When parents pass away without a will, their estate is distributed according to the laws of intestate succession. Here’s what can happen in such situations:

  1. Intestate succession: intestate succession is a legal process that determines how the assets of someone who dies without a will are distributed. In the absence of a will, the south african intestate succession act comes into play.
  2. Standard distribution: the act provides a standard distribution plan that typically prioritizes the surviving spouse and children. The spouse may inherit a certain portion, while the remaining assets are divided among the children.
  3. Absence of spouse and children: if there is no surviving spouse or children, the act outlines specific rules for the distribution of assets among other relatives, such as parents, siblings, and more distant relatives.
  4. Court appointed executor: without a will, there is no named executor to administer the estate. In such cases, the master of the high court appoints an executor to handle the estate administration process.

It’s important to note that intestate succession may not align with the deceased parents’ specific wishes or the family’s unique circumstances. Creating a will allows parents to have control over how their assets are distributed and to make provisions for guardianship of their minor children.

To avoid potential complications and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your preferences, it’s advisable for parents to consult with an attorney specializing in estate planning and draft a comprehensive will.