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 a will?

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


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

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


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

A: In most wills, the executor is authorized to sell assets within the estate to cover administration costs. If a beneficiary wishes to inherit a specific asset but there's no available cash, they may need to contribute a sum of money to facilitate the estate's administration.


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

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


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

A: If you need help with drafting a will or handling a deceased estate, you can contact Miemie at miemie@snymansestates.com. Her extensive expertise and experience can ensure that your wishes are executed efficiently and legally, providing peace of 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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