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How can banks help you with your will?

Banks offer customers various services to help plan, draft and execute their wills. We examine the options banks and others provide for will and estate planning.

26 October 2022 · Staff Writer

How can banks help you with your will?

Most banks offer customers a variety of services to help with the planning, drafting and execution of their wills. These services may include, among others, structuring your estate, assigning an executor, and storing a copy of your will for safekeeping until the event of your death.

We investigate the different options that banks, and others, offer for will and estate planning


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Johan Strydom, head of growth at FNB Fiduciary, says, “FNB offers assistance with estate planning, the drafting of wills, and the safe custody of wills. These services come at no cost to FNB clients and are available where FNB is the nominated executor.

“Clients can draft their own wills via FNB’s digital channel. We also understand that there will be cases where a client needs to speak to an adviser, and for that we have a dedicated team of consultants and advisers who are available to assist our clients.”

The FNB website provides clients with a list of hints for drafting a will. This covers the importance of updating your will when there is a change in your status or circumstances, which may alter your choice of beneficiaries.

It adds that family and friends should be informed that you have a will, and what it states, such as who the executor of your estate will be.

The bank suggests that you appoint alternate beneficiaries in the event that your primary beneficiary passes away before you do.

When you sign your will, two witnesses who physically saw you sign will be required as signatories. These people should not be beneficiaries of the will or the spouse of an heir. You and your two witnesses must sign on each page, and any amendments you may have made. The place and date of signing must be written at the end of the will.

Visit to find out more.

Standard Bank


Standard Bank is committed to supporting clients and their families with will-related services, says Tony Hakime, national head of sales at Standard Trust.

“Estate planning involves a comprehensive plan that enhances your financial security, and provides structure for the effective management of your estate,” he says.

“You will have access to personalised engagement with an estate planning specialist who understands your requirements to protect your legacy.”

Liquidity in the estate forms one of the key elements of estate planning, as a cash shortfall in an estate may have dire consequences for your beneficiaries, especially if estate assets must be sold.

Standard Trust provides both will drafting and safe custody, to give effect to your wishes and ensure your legacy is protected, says Hakime. A network of specialists and financial planners provide assistance and guidance, from drafting a will to ensuring it is correctly signed and executed.

“It’s important to review your will, not only when life-changing events such as marriage, children, or divorce occur, but also as the structure of your estate changes,” says Hakime.

Should you require assistance, you can approach your nearest Standard Bank branch or visit or email



Absa Trust has been facilitating wealth preservation through estate planning solutions since 1915. This includes the drafting and safe custody of wills, estate and trust administration, and beneficiary fund administration. These integrated non-banking financial solutions are offered to both individuals and corporate clients.

Estate planning should be seen in the context of holistic financial planning, says Vanya Terblanche, head of Absa Trust.

“Planning for your financial well-being can be daunting. We encourage clients to reach out to our financial advisers for help in getting started with a unique plan that caters for their specific needs, or to review their existing plans,” she says.

Absa Trust has introduced Wills Direct, an inbound call centre that puts you in direct contact with a professional consultant who can draft a professional, legal and enforceable will, which is then emailed to you.

“Where Absa Trust is nominated as an executor, a drafting fee of R350 excluding VAT will apply, and where an Absa adviser is involved, the drafting fee may be waived,” says Terblanche.

She says Absa Trust’s knowledgeable teams will ensure your last wishes are carried out in full and that the estate is administered in as short a time as possible.



Nedgroup Trust offers clients expert advice in estate planning, and ensures that your debts are paid off and your estate is distributed to your beneficiaries in the manner that you wish.

When drafting your will and planning your estate, Nedbank points out that there are several costs that need to be taken into consideration.

  • Executor fees. The executor is entitled to a percentage of the gross value of assets in your estate at the time of your death. This is currently 3.5% of the gross value, excluding VAT.
  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT). After your death, you are seen to have disposed of your assets to your estate, which means that the estate could be liable for CGT. If the executor has to sell any assets from the estate, there could be further CGT costs.
  • Estate duty. If you are a resident in South Africa when you die, all of your assets, no matter where they are (local or overseas), are included in the gross value of your estate for the purpose of estate duty. An exception is the inclusion of foreign assets that were acquired before becoming a South African citizen, or were given to you by a non-resident.
  • Administration expenses. This includes funeral costs, and the cost of any administration functions that the executor has to perform.

The Nedbank website notes that the bank provides will services to all customers, irrespective of whether they are an existing Nedbank customer. In nominating Nedgroup Trust as your executor, you can have your will drafted free of charge.

Old Mutual


Monica Moodley, legal manager at Old Mutual, notes that drafting a will is an integral part of the financial planning process.

“A will ensures that your estate devolves according to your needs and wishes,” Moodley says. “It’s essential that your estate is managed in a manner that provides peace of mind to your family and intended beneficiaries, and to ensure they are protected upon your death.”

Not having a will can have detrimental consequences for an individual’s estate.

“In such a case, intestate succession comes into play, in which there is a predetermined order of inheritance,” Moodley points out. “People whom you did not intend to benefit could easily become beneficiaries.”

Moodley says that Old Mutual has a panel of professionals with the skills, knowledge, and expertise to assist and guide clients to draw up a legally valid will, and ensure the estate devolves according to their preferences.

Moodley says your will should be reviewed annually, and when life-changing personal circumstances warrant such a review.

“However, it is important that your will be drafted with your broader financial and personal matters in mind,” she says. “A will is an integral part of your holistic planning.”

The process of drafting or revising a will involves different specialists, whose aim is to ensure that the client and their family are not exposed to any form of financial risk that may come about from a badly drafted or outdated will.

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