Your will and your property

Some points to consider:

  • If you bequeath your fixed property to your surviving spouse, then no tax is payable, as all bequests to spouses are exempt from estate duty and or Capital Gains Tax. No transfer duty is payable on a bequest of fixed property to a heir/legatee.
  • If the value of your estate is more than R3,5 million, estate duty will become payable on the balance in excess of R3,5 million. Sufficient cash should be made available to pay this duty in order to avoid selling any fixed property.
  • If your property is subject to a mortgage bond, and you leave your property as a specific request, you may wish to make the bequest subject to the provision that your legatee takes over the bond liability. Alternatively, you may wish to secure the bond by life assurance , the proceeds of which would clear the debt on your death.
  • If your children are still minors (under 18 and unmarried ), it is advisable to set up a testamentary trust in your will, which would come into effect should both parents pass away before they reach majority.
  • If you bequeath your fixed property to a number of heirs in equal shares, this may give rise to impracticalities due to the indivisibility of the bequest, and may give rise to a redistribution agreement being drawn up between your heirs.
  • There may be specific provisions in your antenuptial contract in regard to your fixed property, which override your wishes in terms of your will.
  • A R3,5 million deduction from estate duty to roll over from a deceased to a surviving spouse is allowed so that a surviving spouse can use a R7 million deduction amount on death.