If I die without a will – will the state take my assets!!!

by | Mar 5, 2024 | Advisory Services | 0 comments

The death of a loved one is a highly emotional time – adding uncertainty into the mix, adds another level of stress.

Planning can take away much of that uncertainty and part of that planning should be the drafting of a professional will – this allows you to understand exactly what will transpire when you or a loved one are no longer there.

Unfortunately, despite the best of intentions a will is not always done and one of the first questions that we are asked is if the state will now take away the assets?

The simple answer is no but with a proviso!

In the event of a will not being made by a person, legislation dictates how the assets will be distributed. This is called the Intestate Succession Act.

Your estate will be divided amongst your surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings according to a set formula. For instance, if a person is survived by a spouse and no children, the spouse inherits the entire estate. If they are survived by a spouse and children, the spouse and children will each inherit a portion of the estate depending on the marital regime of the couple as well as the value of the estate.

Failing spouse and children, parents will inherit and failing parents, siblings and failing siblings any living blood relatives. Failing any blood relatives – only then does legislation allow for the assets to be handed to the state for safekeeping for 30 years.

Does this then mean that If I don’t have any blood relatives – the state takes my assets?

Again, the simple answer is no….

The reason is that South Africa allows an almost unfettered right to bequeath your assets to whomever you choose…This means that if you are not derogating your duties to your spouse or children and your marital regime allows you to do so – you may bequeath your estate to friends or charities – you may even decide to set up a structure to do good!

It is never too early to begin planning and changes can be made as and when circumstances change.

Contact us at Sentinel International to discuss your options.

Author: Princess Mvuyana