the heirs to your estate.
You should keep the following in mind before drafting your will:
* Marital status. Your marital regime will determine any legislative implications when leaving your assets to anyone other than your spouse. For example, if you are married in community of property, your and your spouse’s assets will form part of your deceased estate, and your spouse will automatically (by law) be entitled to 50percent of the combined asset value.
* Minor children. Our law prescribes that any benefit to a minor derived from a deceased estate must be placed in a testamentary trust (created in your will) or, where you die without a will, paid over to the Guardians’ Fund held by the Master of the High Court. You can provide in your will that the inheritance of your minor child or children must be administered in trust until the age of 18 years (or any later age that you may prefer). Your nominated trustees manage assets in the best interests of the children.