A closer look: Why should I leave a will?

This article underscores the importance of a valid will, with insights from an estate administration expert with over 500 managed estates and FISA membership since 2012.

September 12, 2023

Miemie Hendriksz is a seasoned expert in the field of administering deceased estates and related services, with an impressive track record dating back to 2006, where she has successfully managed over five hundred estates. Additionally, Miemie has been a dedicated member of FISA since 2012. In this article, we'll delve into the compelling reasons behind the necessity of having a valid will, drawing from Miemie's extensive knowledge and experience.

Q: Why should I leave a valid will?

A: Leaving a valid will is crucial to ensure that your wishes are carried out precisely as you intend. Without one, the distribution of your estate becomes subject to legal processes and may result in unintended beneficiaries inheriting or your intended beneficiaries missing out.


Q: How often should I update my will ,and why?

A: It is recommended to review and update your will annually, especially if your life circumstances change. Major life events such as divorce necessitate immediate updates within three months. Frequent updates ensure that your will remains current and reflects your evolving wishes.


Q: What happens if I pass away without awill?

A: If youdie without a valid will, your estate will be distributed according to theIntestate Succession Act. This may lead to unintended beneficiaries inheriting,and your intended beneficiaries missing out due to complex legal processes andstatutory provisions.


Q: What should I consider if I haveminor children in my will?

A: It'sessential to create a well-drafted testamentary trust in your will if you haveminor children who may inherit from your estate. This trust ensures that theirinheritance is managed in their best interests, preventing their funds frombeing locked in the Guardian Fund until they turn eighteen.


Q: What if there are many assets in myestate but no readily available cash?

A: In mostwills, the executor is authorized to sell assets within the estate to coveradministration costs. If a beneficiary wishes to inherit a specific asset butthere's no available cash, they may need to contribute a sum of money tofacilitate the estate's administration.


Q: Can the executor nominated in my willimmediately act on behalf of the estate?

A: No, the nominated executor in your will has no authority until theMaster issues the Letters of Executorship, officially appointing them.Furthermore, the executor cannot act independently; they require formalauthorization to oversee the estate's administration.


Q: How can I get professional assistancein drafting a will or managing a deceased loved one's estate?

A: If youneed help with drafting a will or handling a deceased estate, you can contactMiemie at miemie@snymansestates.com. Her extensive expertise and experience canensure that your wishes are executed efficiently and legally, providing peaceof mind for you and your loved ones.

Interviewed and written by Jean-Mari De Beer-le Grange

Moderated and approved by Clive Smith

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