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The role of an executor and why you want one who is independent

14 September 2023
1 minute read
women discussing document

When you set up your 1Life Will, you can nominate anybody as your executor. However, here are some important reasons to consider a professional independent executor:

  • The process is complex and it’s a lot of pressure and responsibility to place on someone who does not have the experience and might be grieving your loss.
  • There are significant legal requirements dictated by the Administration of Estates Act.
  • History has shown that having an executor who is not independent can lead to family disputes.

Having an experienced executor can significantly reduce the time taken to wind up the estate as that person would understand the complexities, be able to navigate the legal requirements and probably have existing connections in the Master’s Office, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the Department of Home Affairs.

If the executor is also a member of a professional body such as the Fiduciary Institute of South Africa, you have further assurance the estate will be dealt with in a responsible and professional manner.

The ideal situation is where the company or institution that drafts the Will is nominated as the executor of the estate, as they will be in possession of the required information regarding the estate, understand the family dynamics, and have contact details of the heirs. It can also save you a lot of money:

  • You can negotiate the executor fee upfront, which is then stipulated in the Will.
  • Careful estate planning can minimise tax and estate duties.
  • The executor will be able to navigate the rules regarding annuities and life cover payouts.
  • The executor would also be able to efficiently resolve any debts payable.

How 1LIfe can help

Apart from providing the convenience of an online solution that is customised and affordable to easily complete and update your Will, our system gathers the necessary information to execute your estate plan faster.

We also act as your independent executor to streamline the finalisation of your estate. 

We also help you with estate planning through our built-in calculators that provide you with the potential costs of winding up your estate and have several affordable solutions to help you cover the costs of winding up your estate.

Read more here or speak to your financial adviser.

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