Gone are the days when planning an estate was reserved for the rich. These days, most people who hold assets can benefit from an estate plan. Having an estate plan in place can protect you from all sorts of headaches – both during your life and after you’re gone. Having all the details in place can stop family feuds from arising, save you from unnecessary taxes as well as save you money which would otherwise be spent on additional conveyancing fees.
Why you should plan an estate regardless of the size of your property
One of the most important assets to cover is any property you might own, as properties often tend to hold the most weight out of all one’s assets. Even if your property is considered small, your family will still be able to benefit from inheriting it – whether it be to live in, rent out or sell. This is why you’ll still want to have a plan in place for when that time comes, ensuring everyone gets what they should.
How transferring your property ownership protects you and your family
So many families, unfortunately, land up fighting over the deceased’s assets all too often. This can especially be true when the heirs are young, feel left out entirely, or in cases where one family member was closer to the deceased than another. By outlining the exact details of which assets go to whom, you can also lessen the burden which would otherwise fall onto them.
Having your property in an estate also protects both you and your family from having to go through lengthy probate proceedings and possibly losing the property to the government or state. It also saves your family from having to pay massive tax fees to SARS or at least lessens the amount exponentially.
Planning not only helps those who are left behind, but also helps the current property owner whilst they are alive. Life comes with a lot of unexpected life events, and one such event could be becoming unwell or unable to make rational decisions as you age. Having your plans for your estate in place early on can, therefore, protect you too, ensuring it’s done with a clear mind.
What happens if there’s nobody to take ownership of your property once you’re gone
Planning your will or estate may seem morbid to think about now, but the outcome could be far more so if you don’t. A property cannot remain in the name of the deceased, so if there’s nobody to transfer the ownership to when you’re gone, it will fall in the hands of your local Executor.
The Executor will then decide what to do with the assets with the consent of your next of kin. The reason for this is that the Executor needs to make sure that the new owner will be able to pay off any leftover debts or future property taxes. If nobody can afford to pay any leftover debts left by the deceased, then, unfortunately, the property will usually be sold to pay them off. The Executor will then take the remaining assets and split them between the remaining beneficiaries.
Disputing a will or estate can also be extremely costly. In the end, planning can save you the most time and money. Fortunately, if it’s too late for that, you always have the option of hiring a conveyancer to help guide you. Often, doing so can save you a lot of money you’d possibly lose otherwise.