It's a major adulting milestone, but we don't expect you to do it alone. Old Mutual financial advisers are here to help you plan now for when you're gone.
Think of a will as your instructions of how you want your assets to be distributed after you pass away. Without a will, you could leave your family fighting over your assets after you're gone. Or you could leave them struggling while the state decides what to do with your prized possessions or how to settle your debt.
A will is not just for old, rich people. It's for anyone with kids, money, property and investments. Ideally, it should be a written, witnessed document that is kept safe and secure.
Watch our video explaining just how estate planning and wills work.
An executor is someone responsible for making sure that the terms of your will are carried out. Their role is to wind down your estate, pay your taxes and handle the admin of passing away. It's best to choose a professional person or trust company, who specialises in the drafting of wills and administering deceased estates. If you do not have a will, an executor will be appointed by the state.
A trust is an institution or party that you nominate to take care of your estate when you're gone. A trustee is the person who carries out your instructions, often on behalf of your beneficiaries if they are too young or not able to manage what's been left to them.
If you pass away without a will, it means you die intestate and the law kicks in. It then takes time for your beneficiaries to get their inheritance. In the meantime, they may be struggling to pay the bills, including your funeral expenses.
- While both roles involve carrying out the instructions of your will, their goals are different. An executor's aim is to wrap your affairs as soon as possible. A trustee is there to see that your wishes are carried out and manage your estate on behalf of your beneficiaries if necessary.
- Estate duty is the tax that is paid when transferring your estate or assets to your beneficiaries when you pass away. In South Africa the tax is 20% of your estate's taxable value.
- Yes, you can. In fact, it's a good idea to revisit your will every few years or when you go through life changes like having a child, getting married or divorced. You can write a new will or make changes to your existing one.