The importance of having a valid Will
A will is not valid if it is verbal and should be drafted by a professional to ensure it is valid in the eyes of the law. You can then rest assured that your beneficiaries will inherit as you envisaged.
Without a will, on death, you will have no influence over how your estate is to administered, who the guardian of your minor children will be.
Their inheritance will be paid over into the state-managed guardians fund until they attain majority unless an alternative is provided for in the will.
Without proper estate planning your estate may be subject to unnecessary taxes.
The importance of an Antenuptial Contract
Without concluding an antenuptial contract your marriage will automatically be in community of property.
In community of property means that all assets and debt before and after the marriage form a joint estate for which you and your spouse are equally responsible.
With an antenuptial contract excluding community of property all assets and debts attained before the marriage remain in the separate estates of each spouse.
All assets and debts incurred after the marriage will be dealt with on the basis of whether your antenuptial contract excludes or includes accrual.
Accrual meaning that on dissolution of the marriage by death or divorce, the spouse’s estate which shows no growth or lesser growth acquires a claim against the other spouse for half of the difference between what has accrued in the two separate estates.
The connection between your Will and an Antenuptial Contract
On your death both your antenuptial contract and Will will play a vital role in the manner in which your estate is administered.
Your antenuptial contract regulates the financial and proprietary consequences of your marriage and will determine what is included in your estate, what is in your spouse’s estate and what is shared.
Your Will deals with that portion of the estate that is identified as yours.
If you are married in community of property (without an antenuptial contract) your spouse is automatically entitled to half of the joint estate before any inheritance is considered.
If you have a Will in place and you have left an inheritance to your spouse and the marriage dissolves by means of a divorce the bequest to your spouse will become null and void should you pass on within three months of the divorce.
However if you have not drawn up a new Will after three months of the divorce, your previous spouse shall receive the inheritance in terms of the will.
Estate planning is essential and our professional staff are well versed and experienced in estates and will ensure you make the most of yours to the benefit of your heirs.
We will also store your original will at no cost in our fire proof safe.