When you write your will, it’s common to include the name of the person or organisation that you want as your executor to carry out the wishes expressed in your will. An executor’s role is governed by legislation, particularly the Administration of Estates Act, and every estate needs a dedicated executor.
You can name anyone you want as your executor, but when you pass away the Master of the High Court will need to officially appoint them before they can act on your wishes and take responsibility for the wrapping up of your estate. The Master of the High Court is often quicker to appoint a professional executor than a loved one, as someone with no executor experience will need to be vetted first to confirm whether they are fit to carry out the necessary duties.
Professional executors charge a fee, which is legally limited to a maximum of 3.5% of the value of your estate. Estates worth R250 000 or less are not required to pay executor’s fees, and professional executors often prefer to only work with estates of more than R500 000.
Having to pay executor fees often puts people off from choosing to go with a professional and they select a child or other relative to be responsible for their affairs when they pass away instead. This can, however, cause significant frustration, difficulty and stress for that person who is trying to wrap up the estate, especially if they don’t have previous experience.
Executing an estate is very administratively intensive and involves many steps that have to be carefully carried out to avoid breaking any of the laws governing estates. This pressure can be a double burden for loved ones in the midst of grieving. It can also lead to family strife and long delays in the wrapping up of an estate. In many cases, families end up seeking the help of a professional executor down the line anyway.
The Smart solution
To help ease the process, SmartWill has created the SmartExecutor feature for its clients.
This product gives clients significant savings on their executor fees; allows them access to a professional executor, even if their estate is valued between R250 000 and R500 000; and, most importantly, secures them the peace of mind of knowing that their loved ones won’t be burdened with additional admin and frustration when they pass away.
SmartExecutor leaves the complexities of executorship to the professionals and is one of the ways that SmartWill is providing simple, smart solutions for people to get their affairs in order.