“I don’t know where to start” …
As with any task which a person may find daunting, it’s best to start with the fundamental pieces of information, and bit by bit the puzzle will come together.
Here are some details to provide, or at least to give thought to:-
– full name and ID number
– marital status – married in or out of community of property (with or without accrual)
– physical address
– are there any special bequests to be made
– who is going to inherit the residue of the estate
– if that heir (or heirs) is not around, who would be the substitute heir
– to consider a will trust if an heir is a minor (discussed in more detail under “Trusts”)
– to nominate an executor (or more than one) and a substitute if your first choice is not available
– to nominate trustees (see will trust above)
– to nominate guardians of minor children.
This enables your professional advisor to get a broad picture of your circumstances, and to request further details where necessary.
Big Words; Small Words
Special bequest – a specific asset or sum of money left (bequeathed) to a particular person, charity, school etc.
Legatee – the person or organisation receiving the special bequest
Heir – the person/s receiving the residue (or rest) of the estate
Executor – the person nominated to take charge of an estate, and to administer it. Officially appointed by the Master of the High Court through a document known as Letters of Executorship.
Trust – an entity established, either in a person’s will (known as a will trust or testamentary trust) or during a person’s lifetime (known as an inter vivos trust) to hold assets which are administered by trustees for the beneficiaries of the trust
Trustees – persons nominated to administer a trust. Officially appointed by the Master of the High Court through a document known as Letters of Authority.