Death is inevitable, but you can make life after your demise much easier for your family by choosing who will take care of the administration of your estate. Typically you can nominate a trust company, bank, attorney or accountant as the executor of your will. After your death, the individual or firm is formally appointed by the master of the high court, who issues a letter of executorship. Chris Murphy, the Fiduciary Institute of South Africa's councillor for the Western Cape and a director of Legacy Financial Services, says it is becoming increasingly popular to appoint a family member or friend as an executor to "keep it in the family" and make sure costs are kept low. But in most cases the family member will still have to appoint a professional because the administration process is complex and onerous. Advocate Sankie Morata, the chief operations officer of Sanlam Personal Finance: Fiduciary Services, says: "It is important to nominate an executor who will be able to put himself...

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