FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions

Here we answer all your Metropolitan policy and services related questions.

Wills explained FAQ

What is a Will?

A Will is a binding expression of your wishes. It says what you want to happen to your assets when you pass on. A Will can provide protection for your family when you are no longer there. It is an important document and must be reviewed annually or when your circumstances change. If, for example, you get married or have children, your will should be reviewed to see if it is still achieving its purpose.

What effect does my marital status have on my Will?

If you are married in community of property the surviving spouse will only be able to deal with their own half of the estate.
The other half will be administered as your deceased estate.
This may mean you should consider whether there will be sufficient cash available for the surviving spouse while the estate is being wound up.
This is particularly important if you have a joint bank account. You may wish to consider whether life insurance is necessary to ensure there is sufficient cash.
If you are married out of community but subject to the accrual system, you must consider the amount of accrual.
If your estate has to pay an accrual to your surviving spouse, there may be less left for other beneficiaries.
It may also mean that, if the accrual is payable to your estate, your surviving spouse will be short of money or may have to sell an asset like the house they are living in.
You may wish to consider whether life insurance is necessary to ensure there is sufficient cash.

What is an Heir?

An heir is the person who receives your remaining estate when you pass on. You can nominate anyone as heir for the remainder of your estate. The remainder is the amount left over after expenses (like tax and executors fees) have been paid. It is important to identify your heirs clearly, so their identity number is required. If there is only one heir, they will receive the full remainder of your estate.

What is an Ante-nuptial contract?

An ante-nuptial contract is entered into by two people before they get married.

This contract regulates and makes provision for the two parties in the event of a divorce or break up. The contract must be registered in the deeds office.

What do the common marital arrangements mean?

What does it mean to be married In Community of Property?

This is a marital arrangement where the spouses share their estates during the course of the marriage and when it ends, the surviving spouse is entitled to half of the joint estate. The remainder of the estate is distributed in accordance with the will of the deceased spouse. If you do not enter into an ante-nuptial contract you are automatically married in community of property.

What does it mean to be married Out of Community of Property?

This is a marital arrangement where both spouses have separate estates during the existence of their marriage and do not share each other’s profits or losses during or after the marriage (whether the marriage ends by divorce or death). You must enter into an ante-nuptial contract to be married out of community of property.

What does it mean to be married Out of Community of Property subject to the accrual system?

This is a marital arrangement where once the marriage is dissolved; neither spouse will be liable for the other spouse’s debts. However, the parties have to share what they have acquired together during the existence of the marriage. You must enter into an ante-nuptial contract to be married out of community of property subject to the accrual system.

What is the difference between a testator and a testatrix?

What is a testator?

A testator is a man who makes or has made a will.

What is a testatrix?

A testatrix is a woman who makes or has made a will.

What is an executor?

An executor is a person appointed by the Master of the High Court to administer the estate of a person who has died. The executor must ensure that the estate is wound up in accordance with the law and any wishes of the deceased (as expressed in a will). Practical responsibilities include gathering and protecting the assets of the estate, arranging for payment of debts of the estate and paying taxes.

What is a bequest?

A bequest is a legacy. It is leaving something to someone in terms of a will.

What is a guardian?

A guardian is a person who looks after and is legally responsible for a child whose parents have died.

What is a trust?

A trust is an entity created to protect the assets or money of another – usually minors. A trust is an arrangement in terms of which a person hands over certain assets to a second person (the Trustee) to administer/manage for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary).

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