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It is concerning that more than 46% of deceased estates in South Africa does not have enough cash to cover the costs of the estate administration as well as possible debts and cash bequests made in the will. With the right advice and guidance, you can prevent this situation in your estate.

David Thomson, Senior Legal Adviser at Sanlam Trust, says many people underestimate how much money they’ll need to cover the costs and fees involved in wrapping up a deceased estate.

Apart from settling outstanding debt, costs to be covered from estate funds include estate charges, valuation costs, estate bank account charges and transfer costs of fixed property, to mention but a few.

If you didn’t make adequate provision to ensure liquidity in your estate, this will affect your heirs, who’ll have to pay the cash shortfall to the estate, or the executor and your heirs will be compelled to decide which hard-earned assets must be sold to cover the shortfall.

How life cover can help

Life cover is an easy and cost-effective way to secure the cash to protect your estate. If you have at least one life policy that’s payable to the estate, it can provide the necessary cash injection to protect your heirs and their inheritance.

It’s also prudent to have additional life and funeral cover payable to your beneficiaries to cover your funeral expenses and provide for your dependants’ living expenses while your estate is being finalised.

Speak to your financial intermediary to ensure you have enough liquidity in your estate. And while you’re at it, review your will to determine if any recent life-changing events, such as the acquisition of a new property, a divorce, the death of a life partner or the birth of a child or grandchild, require you to amend your final wishes.



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