Financial Planning | Dying Intestate And Leaving Small Children Behind

Recently we chatted about what happens if you pass away without a will? Now while it might be a cut and dried financial planning issue if all you leave behind is a spouse…it gets more complex the further we travel down the rabbit hole when it comes to intestate succession!

For instance what would happen if you were to pass away, and leave not only a spouse behind, but descendants as well?

Well I’m going to let you stew on that one awhile because today we’re going to discuss…

Dying intestate and being survived by descendants but not by a spouse.

The descendants inherit your estate per stirpes.

So what then is a descendant?

A descendant is basically your offspring – a child of yours in other words! Bear in mind that this could also be an adopted or illegitimate child.

And the meaning of ‘per stirpes’?

I am lead to understand that “per stirpes” means “by branch”.
What it means is that each branch of descendants will receive an equal share of your estate.

Should one of your direct descendants pass away before you (in other words, predecease you!) and leave descendants behind – the branch that would have been left to your direct descendant is then split equally between his or her descendants.

Here’s an example:
Ivan passes away and leave three children behind –

  1.        Hear no evil
  2.        Speak no evil
  3.        See no evil

Hear no evil passes away before I do. Hear no evil was the parent of two children. These two children will each inherit one sixth of my estate while Speak no evil and See no evil each inherit one third. If Hear no evil had outlived me then he would have inherited one third along with his two brothers Speak no evil and See no evil…got it?

Next week we’ll answer the question I posed to you earlier – What happens if you pass away and leave a spouse and descendants? This is where the ball of wool starts unravelling…

InsuranceFundi has partnered with some of SA’s most reputable insurance and investment companies. We believe that everyone should have access to a wide range of comprehensive and affordable solutions. Pick the product you are interested in below, and expect a call-back from our partners.

Until next time.

The InsuranceFundi Team

If you would like further information, submit your details below & we will contact you.