What happens to your property if you don’t have a will?

Owning property for shelter or as a means to generate income is a wonderful legacy to leave behind when you pass away. This is why protecting your intentions for that property with a will is so important.

If someone dies without a will, their estate is dealt with under the Intestate Succession Act, meaning the government decides who inherits their assets, including any property they own. Not having a clear will is one of the main causes of delays in wrapping up an estate. This can compound problems for future generations because if an heir passes away before the estate they inherited has been finalised, and a property is still not in their name, whoever inherits their estate will also inherit those unresolved issues.

Having a good estate planning product and appointing an experienced executor can go a long way in preventing this complexity for your loved ones. SmartWill, for instance, records each property a client is linked to and determines who the actual owner of that property is. There is also an option to indicate if a property is co-owned and whether there are any other special circumstances. If our system picks up that a client is the owner of a property but isn’t the title deed holder, our legal team proactively contacts the client to resolve the ownership bureaucracy while they are still alive.

The core purpose of a will is to make your wishes clear so that when you pass away they can be acted on. That way, your family isn’t burdened by having to wait for the state to decide what should be done with your estate, including any property. Being front-footed about creating a will and tracking property ownership snags can mitigate significant problems for your loved ones later on.

Posted in If you die without a will on Apr 01, 2020

 

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What some of our customers think.

 
"The process of updating my will was so overwhelming that I had snoozed the reminder on my to-do list since my my second child was born... and he is almost three. Then I found SmartWill.
The website is so intuitive and extremely simple. I found myself wondering whether it was too simplistic! The website guides you through an easy, step-by-step process that you can complete in your own time, in the comfort of your home. It takes an overwhelming task, and breaks it down into easy-to-answer questions. The cost is nominal, the quality is extraordinary. You don’t need to make an appointment with a lawyer, yet your will is reviewed by a lawyer. The whole process was so streamlined, I really can’t fault it. I strongly recommend that you just take the first step. The rest is easy." - Tanya Hanekom
"A will is always the lowest item on most people's daily priority list, but SmartWill helps make it as easy and seamless as possible. With the ability to dip in and out of the website when you have time to complete the details. With constant but not overbearing email reminders, and good advice from real people when you need it, the overall adds up to an excellent service for the price. Thanks SmartWill I can sleep a little easier now!" - Charles Edwards

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