By Georges Ngapeu
Two years ago, I was approached by a single mother of two (4 and 18) who was referred to me by one of my clients. The father of her children had passed away, leaving life cover in excess of R1 million on which the children were the nominated beneficiaries. However, he did not have a valid Will in place.
The insurance company paid the adult child’s portion directly into her bank account, but for the minor child, the Court requested the proceeds to be paid into the Guardians Fund (which is a fund managed by the State for the benefit of minor children) until the child reaches the age of 18. It is not only a costly process, but it is difficult for the actual guardian of the child, to obtain funds for the maintenance and support of the child.
If there was a valid will at the time of death, the following would have happened:
-the claim process would have been much easier, quicker and less stressful
-the single mother would have received the minor child’ s portion directly into her bank account (if she was nominated as the guardian of the child) or it could have been paid into a Testamentary Trust for the benefit of the child.
-she would have saved on the admin costs applicable in the Guardians Fund (as the proceeds would have been paid straight into her bank account)
This is only one of the many reasons to have a Will in place as it protects your dependants and distributes your assets according to your last wishes.
Don’t allow someone else to make decisions on your behalf.