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May 4, 2022

What happens to your minor child when you die without a valid will

When both parents of a minor child have passed away without having made provisions for the child in a valid will, the Master of the High Court will become involved.

The Master will appoint a guardian for the minor child and any inheritance that your child receives in terms of the Intestate Succession Act will be paid into the Master’s Guardian Fund. The guardian who has been appointed by the Master must then apply to the Master to receive payments out of this Guardian Fund to pay for the child’s education and day to day needs. This is a lengthy process with a lot of forms that must be completed at the nearest Master Office in order to prove that the funds are indeed needed by the minor.

The guardian appointed by the Master to take care of your child might end up being someone that you would not have decided on had you been alive. It is therefore important to appoint a trustworthy friend or family member in your will to ensure that your child will be cared for as they deserve should you pass away.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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