This week past I was again reminded of a bête noire of mine on the reading an ABSA will: the last clause comprised a standard disclaimer. In a will? To my recollection, the debate on liability leading to this, started in the early 80s when one of the big four banks settled a claim, emanating from an incorrectly drawn will, outside of court. The issue is and was this: aside from attorneys (most of whom should not draw wills anyway) how can one hold an entity, which one knows does not have specialist training in the field, responsible, if that entity makes a mess of an inheritance? Anyway “free” wills are anything but: they are fly now, pay later schemes. There is no way your bank/accountant/lawyer does anything free of charge. If you don’t believe me, look at the marble receptions of any of our trust companies.


This week I received a teaser from a bunch named Estate Asset Research which says that it charges 15% of the value of (un-traced) assets retrieved in favour of a deceased estate. I am aware that, many years back, such as they traced beneficiaries of unclaimed estate funds on a similar basis. Is there anyone who has used their services – or those of others like them? I’m quite curious: does one reflect their 15% charge as a cost of winding up?