You forfeit the opportunity to decide who inherits what and your Estate is distributed according to South African law. This means people who you may not have wanted to benefit from your Estate may inherit your Estate.
Your Partner may be left with nothing if you are not married or your Will is not updated from a previous marriage.
Your Children’s inheritance could pass to the Government Guardian’s Fund or appointed Guardian rather than to a Trust that will ensure your wishes for them are carried out.
Family feuds often occur when family members argue over the distribution of your Estate when final wishes are not clearly documented in a Will.
Winding up your Estate can take years – without a Will appointing a professional Executor, the government is essentially in control of the process.
QThe top 5 important costs of dying
Executor fees – You need a professional to wind up your Estate. Professionals cost money and executors can charge up to 3.5% + VAT of the value of your Estate in order to do the work. This could be hundreds of thousands of rands.
Immediate expenses – When you pass away, your bank accounts could be frozen and your family could have limited access to money.
Testamentary Trust fees – If you are leaving an inheritance to minors, you need to set up a Trust upon your death in order for them to inherit your assets.
Monthly living expenses – Estates can take a long time to wrap up and families mistakenly assume their Estate will pay the monthly ongoing expenses.
Taxes – Most people leave their entire Estate to their Spouse, but if both of you pass away and your Children inherit everything then Capital Gains Tax and other legal fees are triggered.