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FAQ - Wills and Estate Plan

The estate plan portion is available as additional life cover for the often-overlooked costs of winding up an estate and to provide liquidity to your beneficiaries and the executor when needed most.

We first help you draft a valid, signed, and retrievable online will. Our Wills and Estate plan calculator determines the shortfalls in your estate and your financial adviser, together with our fiduciary experts advises on solutions, which results in your tailored 1Life Wills and Estate Plan.

  • The plan includes an estate shortfall lump sum which is paid out to the executor of the estate in the event of a successful claim and in the case of the policyholder’s death. This benefit can be as much as R10 million.
  • An additional liquidity benefit is calculated as R25 000 for sums assured less than R500 000 and a benefit of R50 000 for sums assured above R500 000. This is paid out to your nominated beneficiary within 48 hours of a successful claim, to be used for immediate expenses.
  • In addition, there is an income benefit paid to your nominated beneficiary. This is a six-month monthly payment equivalent to the life assured’s last recorded monthly salary, to assist loved ones while the estate is being wound up.

Most people don’t make sufficient provision for costs associated with the winding up of their estate, leaving their beneficiaries with a cashflow shortage. The 1Life Wills and Estate Plan is an additional life cover that caters to often overlooked expenses associated with the finalisation of an estate.

The cover is designed specifically to address an estate shortfall and provide liquidity in the estate. It serves to protect beneficiaries of the estate from unforeseen costs and assists in settling professional fees charged during the administration process of the estate, whilst the estate is still being wrapped up and includes a monthly income for six months to assist with any immediate cash shortfall. The plan also incorporates our 1Life Will, a will drafting service that is included free of charge.

Illustration of the average cost of finalising an estate
Value of estate: R 2, 2 million.

  • Funds needed by your family to finalise the estate due to fees and taxes: R227 995.
  • Executor fees: R76 274* 
  • The executor of your estate charges the executor’s fees for the service of administering and finalising the estate. These fees are regulated by statute and are set at a maximum of 3,5% (plus VAT).
    *Discount of executor’s fees activated within 7 days: R11 441
  • Estimated capital gains tax payable: R72 000
  • Sundry cash flow R35 000
  • The funeral: venue, cremation or burial; utility bills, groceries, school fees, etc.
    Calculated on a sliding scale based on the size of the estate.
  • Master’s fees: R3 200 based on the size of the estate
  • Miscellaneous: R9 475 based on 0.5% of the size of the estate
  • Transfer fees: R32 046 transferring conveyancer’s fees to have your home transferred from you to the heir
  • If you do not have a valid will in place, the rules of intestate succession come into effect, which means that your assets may be distributed in a way that does not benefit the people you would have wanted to pass your assets onto.
  • Without a will, your children’s inheritance could pass to the government guardian’s fund or appointed guardian, rather than to a trust that will ensure the wishes of the deceased are carried out for them.
  • A will protects your assets from unforeseen or illegitimate creditors.
  • Winding up an estate is a complex legal process. Having a friend or relative as an executor may not give you the benefit of expert advice from a professional executor who knows how to navigate the administration of estates act, engage with creditors, and manage any potential conflict with beneficiaries. This protects your estate as you obtain a professional service from beginning to end.
  • A living will is needed to detail your future medical treatment in circumstances in which you are no longer able to express informed consent.

Estate planning and having a will is for everyone. If you have any assets that would need to go to a beneficiary upon your passing, then you need a will.

Yes, it can be done but it is not recommended. As the will is revoked upon the demise of the first spouse. As a result, the joint will is then no longer valid - the remaining spouse will die Intestate.

An executor is legally responsible for sorting out the finances of a deceased person, generally making sure debts and taxes are paid and what remains is properly distributed to the beneficiaries. It is an intricate and legally advanced duty. An executor is often named by the testator before their death, or else by a court. With 1Life, we provide you with a professional executor, to streamline the finalisation of your estate.

Many people like to appoint their executor in a will, however, not anyone can be an executor as they need to be able to be appointed by the master of the high court to be able to fulfil the mandate of the executor. This includes the entire legal process of winding up the estate. What normally happens is individuals end up appointing a company or firm to help with this process.

This is the industry standard fee charged by the executor or assisting professional to wind up your estate. A maximum of 3.5% + VAT of your estate will be charged. Example: an Estate worth R3 million will pay R120 750 in fees.

An alternative executor is a person who would take on the duties of an executor if, for any reason, the person you've named cannot fulfil the role. They will work with the executor to ensure all your wishes are upheld. This should be someone you trust.

An example of an asset is: property, vehicle/car, policies, investments, or other assets (jewellery, art collection, furniture, etc)

You can add as many beneficiaries as you want i.e., it is recommended that if you are married name your spouse as a beneficiary for tax purposes.

Furthermore, the individual financial circumstances of each person are different, and it is more beneficial to have a will drawn up tailored around each person's situation to maximise the use of the calculator in safeguarding their estate.

A special bequest is a gift or a specific item or asset you would like to leave to a specific person. For example, specifically providing that your diamond ring shall be given to your daughter. This would be added under special bequests in the digital will section.

In terms of this definition, "spouse" means, in relation to any other person, a person who is the partner of that person: - in a marriage or customary union recognized in terms of the laws of the Republic; - in a union recognized as a marriage by the tenets of any religion; or - in a same-sex or heterosexual union in which the commissioner is satisfied is intended to be permanent.

  1. The person doing the will must sign the will on each page.
  2. Have two witnesses sign each page of your will in full at the bottom of each page. It is very important that your witnesses are not inheriting (getting any money or assets), is a guardian, or a trustee in your will. If they are, and they sign they will no longer be able to inherit or undertake their mandated functions.
  3. You must add the location where the will has been signed, along with the day and month on the last page of the will.
  4. Ensure all signees sign the will at the same place and time.

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