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BENEFICIARIES OF PENSION FUNDS, PROVIDENT FUNDS AND GROUP COVER INSURANCE
(Information from article by Martin Hesse in Personal Finance, Independent on Saturday 27 April 2019)

In my book and in other ways we are reminded to update the beneficiaries of our Will. We should remember that this needs to bee done for pension or provident funds or any group cover insurance offered by employers. On joining any one of these when joining a company one receives a Nomination of Beneficiaries Form and defines to whom a payout should be made upon death while still employed. Most companies will update this information with the employee every few years.


Should a person die while in employment the money from these funds is paid directly to the beneficiaries and any dependants, if not nominated, as decided by the Master of the High Court. Dependants may be children, a spouse, live-in partner or parents who are financially dependent on the deceased employee. Should no one meets any of these criteria – there are no nominated beneficiaries or financial dependants – the money has to be paid into the Estate.


This was all explained in the above-mentioned article where a woman died while in the employ of the Coca Cola Company. She was a member of the company pension fund but had not completed the Beneficiary form nor did she have any dependants and so the full amount was paid in to the Estate. Her Will had nominated her parents as beneficiaries. Her estranged husband contested this with the Pension Funds’ Adjudicator who ruled that the company had done the right thing to pay the money into her Estate.


This then is a reminder, that when you requested and given the opportunity to name beneficiaries, do so and, just as importantly, update this information immediately your circumstances change.(children grow up, marry, you divorce or are widowed etc). The same applies to your Will,  Life Insurances and special accounts you may have opened for specific persons or situations. Retirement Annuities do not always include the nomination of beneficiaries but, if they do, ensure that they too are kept up to date.

Remember you are never too young to die so ensure that your wishes will be fulfilled by keeping the information up to date

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I came across this article in the Personal Finance which was part of the Independent on Saturday of 9 June 2018 written by the Feduciary Institute of South Africa. It is worth sharing. I shall also put it on the website www.legalaspectsofdying.co.za

Tasks of an executor

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