In practice, what happens when you die is that all your assets are frozen. If you use your spouse’s bank account, this account will be frozen too, so each spouse should have his or her own bank account, Blamire says.
Estate planning involves the arrangement of your assets so that they may be moved – in the most efficient way possible – to the people whom you wish to inherit your assets.
It also involves ensuring that no unnecessary taxes or estate duty are payable, she says.
Although your will does not have to be dated, dating it makes it easy to identify which is your most recent will, she says.
Make sure that your will is valid: it must be signed by two independent witnesses who do not stand to inherit from the will, Blamire says.
This means that if the first-dying spouse left all his or her assets to his or her spouse, and therefore did not use any portion of the R3.5-million exemption, the exemption will roll over to the surviving spouse, and his or her estate will enjoy an exemption of R7 million on his or her death.