You decide how loved ones should benefit

Home Business You decide how loved ones should benefit


“At FNB Trust Services we believe that all Namibians should have a will to improve the lives of those left behind.” So says Lukas Kotze, Head of FNB Trust services.
Kotze goes on to reiterate the importance of having a will and testament, as there are often numerous issues that crop up when the estate is not organised beforehand. “From experience we know that often there is no cash to pay the debts and on numerous occasions, for example, the house had to be sold to cover all debts. This is something that should be avoided.”
Kotze explained further that when one person dies, leaving a spouse and minor children behind, each of the children and the surviving spouse are entitled to inherit under the intestate laws of Namibia – in cases where there is no last will and testament. The share of minor children will be paid to the Guardians Fund.
To save the house the surviving spouse normally needs to reimburse the minor children. If there is no cash a new loan must be taken up to give effect to these legislative requirements. Effectively, the surviving spouse will be losing whatever the couple wanted to build up during their lifetime and start all over again. “If the children are no longer minors, the matter can become even worse.” Kotze adds.
Another example given by Kotze refers to a scenario where one of the spouses married in community of property has children outside the marriage. These children have a right to claim maintenance from the deceased spouse and then the surviving spouse and children of the deceased must pay. Maintenance of a small child can deplete an estate and if unplanned could lead to the surviving spouse and other children receiving nothing.
“The tradition in Namibia is that family should benefit from the death of one of them. Namibian laws, however, supersede these traditions and people are uninformed about the provisions of these laws. Family then takes whatever they regard they are entitled to – often to the detriment of the children and the wife of the deceased.
“There is no control over the distribution of these assets. The executor must then claim these assets from the family members and this often leads to the court to recover these assets.”
There are many more examples of what the law dictates should happen with an estate when there is no last will and testament and unfortunately this does not always benefit the closest family members left behind. “Make sure you have a will in place, as this will then be a legal and binding document in which you can make sure that those you love are well looked after,” Kotze concluded.